- Bianca Valdebenito-Millet
How Digital Marketing & Influencers Made Pokémon Cards Boom
With the boredom of the pandemic settling in, many millennials in their 20s and 30s turned back to old pleasures from their childhoods in search of something to do—Pokémon cards.
Luckily for many individuals who started their beloved collections in grade school and left them to collect dust through the decades, there was a mini-boom of demand.
Digital marketing, and the help of online influencers supporting the craze, are causing folks all over the internet to dust off their boxes and seek out insistent buyers.
The Pokémon revolution started in 1996, when Nintendo released a pair of unsuspecting games, Pokémon Red and Blue, on the Game Boy.
Its popularity rose and stayed there, bringing in tens of billions of dollars throughout the decades.
Presently, it’s headed by Pokémon Co. and partially owned by Nintendo and is still amassing plenty of revenue through their breakout AR game, Pokémon Go.
Because of its steady popularity and a surprise return to analog in a digital age, the value of Pokémon cards has begun to see a revival.
This coincides with the millennial movement of returning to companies that they looked up to as children. The value of trading cards rose to 142 percent on eBay.
Pokémon cards led the charge, selling an average of 5 cards a minute, surpassing baseball cards.
If you’re Mark Shiniger, a 24-year-old mechanical engineer who collected these cards in his youth, those mementos just might be worth over $4,500.
However, it doesn’t stop with the average millennial grown up.
Businesses and online influencers have begun to dip their toes into the trend, and with the large volume of demand for authentication services, it’s become almost too much to keep up with.
Still, it’s profitable for all ends. In 2021, the Certified Collectibles Group sold a collection valued at around $500-million to Blackstone Group Inc.
Whatnot Inc, a live auction startup, raised over $75 million in the United States, and as of May 2021 was worth $500 million.
They focus on Pokémon, food, fashion, and other things.
Since the Pokémon card boom, their popularity in Asia expanded to the U.S. and their business has grown significantly because of Pokémon fans with money to spare eager to buy their products.
the rise of the Pokémarket
On the influencer side, YouTuber Logan Paul bought boxes of cards worth $300 thousand, opened them on a live stream, and sold each individual packet for around a million dollars. Because of his influence, the prices boomed as people flooded the market.
Pokémon cards are such an exponential rise that the demand is beginning to outweigh supply, and the companies that authenticate cards are overwhelmed with submissions.
But even with all the Poké-Fans rushing to sell their Holo Charizards in order to make a downpayment for a mortgage, Pokémon still holds a special place in people’s hearts that far outweighs the monetary value.
The beauty of nostalgia is, that the stronger it is, the more value it has.