CGC Trading Cards Grades 1st Edition Base Set Charizard an Unmatched Pristine 10

Posted on 1/25/2023

This Charizard graded CGC Pristine 10 is now the highest-graded example in the CGC Trading Cards Population Report.

The CGC Trading Cards® team was blown away by a recent submission from Texas. Along with some rare Black Lotus Magic: The Gathering cards, the submitter sent in a Charizard, Pokémon (1999) Base Set 1st Edition in incredible condition. The card ultimately received a CGC Pristine 10 grade, making it the highest-graded Charizard Base Set 1st Edition in the CGC Trading Cards Population Report. It also received sub-grades of 10 for Centering, Surface and Corners, and 9.5 for Edges.

Click images to enlarge.

The Pokémon Trading Card Game made its debut in the US in 1999. Wizards of the Coast — the company in charge of producing and distributing the Pokémon TCG from 1999 to 2003 — began distribution with a limited print run of Base Set. These cards all had a special 1st Edition symbol to the left of the Pokémon’s card art.

This 1st Edition print run sold out very quickly and was replaced by a reprint, this time lacking the 1st Edition symbol. Many children who received the 1st Edition cards didn’t put them in binders; instead, they shoved them in their pockets to take to playgrounds and school, showing them off to their friends. The poor treatment and overall rarity of these 1st Edition cards make them very scarce today, especially in excellent condition.

Charizard is one of the most coveted cards in the entire Pokémon franchise. The 1st Edition Base Set Charizard is no exception — it was incomparable in vintage play because of its Energy Burn Pokémon Power and its devastating Fire Spin, which dealt 100 damage with enough Energy cards attached. Collectors loved the card for its artwork and brilliant holographic background.

Combine Charizard’s popularity with the 1st Edition Base Set, and you’ve got a card that’s extremely valuable to Pokémon collectors. One Charizard Base Set 1st Edition Holo graded CGC 9 sold for $19,200 in a Heritage Auctions sale in November 2021. Another Charizard graded CGC 9 sold for $18,600 in a Heritage sale in March 2022. If this example is ever offered at auction, it would be expected to realize several times those amounts.

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