Almost everyone has a favourite starter Pokémon, and each has been used in countless games and merch over the years.
The original trio of Gen 1 starter Pokémon consists of Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and Charmander.
Each was an option from the original Game Boy games, representing grass, water, and fire respectively.
They had a big part to play in the anime series, travelling with Ash Ketchum as well as May in later years.
Here’s a round-up containing everything you need to know about the original trio of starter Pokémon and their best collectible cards.
The Best Original Starter Pokémon Cards
We’re sticking with the original 1999 set for a nostalgic feel. There are also Japanese versions of the starters to be on the lookout for.
3. 1999 Pokémon Game 1st Edition Bulbasaur #44 (eBay)
Bulbasaur was designed by Atsuko Nishida. It was the cover star of Pokémon Green, which was a Japan-only release in 1996.
Representing the grass-type, the Pokémon is preparing to attack in the illustration.
As with each of the cards on this list, you’ll need to look out for a ‘1st Edition’ mark on the left hand side under the image.
The lack of a holo finish makes them relatively abundant in the present. There are 270 PSA 10 copies at the current time of writing.
Expect pristine graded copies to sell for at least four figures.
2. 1999 Pokémon Game 1st Edition Squirtle #63 (eBay)
Squirtle is a firm fan favourite, and the subject of a range of collectible cards.
(Another Pokémon designed by Atsuko Nishida, he actually created all three of the starters seen on this list.)
The Pokémon’s popularity means that far more of his cards were looked after and submitted for grading. There are 1,096 PSA 9s, and 740 PSA 10 copies on the market.
Given the large supply, it’s unsurprising to learn that the average sale price for a PSA 10 copy is roughly $900.
It’s a lot less than the equivalent graded Bulbasaur. It goes to show how rarity always plays a part in the final sale price.
1. 1999 Pokémon Game 1st Edition Charmander #46 (eBay)
Charmander is probably best known for its famous evolution, which was rare and ridiculously OP at the time.
As with Squirtle, there are many graded 1999 1st Edition Charmander cards, which makes sense given the lack of a holo finish and the Pokémon’s popularity with a large section of fans.
This time, there are 1,113 PSA 9s, and 772 PSA 10 copies on the market at the current time of writing.
Original Starter Pokémon Cards: Buyers Guide
Is it worth checking out the original trio of starters, or are you better off looking at their holo evolutions?
Graded versions can be reasonably affordable, especially for Mint 9 copies of Charmander and Squirtle. The price tends to drop drastically when looking at anything below an 8, as seen in the image below.
There might be newer versions or upgraded evolutions, but it’s hard to ignore the original 1999 set when looking at the best original starter Pokémon cards.
They’re fairly basic compared to the latest and greatest shiny releases, but they’re still relatively valuable if you’re on the market for PSA 10 copies.
Of the three, Bulbasaur seems to be the safest bet, given the scarcity at higher grades.
Original Starter Pokémon Cards: Buying/Selling Advice
Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and Charmander are some of the more memorable Pokémon from the original batch of 151. They almost match up to Pikachu in terms of their popularity.
Their 1999 starter cards deliver a keen hit of nostalgia, and they’re more accessible than the average holo which is likely to be out of reach for most investors.
There’s been a slight lull in the market which makes for a good time to buy, but we’d probably hold off from selling until the next round of record-breaking prices starts to make the news.