This early-90s trading card game is exploding in value — and a huge collection is about to hit the market
The name Hasbro (HAS) – Get Hasbro Inc. Report probably makes you think of popular kids’ toys and classic board games like Monopoly. The company’s empire of well-known family-friendly franchises include G.I. Joe, My Little Pony, Transformers, Power Rangers, and other characters you may remember from your childhood or have seen your own kids play with.
But if you want to talk about the company’s biggest money makers, you’d be remiss if you didn’t know the name Wizards of the Coast (also known at WotC). Hasbro purchased WotC in the fall of 1999, making them the owners of legendary gaming properties like “Dungeons & Dragons,” “Magic: The Gathering,” and the immensely popular Japanese trading card game “Pokémon”.
In the “Pokémon” universe, characters battle one another by calling on various adorable super-powered creatures. The term “Pokémon” is actually a shortened version of “pocket monsters” in Japanese. The more pocket monsters you have, the more success you’ll have playing the game. Over the years, the company has released bundles of cards that hold opportunity for rare and limited edition cards.
Naturally, collecting the cards has become a very lucrative hobby. Some incredibly rare cards have sold for tens (and sometimes even hundreds) of thousands of dollars.
A Record-Winning Collection Is Going To Auction
Now, an anonymous collector from Southern England will be auctioning off her 20,000+ collection of Pokémon cards and multimedia. On October 18th, the collection will go to auction to be sold as a single lot thanks to an English auction house called Hansons.
Based on recent sales and the contents of the collection, the firm is expecting to net at least $300,000. It features several unopened packages of potentially valuable trading cards, plus video games, films, vintage toys, and original manga. This vast library of Poké-swag comes from all over the world, including Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The collector will keep a few items for sentimental value. Among them is the Guinness World Record certificate won for the size of the collection.
Hasbro’s Lucrative World of Collectible Card Games
“Pokémon” isn’t the only trading card game Hasbro has in its pocket thanks to its subsidiary Wizards of the Coast. According to the company’s Q2 investor call, WotC saw an impressive 15% bump in sales over the last year. According to Hasbro’s CEO Chris Cocks, 70-80% of that profit came from one game in particular.
“Magic: The Gathering” is a popular trading card game that also emerged in the early 90s. The massive success of the game certainly had some influence over the creation of a Pokémon card game. And like Pokémon, “Magic: The Gathering” is still incredibly lucrative nearly 30 years later.
Hasbro is clearly enjoying the publicity that comes with owning a well-known intellectual property. In 2021, “Magic: The Gathering” sold more than $100M across multiple platforms. Like Pokémon, rare cards can also be worth thousands of dollars, and the communities surrounding these card game money-makers are still very active and invested. And the fan base only stands to get bigger thanks to cross-branding with other popular IPs and exciting celebrity collaborations.