Pokémon Aquapolis is the second main expansion of the TCG, released way back in 2003.
It was a combination of two Japanese booster expansions: The Town with No Map and Wind from the Sea.
It’s a massive set, with 186 standard cards, rounded up to 340 once you add in reverse holos. Then there are Secret Rares, which make an appearance for the first time ever.
Here’s everything you need to know about the best 2003 Pokémon TCG Aquapolis cards, including 10 valuable options that should definitely be on your radar.
The Best 2003 Pokémon TCG Aquapolis Cards
2003 Aquapolis cards Key Stats:
- Release Date – January 15, 2003
- The Aquapolis set was released in English, German, French, and Italian
- There were three Crystal cards – Kingdra (#148), Lugia (#149), and Nidoking (#150) included in the set
- Golduck (#50), Drowzee (#74), Mr. Mime (#95), and Porygon (#103) have A and B versions
The 2003 Aquapolis collection is the largest Pokemon collection produced to date.
Known as the e-card sets, they could be swiped through an e-Reader, a card-reading device that connected to the Game Boy Advance. It wasn’t an especially popular feature at the time, and the borders are much larger as a consequence.
For the purposes of this list, we’re looking at PSA graded copies, which tend to be far more valuable than the norm.
10. 2003 Pokemon Aquapolis Togetic Holo #H27 (eBay)
Aquapolis has a separate card number for Rare Holo cards, denoted with an H. As one of the rare holo cards from the set, Togetic is the perfect example, numbered H27.
9. 2003 Pokemon Aquapolis Steelix Holo #H23 (eBay)
Aquapolis was the only the second set to feature Steelix, after Neo Genesis in 2000.
Possibly the most famous steel-type of all-time, the evolved form of Onyx is a strong defensively focused Pokémon, and is memorable for anyone who was interested in either the TCG or the anime at the time.
In terms of values, a PSA 10 copy sold for roughly $800 in April 2022.
8. 2003 Pokemon Aquapolis Zapdos Holo #H32 (eBay)
Zapdos is next up. There are Holofoil and Non Holofoil versions to look out for, as well as a reprinted Japanese P Promotional card with different artwork.
As one of the trio of legendary bird Pokémon from the original collection of 151, PSA 10 copies are an interesting addition to any collection. It’s also a step up in price compared to the cards seen above.
7. 2003 Pokemon Aquapolis Entei Holo #H8 (eBay)
Entei is the sole fire-type to make the list. The legendary Pokémon was introduced in Generation II, and is another major hit from the Aquapolis set.
Found as a box topper single, Espeon, Scizor, and Suicune could also be found on the top of each booster box. (It’s worth mentioning that the initial Pokémon craze had started to wane by 2003, so there are far fewer boxes on the market than you might have expected.)
6. 2003 Pokemon Aquapolis Tyranitar Holo #H28 (eBay)
The 2003 Aquapolis Tyranitar features some of the best artwork you’ll find on a Pokémon card, further emphasised by the holo version contained within the collection.
As one of the more popular Pokémon cards from Aquapolis, PSA 10 copies of Tyranitar will set you back by a significant amount. The Pokémon was also chosen as one of four Expedition pack wrappers.
5. 2003 Pokemon Aquapolis Nidoking Holo #150 (eBay)
This rare Nidoking card is one of the bigger hits from the Aquapolis collection. Once again, the artwork helps it to stand out compared to the original, and it’s one of three Crystal cards from the set. It’s thought that Crystal cards were included at a rate of 1-3 in each booster box, which makes them some of the rarest overall.
If you’re in doubt, they can be identified by looking for a “Crystal Type” label in red below the artwork.
4. 2003 Pokemon Aquapolis Kingdra Holo #148 (eBay)
Kingdra is another rare holo card from the Aquapolis set, originally found in the Wind from the Sea collection. If you’re wondering why it’s so high up on the list, it’s one of the three Crystal cards found in the collection – Kingdra (#148), Lugia (#149), and Nidoking (#150).
Once again, it’s thought that Crystal cards were included at a rate of 1-3 in each booster box.
3. 2003 Pokemon Aquapolis Espeon Holo #H9 /Umbreon #H29 (eBay)
One of the ever-popular Eevee evolutions, Espeon was always going to feature towards the top end of this list. We’ve mentioned that it was one of the box topper singles from the set, which makes it far rarer than the average Aquapolis holo.
Espeon is a popular Pokémon to collect, and the same goes for Umbreon. The latter has a low population when looking at PSA 10 copies on the register. There are only 76 at the current time of writing, making it one of the rarest cards overall.
2. 2003 Pokemon Aquapolis Lugia Holo #149 (eBay)
The Holo Lugia seen in the 2003 Pokémon Aquapolis set is a great budget-friendly alternative to the 2000 Neo Genesis release. The final Crystal card to make the list, this legendary Pokémon was seen as the ‘Charizard’ of the collection.
This card perfectly illustrates the growing market for older Pokémon collectibles. A PSA 10 version would sell for roughly $1,000 back in 2019. That price has jumped to roughly $6,000 in more recent times.
1. 2002 Pokemon Japanese 1st Edition Wind From the Sea Lugia Holo #90 (eBay)
Okay, so it’s not an Aquapolis card, but they’re basically the same thing!
Lugia is back again, although this time we’re looking at the original Japanese version. The ‘Wind From the Sea’ is the Japanese name for the Aquapolis set, so this version of Lugia was released a year earlier, in 2002.
This makes for one of the earliest Lugia Pokémon cards, even if it only sells for less than the English version. (There’s a significantly larger market for English cards, which is the main reason behind the price disparity.)
2003 Pokémon Aquapolis Cards: Buyers Guide
Here’s what we think of the current state of the market for 2003 Aquapolis Pokémon cards.
PSA 10 copies of many cards from the set are relatively affordable, but still go for at least three figures. You can always look at ungraded 2003 Aquapolis Pokémon cards, as long as you make sure to stick to trusted sellers.
Lugia has a massive price tag for a reason. It has to be seen as the best 2003 Aquapolis Pokémon card investment overall, due to its legendary status and being one of the rare trio of Crystal cards. We think the others are still worth checking out, especially the Espeon/Umbreon combo.
2003 Pokémon TCG Aquapolis Cards: Buying/Selling Advice
2003 Aquapolis cards are still popular almost two decades after their initial release. They’ve yet to match cards released beforehand unless you’re looking at the likes of Lugia, but they’re a real piece of TCG history.
They’re a little weaker than the current crop of Pokémon cards, even if the artwork is sublime. The borders haven’t aged especially well, but at least the set is instantly recognizable.
Aquapolis cards are also more scarce than many other sets, as there wasn’t as much demand at the time. The collection holds importance within the hobby, and they’ve held value reasonably well.