Pokémon TCG FAQ: A Beginners Guide to Pokémon Cards

Nerdacity Jan 09, 2024
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Pokemon TCG Booster Packs
Table of Contents
  1. What is the Pokémon TCG?
  2. Why Start a Pokémon TCG Collection?
  3. How to Start a Pokémon TCG Collection for Beginners?
  4. How to Determine the Value of a Pokémon Card?
  5. Is Pokémon TCG a Good Investment?
  6. How to Spot Fake Pokémon Cards?
  7. Where to Buy Genuine Pokémon Cards?
  8. How to Care for Your Pokémon Card Collection?
  9. Final Thoughts
  10. Related Articles

Welcome to Nerdacity's one-stop resource for navigating the electrifying realm of the Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG)… Whether you're a rookie trainer or a battle-hardened veteran, our Pokémon TCG FAQ aims to answer all of your burning questions. Read on to learn about the basics, from starting your card collection to investment prospects, and much more.

What is the Pokémon TCG?

Short Answer: A collectible card game based on the Pokémon universe.

Long Answer: The Pokémon Trading Card Game is a collectible strategy card game that pits players against each other using decks of Pokémon cards. Each card represents a specific Pokémon (with its own move(s), HP, type, weakness and resistance), energy (for powering moves), or support/item/tool (with various effects, under the title of 'trainer' cards). The combination of these cards within a game allows players to engage in battles akin to those in the Pokémon video games and series.

Why Start a Pokémon TCG Collection?

Short Answer: It's enjoyable, competitive, and has potential investment value.

Long Answer: The Pokémon TCG allows fans to collect and display cards featuring their favourite Pokémon to admire, trade and/or engage in strategic battles with other enthusiasts. Moreover, certain cards, especially special, vintage or rare ones (newer sets also comprise of double, ultra, illustration, secret illustration and hyper rarities), can appreciate in value, offering investment opportunities both in the long and short-terms. There is no better feeling than 'pulling' (finding in a booster pack) the hyper rare or special illustration rare that every other collector is desperate to get their hands on!

How to Start a Pokémon TCG Collection for Beginners?

Short Answer: Decide your focus, establish a budget, and begin purchasing.

Long Answer: For new collectors, it's essential to determine whether your collection will focus on aesthetic value, playability, or investment potential. Once you've done copious amounts of research and decided, establish a budget, pick a set (currently retailing, or an out-of-print nostalgic set perhaps), then begin your collection. Many start with theme decks/boxes or booster packs, and then progress to buying individual cards either online or in TCG/collectible stores.

How to Determine the Value of a Pokémon Card?

Short Answer: Consult price guides, consider rarity and condition.

Long Answer: Various online resources can help ascertain the value of a Pokémon card. Websites like TCGPlayer, PriceCharting and eBay's completed/sold listings provide a wealth of data. The card's rarity, condition (including how well it was printed), and demand, can significantly impact its value. Keeping cards in mint condition in protective sleeves and appropriate binders will also help maintain or increase their value over time... more details on this can be found in our articles '5 Pro Tips to Keep Your Pokémon Cards in Mint Condition'.

Is Pokémon TCG a Good Investment?

Short Answer: Certain cards have appreciated significantly.

Long Answer: While not every Pokémon card, or even set, will yield a return on investment, first editions, rare holographic cards, secret-rares, full-arts and cards in mint condition have been known to appreciate in value. The market can be volatile especially depending on the Pokémon franchises popularity at any given time, so it's crucial to research and stay updated on current trends if you're considering your collection as an investment. Read the previous section above for some great places to start your research.

Grading your cards can also be a great way to add to their value! For full details visit our comprehensive guide.

How to Spot Fake Pokémon Cards?

Short Answer: Check quality, holographic quality, and text for inconsistencies.

Long Answer: Counterfeit Pokémon cards are often made of poor quality material with poor print quality and incorrect fonts. Fake cards may also lack the intricate holographic designs of genuine cards. Always buy from reputable sources, and consult online guides or community forums if you're uncertain about a card's authenticity.

Where to Buy Genuine Pokémon Cards?

Short Answer: Authorised retailers and reputable online sources.

Long Answer: Buying from reputable and/or authorised (found here for the UK) retailers, direct from the 'Pokémon Center', dedicated collectible/TCG stores, or well-reviewed/rated sellers online are the best ways to ensure you're purchasing genuine cards. Always thoroughly read reviews and perhaps even consult online Pokémon communities for seller recommendations.

How to Care for Your Pokémon Card Collection?

Short Answer: Use protective sleeves, store properly, and handle with care.

Long Answer: To maintain their condition, cards should be stored in protective sleeves, ideally within binder pages, toploaders or secure boxes. Keep them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Proper storage is particularly crucial if you consider your cards as an investment. For more details on card protection, visit our '5 Pro Tips to Keep Your Pokémon Cards in Mint Condition'.

Pokeball on Pokemon TCG Cards

Final Thoughts

Starting a Pokémon TCG collection can be a rewarding experience, both as a hobby and potentially as an investment. From collecting to competitive battling, the Pokémon TCG offers multiple avenues for engagement and enjoyment. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned collector, there's always more to explore in the dynamic world of the Pokémon TCG.

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Table of Contents
  1. What is the Pokémon TCG?
  2. Why Start a Pokémon TCG Collection?
  3. How to Start a Pokémon TCG Collection for Beginners?
  4. How to Determine the Value of a Pokémon Card?
  5. Is Pokémon TCG a Good Investment?
  6. How to Spot Fake Pokémon Cards?
  7. Where to Buy Genuine Pokémon Cards?
  8. How to Care for Your Pokémon Card Collection?
  9. Final Thoughts
  10. Related Articles