Check those basement bins filled with your children’s 1990s Pokémon card obsession! A rare, unopened and sealed Pokémon booster set of the card-collecting phenomenon broke a world record Sept. 10, selling for $198,000 in a Heritage Auctions sale. The Pokémon First Edition Base Set Sealed Booster Box (Wizards of the Coast, 1999) sold well past its pre-auction estimate of $80,000. The first set ever made, this booster box had few printings and includes 396 cards spread through 36 booster packs, each of which contains 11 cards. Because the set is unopened, it is likely the cards are in mint condition. Booster boxes were popular because collectors had a better chance of getting rare and “ultra-rare” Pokémon cards. Another advantage was that it was cheaper per pack and per card than buying booster packs. In 1999, Booster boxes sold for around $118 and an individual pack sold for $3.29.
“Sets like this one, especially in such extraordinary condition and sealed in shrink wrap, have become undeniable rarities,” said Jesus Garcia, Assistant Comics & Comic Art Operations Supervisor at Heritage Auctions.