I LIKE SPENDING MONEY BUT VINTAGE IS JUST A BIT MUCH!
Well, looks like you need to refocus and rip what will soon become financially irresponsible but for the moment is within grasp- the XY era.
Looking back at prices in 2018 and 2019, many of us will smack our hands to our heads wondering how, as Pokemon fanatics, did we not buy more of this, or grab a PSA 10 of that. Well, we didn’t, but don't throw up your hands just yet. At the present moment, prices for both graded cards and vintage packs are in flux, but I believe we find ourselves at an interesting point in time for Pokemon investors and collectors alike. I am talking about the XY era, which gave us some of the most popular modern cards currently on the market. Unlike sets currently in circulation, the XY era did not receive the same level of over printing that has caused the deflation in price for ultra modern chase cards. This, combined with the fact that quality control was quite bad, has led to a relatively low population of Gem Mint graded chase cards from many of these sets, despite more copies being sent off to grading than ever before. I’ll say it here: now is the time to invest in XY.
The textured full arts from the XY era contain some of the most striking cards we have seen since the mid-era Ex cards in the mid 2000’s. Flashfire introduced the new Mega version of the shining Charizard, Phantom Forces gave us the first and only all silver Pokemon card with the secret rare Dialga, the Mega Primal versions of Kyogre and Groudon are works of art, and both Mega Rayquaza Ex artworks from Roaring Skies and Ancient Origins are absolutely gorgeous. This is me glossing over the Gengar Ex, Latios and Latias, Mega Tyranitar, and many more, but trying to prove my point which is: the XY era has some incredible cards and the prices of the packs are still affordable enough to chase after them.
Well, lucky for us, at the moment most sets from XY fall between ten to fifteen dollars. While ripping more than just a few can certainly add up, it definitely beats ripping certain vintage packs where one pack can set you back hundreds of dollars with no guaranteed return on investment. The price of entry makes much more sense with the ceiling of hitting that Gem Mint copy of one of the sets chase cards. The premiere XY booster packs are currently running as follows:
Ancient Origins/Evolutions: $20-25 ea
XY Base set/Furious Fists: $30 ea
Phantom Forces: $30-35 ea
Generations: $40-45 ea
Double Crisis: $45-50 ea
Flashfire: $65-75 ea
Flashfire tops the price list because guess what? There is a Charizard in the set. In fact there are multiple, and honestly they are actually pretty sweet, especially the Mega Charizard Secret rare. So if you are a zard hunter, that is the premium you pay, but for the rest of us, there is a plethora of beautiful cards to be hit for under $40 per pack. The Double Crisis set revisits the old villains of the Ruby/Sapphire era with a Team Rocket Returns vibe but without the set list to back up the price of entry if we are to speak openly. For a sealed collector, I think this set is gold, but I would 100 percent recommend against ripping, as there are only two chase cards, and your chances of grading a 10 are next to zero.
For the other sets? Generations has the Radiant Collection which contains some of the most beautiful cards ever printed as well as a new Mega Charizard and a full art Zapdos and Articuno, Phantom Forces has the silver Dialga and 3 chase worthy Gengars, XY base set has Venusaur and Blastoise full arts, Furious Fists has a Dragonite full art and a secret rare Mega Lucario, Evolutions is…Evolutions, and Ancient Origins has everything: Tyranitar, Machamp, Lugia, Mega Rayquaza, Primal Groudon, and Primal Kyogre. These sets still aren’t cheap to rip, but they contain some big hitters and it is EASY to grab a few packs right now and keep them sealed if you aren’t willing to take the risk of ripping.
To conclude, I think the value in XY sets outstrips the price of the sealed product (leaving out Double Crisis). Whether or not the buyer opens the packs or keeps everything sealed is up to the individual, but the low population on some of the chase cards in this era is encouraging for these sets’ future value. The artwork is objectively good, the texturing brings a vibrancy to the full art cards, and the prices currently sit at fairly approachable numbers, save the gem mint Dialga which already commands over $1,000 for a PSA 10. The Pokemon featured in these sets have great collectibility, and now is the moment to add to your collection before prices start to reflect how good these sets really are. Happy hunting!