Game Trading Cards Insider – 1995 Pokemon Topsun Charizard, No Number -PSA 9

game trading cards insider april 12, 2021

Welcome to Game Trading Cards Insider. We use Moneyball tactics to discover undervalued, mispriced, and hidden gems across the world of Game Trading Cards.

This week Adam’s done a deep dive into the 1995 Pokemon Topsun Charizard, No Number PSA 9 that will IPO on Otis April, 12th, 2021 at noon EST.

What is the 1995 Pokemon Topsun Charizard, No Number PSA 9?

The Topsun cards were some of the earliest Pokemon cards ever released, originally coming with packets of gum in Japan. Though it has a copyright date of 1995, they were actually released in 1997. There were three different variations, first, a blue back with no number, then a blue back with a number, and then finally a green back. This is a blue back, no number variation, the rarest and most valuable kind — and Charizard is the most valuable card in the set.

There are 11 total PSA 9s of the blue back/no number variety of Topsun Charizards – with only 1 PSA 10 graded higher.

Otis bought their copy on February 27th for $98,850.

It IPOs on Otis at 12 PM EST (probably, but check the app!) on Monday, April 12th for $104,100. It is currently available to VIP members with a 100 share minimum buy.

Add IPO to calendar

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Cultural Relevance

I wrote about Charizard here but suffice to say, it remains one of the most popular Pokemon characters and Charizard cards are highly sought after.

The Topsun version is the first time Charizard ever appeared on a trading card, and is in some ways Charizard’s true rookie card, though it’s not as prominent as the 1st edition base set version. Because this was a Japanese set and not as widely collected or played with as the base set, there isn’t the same kind of nostalgia for this variation, but the value has been catching up.

Points – 8/10

Inferred Value – [$44,000]

The only sale of a PSA 9 in the last year (other than the one in which Otis purchased their card) was last December for $21,888. There have been a handful of lower-graded cards that have sold and we’re going to look to those to come to a valuation (the single PSA 10 also sold, but as that’s a 1/1, it’s not really relevant to this card).

A PSA 8 just sold for $8,988 on March 28th, and previously a PSA 8 sold for $2,959 last September. A BGS 7.5 just sold at Goldin last week for $4,920, lending credence to the recent PSA 8 sale being around the fair market value and not a low outlier. That’s just about a 3x for the PSA 8 since last September. If we assume that the value didn’t rise between last September’s PSA 8 sale and the December PSA 9 sale, we can say that the PSA 9 also 3x from its most recent sale to today, giving it a value of around $65K. However, the 1st edition base set Charizard, which I wrote about here went up around 70% between last September and last December — meaning the PSA 8 that sold in September probably would have sold for closer to $5,000 in December. So it’s likely the actual multiplier for the PSA 9 is closer to 2x – or around $44K.

We can also look at the PSA 5s, which went from $3,300 in January to $8,500 in February, back down to $5,856 and $4,201 in March. That $8,500 sale was right before Otis bought their PSA 9, and it looks like it was basically the absolute peak for the card. It’s dropped by half since then – if we assume the PSA 9 has done the same, that would value it around $49K.

Finally, though the cards are not as coveted, we can look to the numbered variants to see a pattern. A PSA 9 Blue-back numbered version of the Topsun Charizard sold for $12,000 at Goldin on February 11th, just before Otis purchased the no-number card. Another PSA 9 blue-back numbered version just sold at Goldin last week. The hammer price? $3,998 – a huge decline. As mentioned above, Otis bought their copy on February 27th for $98,850, and it’s the only sale of a PSA 9 in 2021. Normally, because they purchased at auction and it’s the most recent sale, we would apply the fractional discount and use that as the valuation. But given the data above, I believe the card’s value has declined substantially since that purchase.

Points – 1/10

Category Strength

The Game Trading cards subcategory returned -1% ROI in Q12021.

Points – 1/10

Subcategory Strength

The Pokemon cards subcategory returned -1% ROI in Q12021.

Points – 1/10

Risk Profile

Standard deviation for all game trading cards transactions has been 150%, which is very high. Lower is better.

Points – 1/10

Asset Growth TTM

Regardless of whether Otis overpaid, the value of the card has still gone up considerably in the past 12 months before its likely recent decline. Looking at the PSA 8, it’s still up 3x over what it was last September. Even my valuation puts the PSA 9 at ~2x what it sold for in December.

Points – 10/10

Growth Outlook and Future Catalysts

Because of its status as one of the earliest sets and the relative scarcity of its cards, the Topsun set could see a surge in demand relative to the 1st edition base set version. Charizard will likely remain the most coveted character in any of the sets.

Points – 4/10

Asset Liquidity

This will have a roughly 30 day lockup period then will trade daily.

Points – 10/10

Platform Risk

Otis is the most transparent

Points – 10/10


Charizard is pretty badass. Here’s a (sort-of) live-action version of him from the Detective Pikachu movie. Not exactly a cute and cuddly pocket monster.

Points – 8/10

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Adam Katz

Adam Katz

Adam is a lawyer and real estate investor with a finance background. His diverse job experience includes stints in a MLB front office, a major global law firm and the real estate investment fund he co-founded. He is bringing his well-honed research and valuation skills to the world of fractional investing. Born and raised in San Francisco, he currently lives in Brooklyn with his dog, a pit bull mix named Beaux.

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