The most popular TCG set from the Pokémon Sun and Moon series, Hidden Fates, has now been out for a full month, and the hype is definitely not slowing down.
I've been consciously monitoring the SV49 Shiny Charizard-GX over the last month to see if my market predictions of the card are accurate. Hidden Fates being a subset had a staggered release, meaning booster packs could only be found in small collection pin badge boxes, and then tins. Since then, Elite Trainer Boxes were released, which meant ten booster packs are found within them, instead of the 3-4 found in the other products.
Pokemon Hidden Fates - The Ultimate Sealed Products Guide!
The hype for Hidden Fates is unprecedented for modern Pokémon sealed products. Stores sold out quickly, and once they restocked, prices increased with the demand.
Out of the gate, the hyper rare Charizard-GX (Burning Shadows) and Reshiram & Charizard-GX (ReshiZard, Unbroken Bonds) cards both sold for around $100 (USD), but that quickly rose to $200-250. The SV49 is unplayable as a tournament card, yet it has beaten all records for a brand new release. Within the first day of launch the Shiny Charizard-GX was selling for $350+, and within two weeks it doubled, and then finally topping out at $910 for an ungraded copy.
One month on since the first Hidden Fates products released and the price has definitely dropped, but not the anticipated amount of roughly $200. According to TCGplayer, the average sale price on their platform is $440, but on eBay, it appears the average sold price is around the $380 mark.
Two combining factors have contributed to the high value of the Shiny Charizard-GX. One is the initial limited supply of Hidden Fates sealed products, and the second is a trump card that no one could have foreseen - Beckett Grading Services.
Beckett (BGS) vs Professional Sports Authenticators (PSA)
The Pokémon community has almost always opted to use PSA instead of BGS when it comes to grading their Pokémon cards, especially for modern sets.
However, it was on this occasion that Tim, a Pokémon card collector opted to send his Shiny Charizard to Beckett on a 2-day grading service. The card achieved a "Pristine 10 - BGS Black Label" which means the card received a perfect "10" in all four subgrades (centering, corners, edges and surface). Tim went on to set two records with a new modern card:
1) Fasted Black Label Grade for any Pokémon set or individual card
2) The card sold on public auction for $10,100
The astronomical price tag the card acquired, further set the Pokémon community into a frenzy. Ungraded copies of the card were selling for $550-700 or more, and now most people wanted to submit their Shiny Charizard-GX to Beckett; in hopes to achieve a similar financial return.
Within a week of the sale, at least three more BGS Black Labels appeared publicly for sale, but none of them got even close to $10,100.
The Market Now
At this moment in time, Beckett has graded almost four times the amount of Shiny Charizard-GX cards than PSA. The Black Label population is 22, whereas the PSA 10 population is at 31.
However, this doesn't mean people aren't sending as many to PSA. PSA takes a while to log the cards on to their system and dependant on the level of service, and there could be hundreds awaiting their grade. We at Ludkins Collectables alone have sent in over 60 this month for our customers, and the numbers are still growing.
The price of the Black Label Shiny Charizard-GX has now dropped by 60% when comparing it to the original sale.
PSA 10 graded copies also show similar percentages.
The Future of this Card
With many more Hidden Fates products being released and booster packs being opened, and copies of this card being graded by Beckett, I can imagine there are more of them still on the system awaiting their grades. Dependant on how many achieve the Black Label status, I predict the card could go as low as $1500-2500 in the coming months.
I think we will see at least 700 copies of this card graded by PSA, with a good 60% (or more) achieving the GEM MT 10 grade. Should those numbers be accurate, I think the card would be valued at around $600-700 in the not too distant future.
Ungraded copies of the Shiny Charizard-GX will remain at $350-400 on average for a while until products such as the Poke Ball Collection Boxes, and the Hidden Fates Ultra Premium Collection boxes are released. However, it's hard to determine if the raw copy will move tied to the Black Label price, or between that and a PSA 10's value. Should the graded value deteriorate much faster (due to quicker grading turnaround times), then it's possible for the ungraded copy to drop as low as $250 come late November (2019).
Factors To Consider
Learning from History
Remember XY Evolutions? The M Charizard-EX full art card has more than 2,100 copies in a PSA 10. The card now sells at roughly $50-75, which is a fraction compared to when they first hit the market. It's entirely plausible that we may see between 500-1000 copies of the Shiny Charizard-GX in a PSA 10, but I think the price will be similar to the hyper rare Burning Shadows Charizard-GX, which currently has 644 copies in a PSA 10.
Additionally, the production quality for Hidden Fates cards is exceptional, depending on the volume printed by Pokémon, it's also likely that we may see 100 or more of BGS Black Label copies of the Shiny Charizard-GX.
Loss of Hype
For the first time in history, Pokémon has printed three Ultra Rare, chase Charizard cards in a single year:
1) Reshiram & Charizard-GX - Unbroken Bonds (May 2019)
2) Shiny Charizard-GX - Hidden Fates (August 2019)
3) Braixen & Charizard-GX - Cosmic Eclipse (November 2019)
The Unbroken Bonds ReshiZard currently has 658 copies of the card graded, with 387 being a PSA 10. A month after the Hidden Fates release, ReshiZard has lost around 25% in value from about $500, now down to $350-400.
Could the Shiny Charizard-GX suffer the same "Hidden Fate" upon the release of Cosmic Eclipse when Braixen & Charizard-GX is available? We will have to wait and see, that's part of the fun!
Will the Beckett Trend Continue?
I think Beckett will now likely be the main option for modern high-value "chase" cards, at least in the short term due to the potential of financial gain.
I say "short term" because in 2019 we've seen three Charizard chase cards released in a single year. After the Braixen & Charizard-GX is released in November, we do not know when the next Charizard Ultra Rare card will be upon us. It could be as early as February 2020 when Sword & Shield base set drops, or perhaps not even until 2021.
As a whole, I think collectors will still opt for PSA's grading service because, in my experience, no one likes having half grades (9.5, 8.5 etc). With it being more accessible and realistic to achieve a PSA 10 than a Black Label, it also means collectors can have a more uniformed collection, instead of a mixed bag of grades.
Whatever happens, it's always exciting to monitor new trends in modern Pokémon!