Trading Card Collectors Continue to Thrive, Catching Them All

A wave of nostalgia that accompanies Pikachu makes any 1990s kid remember their inner Poké master.

The popularity of Pokemon transcends generations, as kids are always pulling a chair to the trading tables now at Champion Card Collector.

“Coming out of COVID, the main thing that’s changed is Pokémon,” said co-owner Steve Lancevich. “Pokémon went from something that was dormant and a bit quieter to something that people couldn’t get enough of.”

The trading card staple recently celebrated its 25th birthday and kids around the world are still trying to catch them all.

While a more basic Pokemon character is still for all audiences, it’s the vintage finds that allow adults to travel back in time while making big bucks.

More recently, an original card or base set of a character sold for $420,000 at PWCC’s first auction in March, proving that the vintage trading card market is just as lucrative as a rookie card today.

As for those who could see their own memorabilia, Lancevich said eBay was the way to go.

“What most people forget is the fine print,” he said. “And it’s the information that makes or breaks the map.”

Lancevich and co-owner Greg Relyea have been with the business for seven years, but the inventory is much older.

“These packs are all older than most of our staff,” Relyea says of some cards. “These are some of the first packs Pokémon have ever produced.”

How did they get such a reserve?

“People bring them in and we offer them money,” Relyea said.

It is natural supply and demand. But they say it’s nostalgia that has allowed vintage card prices to skyrocket.

Garland K. Long