Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

A box of Pokémon cards just sold for over $400,000

A pair of foolish children, staining their future with greasy fingertips.
Photo: Evan Agostini (Getty Images)

In a moment of great validation for every anxious, lonely child out there who refuses to open the toys their parents buy for them in case they “get messed up,” a bunch of Pokémon cards described by Heritage Auctions as “the pinnacle of Pokémon box collecting” recently sold for $408,000.


An article from Artnet explains that the box of cards was sealed and contained 396 first edition cards in “’gem mint’ condition.” We don’t know who the top bidder was—maybe Elon Musk and Grimes, who will give the cards to their fantastically wealthy space baby to rip open in act of luxurious infantile glee—but Heritage says its value is so high due to the cards’ low print run and current scarcity.

The same auction (which brought in $1.3 million across 16 lots of Pokémon stuff) also featured a “hologram Blastoise card with a blank back,” created as a test before Pokémon cards began to be made in English. The card, which went for $360,000, is described on its auction page as “historic, iconic, unsurpassed.”

“There simply aren’t enough superlatives to express the importance of this card within the Pokémon hobby!” it continues. Aside from outlining its condition and rarity, Heritage also says: “To add to the desirability, the card features one of the most popular Pokémon in the game, Blastoise!” We’re glad that somewhere within this orgy of card-fueled spending, the warrior turtle fueling this strange economy managed to get its due.

The question remains, though: Was the $408,000 worth it for the amount of joy the sealed box of cards could have brought if they were opened and played with for hours upon hours? Could they have sparked the imagination of a child, socialized them while playing with their friends—provided a foundation for a life of emotional security that might have led that kid to do great things for the benefit of our entire species as they grew older? Well... we mean, it would be pretty nice to have $408,000 for a box of cards.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.