Moving away from Base Set shadow and shadowless Pokémon cards, in this article we look at the most recent sales of PSA/CGC 10s of the Team Rocket Unlimited set. Sets that have the name “Unlimited” attached to them indicate that they are not 1st Edition cards of that set. Instead, these cards appear without a stamp to the left of the main image. What is most interesting about this set is that we will see one of the few times a Blastoise card is more expensive than a Charizard. Due to the fluctuation in the market, there have been times when the Charizard card was worth more than the Blastoise. However, after looking at the sales of the last 60 days, it appears the Dark Blastoise has surpassed the Dark Charizard. Let’s take a look at the market.
Stretching from late December 2020 to early February 2021, this Dark Blastoise has been consistently selling around the $2,000 mark. Some sales have surpassed $2,000, however, nearly all of them float around that price mark. This card’s popularity has been skyrocketing, as it depicts the Blastoise in an action pose. This is unlike its Base Set counterpart. What made the Base Set Charizard so popular was that it depicted the Pokémon engaging in one of its attacks. However, Blastoise and Venusaur instead acquired a solemn, statue-like pose. Though the Base Set Blastoise is still the more valuable card, this Dark Blastoise is a close second. Its artwork is one of the best ever for this Pokémon.
Unlike the Base Set Charizard that is in an action pose, this Dark Charizard is one of the more affordable Charizards due to its actionless artwork. With its back turned to the cardholder, this Charizard card is a lot less exciting than the Base Set card. This sentiment is reflected in its prices where they have floated between $1,500 and $2,000, just shy of the Dark Blastoise.
Dark Dragonite has been consistently selling around $1,000 due to the card’s popularity. The first time this Pokémon appeared on a card was in the Fossil set, and that card has many collectors priced out. Though this artwork is not as vibrant and happy as its Fossil set counterpart, it embodies Team Rocket’s dark theme while still having the original fun Dragonite artwork. The main difference between this and the Fossil set version is the holographic foil as well. The Fossil card has a more rainbow tint. Due to Dragonite’s popularity, many fans are rushing to acquire this card after the Fossil version.
A rather surprising card on this list is the Dark Dugtrio. Prices for this card have maintained between $500-750 and could be reflected in its low population count and possibly difficulty in grading. Regardless, this card has amazing hand-drawn artwork which is unlike the digital artwork of its Base Set counterpart.
Finishing off our list is another beautiful water Pokémon in which the holo pops more due to the blue and gold background. This effect on the eyes has a subtle effect on the price. Cards such as the Dark Blastoise and Jungle set Vaporeon have far more vibrant holographic shine to their artwork due to the interplay of colors. Dark Gyarados has been floating around the $450-$550 price mark.
It appears that November 2020 may have been the peak price point for all Pokémon cards, especially the heavy hitters. Since November, prices have slightly decreased. However, there may be another boom later in the year. Thus far, it appears two separate Pokémon markets exist. The vintage market and modern market are vastly different in volatility and fluctuation in price. Although we have shown how many vintage cards have fluctuated in price over the course of late 2020 to now, this volatility is far greater with modern cards. Team Rocket is one of those vintage sets that many collectors have nostalgia for and will continue seeking after as the year progresses and these cards get harder to attain.