This week we are highlighting the most slept on sets of the Pokemon TCG, the four released in 2009 that make up the Platinum era. In chronological order from release, they are Platinum, Rising Rivals, Supreme Victors, and Arceus, which was the final release for Pokemon in 2009 on November 4.
And what makes me say they are “slept on”?
Well, quite simply these four sets contain some very expensive cards that barely exist graded higher than a 9, the sets were not printed in a high quantity, and most importantly, THESE SETS HAVE THE BEST SECRET RARES THAT YOU NEVER SEE UP FOR SALE BECAUSE THERE ARE SO FEW OF THEM. The LV X cards are a huge deal in this era, but that’s how awesome these sets are. The Lv X cards aren’t even in the front seat when it comes to what crazy cards are available to chase from these sets. For secret rares: Rising Rivals has Flying Pikachu, Surfing Pikachu, and a reimagining of the base set Pikachu. If you combine the population of all three, there are only 28 copies of these cards graded in a ten, 10 for the first two, and 8 of the base set Pikachu.
Supreme Victors features the artwork originally used in 1999 for the ANA Airline promotion of the three legendary birds, but this time as holographic versions of the cards. Not only do the cards look stunning, the highest population in a 10 is the Articuno which sits at 37. Zapdos is only at a pop 23.
Platinum base set is even more insane, with secret rare reprints of the base set Hitmonchan and Electabuzz and the Jungle artwork of Scyther. The Scyther and Hitmonchan are both pop 13 in a 10…and the Electabuzz? Pop 4. This makes one of the rarest, if not the rarest, English version of this Pokemon in the entire TCG, especially considering it is a chase card and not some common from a modern set that nobody would bother to grade anyway.
But what if just having Lv X cards and amazing secret rares wasn't enough. Let us say you wanted to reach even farther in an attempt to obtain that Gold Star chase feeling of the Ex era now long gone. Well the Platinum sets have you covered, because in addition to the aforementioned secret rares, these sets also introduced Shiny secret rares that were not even guaranteed to be in each booster box. Beyond the low pull rate, the shiny secret rares feature foiling on the entire card that is easily scratched or damaged, making it extremely difficult to grade these cards in high grades when they are submitted. The highest population in a ten of any shiny Pokemon from this era is the Relicanth from Supreme Victors, which sits at a stingy Pop 25. The population of 10’s for the other shinies are as follows:
Platinum Base Set:
Add them all together and you still would be just over 100 graded 10’s in total. Collectors who seek to complete a set of 10’s from these sets may have to take the plunge and rip some packs themselves, as gem mint copies don't see the marketplace very often.
For how collectible the chases are from these sets, the price of entry to buy box fresh packs is not high. Trying to hit big on sets like Ex Dragon Frontiers or Ex Deoxys could set you back thousands of dollars very quickly, and hitting the Gold Star Charizard is the only way you dig yourself out of that hole once you get in that deep. The Platinum era is far more financially approachable and has such a wide variety of potential hits between the two classes of secret rares as well as the LV X’s. Buying a pack or two from a box break doesn't have to mean you don't eat food for a week, but your hits could still be extremely rewarding and worth holding onto long term. Keep your eyes out for fresh boxes being opened, and if the price is right, have a go! There are not a bounty of these sealed boxes left in wild, so jump in on a break if you can. Good luck, and happy hunting!