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How Pokémon became the real resell bubble

Between nostalgia and lockdown, collectible cards are the real trend of 2020

How Pokémon became the real resell bubble Between nostalgia and lockdown, collectible cards are the real trend of 2020

If in recent years the term resell has become synonymous with sneakers and hype culture, never before has the word found new meaning as in recent months. The nostalgic phenomenon is unstoppable and perhaps that is why in 2020 the Pokémon card collecting took an unexpected turn, ringing dizzying numbers capable of rivalling those of the sneaker market, drawing the boundaries of the new one in a clear and precise way. resell bubble. There is the story of a student who earned almost 70K euros by selling Pokémon cards to pay for medical school, but there are above all the numbers also reported on StockX that tell us how Charizard, Blastoise and Venusaur are worth much more than any Virgil Abloh and Travis Scott

If the almost 200.000€ spent by Logic for a Charizard card is useful for understanding the extent of the phenomenon, it is the data provided by StockX that really does justice to a phenomenon that has seen a growth of 4000% in 2020 only over the year previous one. Numbers made possible also thanks to the great European demand, where Germany, United Kingdom and even Italy lead the ranking of countries still faithful to the Pokémania which exploded in the late 90s and remained intact thanks to a network of enthusiasts who over the years have collected and preserved what has become a real treasure over time. “Pokémon trading cards and collectables saw record global growth on StockX in 2020, with the strongest interest coming from our European markets", StockX Senior Economist Jesse Einhorn told nss magazine. "Over the past month, global Pokémon trades on StockX are nearly 4x (300%) higher than they were in October, while Pokémon trades in Europe are 10x (900%) higher. Given this accelerating growth rate, we expect to see robust demand for Pokémon cards and collectables throughout 2021." If the market is definitely growing, one wonders when this bubble of over-grown nostalgia will burst. It is undeniable that the pandemic and lockdowns have helped the growth of a phenomenon that is the legitimate child of the hype culture, based on collecting and always close to the world of Pokémon with a series of collaborations ranging from Daniel Arsham to Hiroshi Fujiwara up to most recently with Gucci and The North Face

If the sneaker world is kept active by dozens of weekly releases and trends capable of shifting focus and prices from one moment to the next, the Pokémon trading card market certainly cannot count on the same cycle that feeds the resell of Nike and Yeezy. This is why it seems destined to find its moment of stillness, a settling point that will give an idea of the true dimension of a phenomenon that is now out of control. In short, not a passing trend, but an ever-present cult that found its maximum expression in 2020 thanks to a series of factors, from nostalgia to lockdown, which made it possible to create a real bubble. When this breaks out, the collectors will remain and we will be able to say that we've lived in that historical moment in which a Pokémon card was worth 300.000€