What Are Metal Pokémon Cards?
What Are Metal Pokémon Cards?
If you’re a collector of Pokémon cards, then you may have heard of metal Pokémon cards. But what are they? And how do they differ from regular Pokémon cards? In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at metal Pokémon cards, explain why they’re so popular among collectors, and find out if they’re valuable or not.
Three Types: Official, Custom, and Fake
Custom cards are made with love and attention to detail by fans. For many years, fans have been making their own metal Pokémon cards. Some sellers on eBay or Etsy make a living creating and selling these custom cards.
Many creators will specialize in metal cards. This is what it sounds like- Pokémon cards made of metal. They are usually gold, although many are silver or full color. Having a custom metal card created for a special occasion such as a wedding or birthday can be a cool and unique gift idea.
While all custom cards are technically ‘fake’, not all fakes are custom. In fact, many fakes are poor and unwanted replications. For years, metal cards have been only unique gifts but now have the potential to be fake cards too. The Pokémon Company recently created four official metal cards for retail, opening the door for fake metal cards. It is important to know how to spot fake cards.
As far as official metal cards being distributed by The Pokémon Company International (TPCI), only four have ever been produced.
The Celebrations Metal Cards
In 2021, the Celebrations Ultimate Premium Collection hit store shelves. Among other fun stuff, the product contained two metal cards. One was a Base set Pikachu replica, and the other was a Base set Charizard replica. The faces of the cards are colored gold, while the backs are blue and yellow. This Charizard and Pikachu from the 1999 Base Set are iconic cards, recognizable by virtually all collectors. So it’s understandable that a lot of fakes would be produced.
If you’re worried that you might own counterfeit copies of the Celebrations metal cards, pay close attention to the craftsmanship. The official copies are very nicely made (with some exceptions), with intricate textures and coloring. They are thick, heavy, and evenly weighted. It is possible to bend them in half, but it would take a good amount of effort.
In contrast, counterfeit copies are often less detailed. They are often thin, easily bendable, and lacking the enamel on the reverse side of the card.
The Arceus Metal Cards
The second set of metal cards to be officially manufactured came out in November 2022. The Arceus Ultra Premium Collection contained two metal cards, one Arceus V and one Arceus V Star. Unlike the Celebrations metal cards, these were made in full color. They are replicas of two previously printed Arceus cards from earlier in the year.
These Arceus cards match the Celebrations cards in weight and thickness. They also have the same reverse side to them. The colors are so vivid on these Arceus cards that they don’t even appear to be metal if one does not pick them up and inspect them closely.
The main problem with metal cards
There are some drawbacks to metal cards. On the manufacturer’s side, they are expensive to produce and take up additional time and resources. This is true for a lot of products but it’s virtually impossible to meet the demand for these metal cards given the inability to produce them as quickly and as plentiful as regular cards. Also, metal cards require more delicate packaging which again, calls for more time, money, and material. This of course leads to scalping and unhappy customers.
For the consumer side of things, the Pikachu and Charizard we recently saw came packaged in regular plastic which we see many cards packaged in. Once the first wave hit, Reddit and other communities began to raise the issue of the metal cards coming chipped and dented, straight out of the package.
Unfortunately, TPCI didn’t learn from this. The metal cards that were included in the Arceus Premium Collection were not packaged in plastic at all, but simply freely floating within the box. After the product was released, the community exploded with disappointment as most customers found their Arceus cards to be roughed up from the shipping process, even when purchased in-store.
I personally found my copies to both have light scratches on the reverse side of the cards from sliding around inside the box before opening. Luckily all of the edges were still intact for me, but many people reported chipped paint from this poor packaging as well.
Getting metal cards graded
It didn’t take long before people began to receive their graded Charizard and Pikachu back from the big grading companies. The first thing that people noticed was that the cards were chipped inside the slabs. PSA quickly made an Instagram post informing the public that their grading service would be temporarily canceled for the metal cards. However, this came only after 259 metal cards had already been graded. If you want to check on PSA’s current status regarding the metal card issue, click here.
CGC has confirmed that they will grade the metal cards, and the community has not yet found any damaged cards inside CGC’s slabs.
Since these cards are so fragile, I would recommend just purchasing already-graded copies. Have a close look at the metal Pokémon card eBay listings to be sure there are no chips.
Should You Invest in Metal Pokémon Cards?
People are often curious about investing in Pokémon cards or flipping them to make money. While it can be done, it’s often risky.
Investing in cards would be easy if one could tell which cards will increase in value. In this specific case, the four official metal Pokémon cards would be a smart investment, as there was a very limited supply distributed, and just how unique they are. This product is still in high demand and probably won’t come down any time soon.
The best place to buy these cards would be eBay. Pay attention to the auctions, and you can find deals on the metal Charizard.
Burger King Gold Cards
In 1999, Burger King announced their new toys that would be available with the purchase of a kid’s Mighty Meal. The campaign included 6 different gold-plated metal Pokémon cards, each coming in a Pokéball.
The “cards” weren’t the size or thickness of an actual Pokémon card (as demonstrated in the photo above) and featured 1 of 6 Pokémon with a short description. Today, the Burger King cards have not increased in value by much, and most of them can be purchased on eBay for about $20, with the exception of Charizard, which costs a little bit extra.
The 6 featured Pokémon were:
- Mewtwo (pictured above)
Metal Pokémon cards are cool. I think we can all agree on that. However, the inability to meet supply and demand, the difficulty to have them graded, and the cost of the card itself make metal cards a difficult product to be received by the community.
This does raise the question of whether The Pokémon Company producing more in the future. It may happen, it may not. They know that, and that’s why these two cards were a special part of the 25th anniversary. With all this to consider, are you still hunting for a UPC?
2 thoughts on “Metal Pokémon Cards- What Are They?”
Any psa 10s of Pokemon Celebrations Ultra Premium Collection Pikachu Gold Metal out there?
Hey Derek. I don’t see any for sale on eBay, but after checking PSA’s records, we can see that they graded 70 copies before no longer accepting metal cards. They only graded two 10’s. The breakdown is as follows:
PSA 7: 1
PSA 8: 17
PSA 9: 50
PSA 10: 2
Wouldn’t it be incredible to own one of those PSA 10s? Holy Crap.