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EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 1 - November 05, 1999 - ISSN 1528-6703     6 of 8

Feature Article: Pokeman Madness!

By Ray Tipton

November 06, 1999

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If you have been watching the news lately, you have probably heard of the Pokemon craze. What started out as a simple video game now has a hit cartoon series on the WB Network, tons of toys from Hasbro, and most of all, the collectible card game from Wizards of the Coast (recently bought by Hasbro).

The Pokemon madness has also hit the online auction industry in a big way. You can find the toys and collectible card game merchandise all over the place, if you can afford it. When you type in the name Pokeon on eBay search, you get almost 30,000 hits of related auctions. The Pokemon toys sell reasonably well, but the card game is on fire in the online auctions.


Hasbro's line of toys consists of PVC figures based on the Pokemon characters. They are sold in Pokemon Battle Figure sets, Poke Ball Blaster sets, and the newest are the Pokemon Trainer Sets. They also make a line of plush and bean bag toys based on Pokemon characters. Although there are many toys sold through online auctions, only a few Pokemon toys sell over retail price. The Kukuna/Beedrill Pokemon Battle Figure set, which retired earlier in the year, and the Charizard and Jugglypuff bean bag toys, which are limited to one per assortment, sell significantly over retail price. There are many more Pokemon toys online, but most sell for retail or at bargain prices.


The big story about Pokemon is the collectible card game that Wizards of the Coast produces. The first set of cards was released after Thanksgiving, November 1998, with a retail price of $2.95 per booster pack and $106.20 per booster box. There have been two expansion sets released this year. One is called Pokemon Jungle and the other is Pokemon Fossil. Each set has a limited 1st edition that is produced in very small quantities and a regular unlimited edition that is mass-produced.

A booster box of 1st edition boosters can run anywhere from $1,200 to $1,700 through an online auction, while Jungle and Fossil 1st edition boosters sell at around $300 per box. Single cards are on fire as well. One of the most sought after cards is a 1st edition Charizard foil, which auctions off well at around $200.


If you are still not sure what I am even talking about, there are many resources that can help you learn what Pokemon is all about. Beckett Publications publishes "The Unofficial Guide to Pokemon" that has articles about new products related to Pokemon and a limited price guide. "Inquest Gamer," published by Wizard Entertainment, is a great gaming magazine with in-depth looks at all of the Pokemon cards and a very thorough price guide. "Scrye" is the longest running collectible card game magazine around with detailed looks at the cards and a very good price guide. You can also learn how to play the game and learn more about it from Wizards of the Coast Web site at http://www.wizards.com.

With all of the hype and activity related to Pokemon products, it can be easy to get "ripped off." Remember, before you buy through an online auction, be as informed as possible.

About the author:

Ray Tipton (ComicRay) is AuctionBytes.com's toy expert. He has written extensively about toys and previously owned his own shop. A long-time collector of toys and comics with a special interest in Pokemon and action figures, Ray is currently a reporter for Figures.com. He can be reached at comicray @ web-access.net. eBay ID: ComicRay

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