Charizard is always going to be one of the most popular Pokémon of all time, but what would we suggest to look at instead of the original shadowless holo card?
In case you didn’t know, the 1999 Charizard has been the face of the hobby in recent years, as PSA 10 1st Edition Base Set holos rose from roughly $50,000 to a record of $390,000 in the space of just twelve months.
This also means that the average collector has been priced out of collecting the 1999 card, unless you’re looking at PSA 4 grades that are chipped and worn.
Here’s a roundup with five of the best alternative Charizard cards to collect, along with lots of info about the cards and why they’re so expensive.
Alternative Charizard Cards to Collect
We’ve listed five of the best alternative Charizard cards you’ll find on the market below.
5. 1995 Japanese Topsun Charizard Blue Back (eBay)
Did you know that the 1999 Charizard isn’t the most expensive version? A Topsun Charizard Blue Back PSA 10 sold for $493,230 in February 2021 making it the most expensive Charizard card ever sold at auction.
The same card later sold for $192,000 at a PWCC auction in June 2021.
1995 Topsun cards are some of the earliest Pokémon cards of all time, showcasing original designs for some of the first ever pocket monsters.
One such example is Charizard, who has a non-holo card with no number and a blue back.
Value is dependent on the overall condition, as well as the colour of the reverse, and whether there’s a card number found on the front. (No card number means that it’s an earlier version, so it’s more expensive.)
All text on the card is Japanese, while there’s a red fire motif on the front. As with the more famous 1999 collection, the Charizard is the key to the set. You can find out more about the Topsun cards by checking out our guide.
We think that this card could become the most valuable Charizard in the long-run.
4. 2006 EX Dragon Frontiers Charizard #100 (eBay)
The 2006 EX Dragon Frontiers expansion contains Delta Species Pokémon, along with this version of Charizard seen as one of the keys to the set.
This Charizard is a Star Pokemon, which were even rarer than Pokémon-EX and placed directly after it in set listings.
It’s a solid older option, while only 94 have received a PSA 10 grade.
Ultra-rare upon its release, the card has the potential to sell for a five-figure sum if it’s wrapped in a graded slab. The alternative colours have proven to be a hit with fans so far.
3. 2003 Pokemon Skyridge Charizard #146 (eBay)
The last Pokémon TCG set produced by Wizards of the Coast, 2003 Skyridge was the combination of two Japanese collections known as Split Earth and Mysterious Mountains.
This Skyridge Charizard would probably be more expensive than the most recent price of $15,000 for a PSA 10 copy, but there are over 200 pristine versions, and a further 213 PSA 9 grades.
(By 2003, collectors had got wise to the fact that Charizard was special, and it seems like many of them took especially good care of their collections.)
2. 2019 Sun and Moon Hidden Fates Charizard GX #SV49 (eBay)
The most recent card to make the list is the Charizard GX found in the 2019 Hidden Fates expansion.
The SM Black Star Promotional print was originally included as one of three Japanese versions, which were a Regular card, a Full Art card, and as a Secret Rainbow Rare.
The Full Art card was given the holo treatment for the English release.
Supposedly released at a rate of one in every 200 packs or less, it’s already starting to pick up steam if graded.
1. 1995 Japanese TopSun Charizard Green Back #6 (eBay)
This Charizard card is one of the rarest in existence, even if it doesn’t match up to the 1999 set when looking at the price of the best ever versions.
It’s still a shiny holo Charizard released before the turn of the century, and there are only 18 PSA 10 graded copies at the current time of writing.
We think that it could be a sleeper in the next decade or so, especially considering the low asking price compared to the famous 1999 version.
However, prices are starting to rise. For example, a PSA 10 copy could be found for roughly $3,000 in 2019, while that figure has now risen to at least $25,000 according to the latest sales data.
Alternative Charizard Cards to Collect: Summary
The Pokémon Card Laboratory knows what they’re doing with the constant stream of Charizard cards, and it’s often released as the chase element of a new collection.
For example, there were various versions that came out in 2021, including the throwback Celebrations card, or the Shining Fates edition. It’s also featured carrying the Special Delivery Bidoof.
The point is, there are lots of versions, but they’re still tough to pack, as seen by the lack of copies up for sale at any given time.
Record-breaking sales have led to increased interest in the average graded Charizard card, although prices have settled following the high seen in February 2021.
We’d look at some of the alternative Charizards listed above if you’re hoping for a more affordable Pokémon card collection.