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  • Bianca Valdebenito-Millet

How Influencers Helped Pokémon Cards Boom

Updated: Apr 22


How Influencers Helped 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.


Pokémon’s Start


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, Pokémon cards' value has begun to be revived.


This coincides with the millennial movement of returning to companies 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 might be worth over $4,500.


Making Poké-Bank


However, it doesn’t stop with the average millennial grown-up. Businesses and online influencers have begun to explore 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 involved. 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 was worth $500 million as of May 2021. Its focus is on Pokémon, food, fashion, and other things.


Since the Pokémon card boom, their popularity in Asia has expanded to the U.S. Their business has grown significantly because Pokémon fans have money to spare and are 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 experiencing such an exponential rise that the demand is beginning to outweigh the supply, and the companies that authenticate cards are overwhelmed with submissions.


But even with all the Poké-Fans rushing to sell their Holo Charizards to make a downpayment on a mortgage, Pokémon still holds a special place in people’s hearts that far outweighs its monetary value. The beauty of nostalgia is, that the stronger it is, the more value it has.

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