We know them from our childhood and almost everyone has played with them or swapped them in the schoolyard: Pokémon cards. And for many of us they were stowed in a shoe box in the attic or in the farthest corner of our basement for years. But thanks to Twitch, they have become real treasures that can be worth thousands of Euros.
Millions are following the Hype on Twitch
Like so many trends today, the hype surrounding the Pokémon cards was kicked off by some influencers from the online world. More precisely, Twitch played a crucial role, because the fascination with trading cards has a lot to do with the tension that arises when opening one of the booster packs. And feeling the tension of opening a rare booster pack together with thousands of other viewers is much more fun.
Streamers like MontanaBlack88 or Trymacs turn them into huge Twitch events. The 26-year-old Maximilian Alexander Curt Stemmler from Hamburg, better known by his synonym Trymacs, had an unbelievable number of 293,000 simultaneous viewers watching him over the shoulder while he opened dozens of Pokémon packs.
Apart from a few rare cards that the Twitch star was able to pull out of the packs during his stream, the event was more than worthwhile financially in other ways. His viewers were so enthusiastic that they rewarded the streamer with massive subscriptions, increasing the total number of paying viewers on his channel to 61,110 Twitch subscribers. The 26-year-old is now number 1 among the most subscribed streamers on Twitch worldwide. And that in front of top international streamers like nickmercs or XQC.
Pokémon Cards: Expensive Fun
Regardless of whether you are collecting cards or opening booster packs as a private hobby or turning it into Twitch events for hundreds of thousands of viewers, it is not cheap fun. At least not if you want to get hold of the really rare cards.
The boosters from the basic set in the 1st edition are particularly popular. In other words, those cards that one or the other of us might have carelessly carried in our trouser pockets as children and that collectors today handle with velvet gloves because they are sometimes as expensive as a new car.
On specialized websites such as Lotticards.de or Collect-it.de you can quickly get rid of a four-digit sum if you want to buy one of the so-called “displays”. These displays usually consist of 36 booster packs with 10 cards each.
€ 65,000 for a rare Charizard
Pokémon fans and collectors who invest a lot of money in special booster packs naturally hope for one of the very rare and valuable cards that can bring in many thousands of Euros on eBay and Co. The streamer and YouTuber Papaplatte drew the big lot, or in this case the really big Charizard. Or rather: he had it drawn for him by a YouTube star!
Papaplatte, who has more than half a million subscribers on YouTube, took part in an opening event by YouTube star Logan Paul last year. He had bought a display of the very first edition for the insane sum of $200,000 and announced that the booster packs contained therein would be opened as part of a live stream. The special thing about the event: He sold the individual packs of the display, or rather the respective contents, for $11,000 each. So every buyer could follow live what Logan Paul pulls out of his sinfully expensive booster.
One of the buyers was Papaplatte and the 24-year-old couldn't have been more lucky. Among the 10 cards in his booster was an extremely rare first edition holographic Charizard in almost perfect condition. The value: around € 65,000. The YouTube video of Papaplatte summarizing the event went viral with around 1.5 million video views in no time.
No end of the hype in sight - are card prices falling anyway?
There is no end in sight to the Pokémon card hype. Live streams, YouTube videos and special events related to opening particularly rare boosters are still breaking all records and, thanks to the high number of clicks and thousands of subscriptions and donations, seem to be worthwhile for content creators as well.
The card prices could, however, fall a little again soon, despite the great enthusiasm. The publisher of the cards, The Pokémon Company, obviously plays close attention to the hype about Charizard, Pikachu and Co. and the associated problems for all those who only want to do with the cards what they were originally made for: play.
Many of the more expensive cards are only rarely in circulation and when they are, then for exorbitant prices. Making them almost unavailable for people who want to play with them. The Pokémon Company wants to counteract this fact by reprinting some of the rare cards. For collectors, of course, this means a not to be despised loss of value. But that won't change the popularity of trading cards and the enthusiasm on Twitch and YouTube.