In terms of the earliest Pokémon cards, the 1999 set tends to be seen as the original by most fans.
However, Topsun cards are slabbed as a 1995 set, while it was originally given away with gum, having been produced by Top-Seika in Japan. All 150 original Pokémon can be found in the Topsun collection, excluding Mew.
Blue Back Topsun cards hold significant value over their Green Back siblings that were printed after.
Even rarer is the illusive No Number variant of the cards that are missing the card number in the upper left-hand corner.
Here’s a rundown with some of the best vintage Japanese Topsun Pokémon cards that money can buy.
The Best Pokémon Japanese Topsun Cards
The best Topsun cards are arguably the No Number variants, or the early holo versions. Regardless, some familiar faces make the list.
5. 1995 Pokemon Japanese Topsun Venusaur #3 (eBay)
As the final evolution for one of the original starter Pokémon, Venusaur often gets forgotten in favour of his fiery foe Charizard.
Regardless, Venusaur is still a heavy hitter in every sense of the word. The image used is the same seen on the original Japanese Pokémon Green box art. (The game was never released in the U.S. or Europe, as we got Red and Blue.)
As we’ve noted, this card will be worth far more if it’s missing a number in the top left corner. It’s the third from the set. (All no-number cards have a blue reverse.)
4. 1995 Pokemon Japanese Topsun Pikachu Holofoil #25 (eBay)
As an electric-mouse type, you’ll be able to see the original, rounder design when looking at this vintage Pikachu card from the Topsun set.
The holofoil finish causes it to shimmer in the light. The number can be found on the top right card corner.
A combination of Pikachu, the age, and the holo finish make it another worthy addition to this list, and that’s especially true for pristine graded copies.
3. 1995 Pokemon Japanese Topsun Charizard Holofoil #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 holo versions.
It’s still a shiny holo Charizard released before the turn of the century. 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. That figure has now risen to at least $25,000 according to the latest sales data.
2. 1995 Pokemon Japanese Topsun Blastoise Holofoil #12 (eBay)
The final evolved form of Squirtle, Blastoise is another of the original starter Pokémon that is instantly recognisable for most fans of the series.
It’s worth noting that the image is the same used for the Pokémon Blue handheld game.
The holofoil version is actually rarer than both the blue and green backed base copies. It’s matched only by the unnumbered Blastoise card that has never been graded higher than a 9 by PSA.
1. 1995 Pokemon Japanese Topsun Charizard #6 (eBay)
Somehow or other, a Charizard always manages to take the top spot on our list. It’s probably due to the popularity, as well as hype from prior sales.
Once again, 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.
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.
Pokémon Japanese Topsun Cards: Buyers Guide
Here are our thoughts about the current state of the Topsun card market.
Unlike most cards, the back is arguably more important than the front with this set. As such, any of the numbered green-back cards should be more affordable than the others. That’s not saying much as they’re all pricey.
If you’re looking at graded cards, you’ll probably be looking at lower numbers if you’re hoping to snag one of the options listed above.
It’s tough to pick a card out of a set in which every one is worth a decent amount. An unnumbered non-holo Charizard has to be the optimal pick if money is no object.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many on the market at any given time. We’d also look to the numbered versions as they’re more affordable, and readily available.
They’re still rare in their own right, it’s just that there are more than a handful of copies that still exist.
It’s unsurprising to see yet another Charizard card topping a list about Pokémon cards, but that’s to be expected with any collectible that features the unofficial mascot of the first generation of monsters.
Pokémon Japanese Topsun Cards: Buying/Selling Advice
The Topsun set is beginning to be noticed by Pokémon card collectors, and the average price continues to rise at the higher end.
How much that puts you off will depend on the amount of risk you’re willing to take on, as there’s always a chance that values could come crashing down.
If I happened to have a pristine set of Topsun cards, I’d personally hold off from selling them at the moment, especially given the overall rarity and the popularity of Pokémon on the whole.
In any case, we’d advise to keep tabs on sale prices, especially since they’re still relatively affordable as a mid-range investment option.
You can check what Pokémon Topsun cards are available on eBay here.