Pokémon Jungle Set- Everything You Need to Know

Pokémon Jungle Set- Everything You Need to Know

Do you have a favorite Pokémon? Many collectors do. Whether it’s Pikachu, Charmander, or any other of the original 150, each fan has their own cherished pocket monster. Recently, there has been a renewed interest in a special set of cards released over 20 years ago in Japan known as the Pokémon Jungle set. While not as popular as the first series, these cards are highly sought after by collectors and can fetch high prices on eBay and other online auction sites. If you’re interested in learning more about this rare set or even starting your own collection, read on! 


Release dates

The second expansion to the Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG) was named ‘Jungle’ and released on March 5, 1997, in Japan, and June 16, 1999, in North America. The set was also released in Dutch, French, German, Russian, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish, in February 2000. The set contained only generation 1 Pokémon since it was based on the original games for Gameboy.

When the set was released in Japan, only 48 cards were included. Two years later when the set was brought to the North American market, Wizards of the Coast expanded the set to 64 cards by including non-holofoil variants of the 16 holofoil cards. According to some old WotC chat logs, this was done in response to players who complained about subjecting their holo cards to TCG play, when they’d rather keep them in mint condition.

Electrode holofoil (left) and Electrode non-holofoil (right)

The 1st edition Jungle Pikachu

During the first edition run of the English cards, a first edition Black Star Promo Pikachu was included in the set. This was believed to be a mistake but there is now evidence suggesting that it was intentional. Mistake or not, the card is extremely rare and worth a small fortune.

Recent eBay sales place this elusive Pikachu at the $2,000 USD mark for a PSA 9.

One of the reasons this card is so valuable is that promo cards do not get first edition print runs. This is the only Black Star promo that can also have a first edition stamp.

Noteworthy cards

Prerelease Clefable

The very first card of the set, Clefable 1/64 was also available as a prerelease promo. These cards were given out during the prerelease tournaments held at Pokémon Leagues in July 1999. It looks the same as a regular holofoil Clefable but has a green ‘PRERELEASE’ stamp in the lower right-hand corner of the illustration box.

Pokémon Rolls Meowth Promo

In December 1999 a variant of the Meowth 56/64 from Jungle was printed with a gold border and included in boxes of candy called “Pokémon Rolls”. The card is identical to the regular Meowth, but with a gold border being the only difference.

Note the gold border when the regular card has a yellow border

Wizards Pikachu Promo

The Pikachu 60/64 from Jungle was printed as a promotional card and given away in copies of the September 1999 issue of The Duelist Magazine. This promo was identical to the regular card but featured a gold stylized ‘W’ stamped below the illustration box, near the Jungle symbol.

Error cards

No set symbol error

In the English expansion of the set, each of the 16 holofoil cards was accidentally printed without the Jungle set symbol. The error was soon corrected.

Butterfree Error ‘d’

An ink bubble during the printing process resulted in many first edition Butterfree cards appearing to have a first edition ‘d’ stamp, where the 1 looked like a lowercase ‘d’.

Venonat Error

On some Venonat cards from Jungle, there is a dark line on the top left of the card where the green background meets the yellow border.

How to tell if a Pokémon card is from Jungle

pokemon jungle
The Jungle set symbol

Cards from the Pokémon Jungle expansion will have a set symbol below the lower right-hand corner of the illustration box. The set symbol for Jungle is a flower symbol, resembling the top of a Vileplume.

Of course, as mentioned in the paragraph above, some of the 16 holo foils were accidentally printed without this symbol. In this case, you should familiarize yourself with the 16 foil cards from Jungle and determine if one of yours is missing the set symbol.

The most valuable cards from the Jungle set*

  • First edition Black Star promo Pikachu PSA 10- $2,000.00
  • First edition Flareon PSA 10- $1600.00
  • First edition Vaporeon PSA 9- $1,100.00
  • First edition Snorlax PSA 10- $850.00
  • First edition Jolteon PSA9- $450.00
  • Prerelease Clefable RAW- $400.00
  • First edition Wizards stamp promo Pikachu PSA 10- $370.00
  • ‘d’ edition Butterfree PSA 10- $350.00

*Prices are based on recently sold eBay listings as of April 2022

Pokémon Jungle complete set value

It’s every collector’s dream to own complete vintage sets. But how much will a complete Jungle set cost you? Well, it depends. The cards can be graded or raw. If they are graded, it depends on the grades. Furthermore, it depends on whether the cards are first edition or not, and what condition the cards are in.

Check current prices on eBay. 

Recently, a complete set with the 16 holos graded at PSA 9’s and 10’s sold for $18,500.00 on eBay.

Another complete set recently sold for $2,000.00. These cards were ungraded and first edition.

Pokémon Jungle booster packs

Collecting Pokémon booster packs is a whole sub-category within the hobby. Since booster packs usually feature four different artworks per set, they are highly collectible. Jungle set has three different artworks, featuring Flareon, Wigglytuff, and Scyther.

An unlimited Jungle booster pack

Vintage booster packs will either be first edition, or unlimited. Furthermore, they can be ‘heavy’ or ‘light’. This refers to the actual weight of the booster pack. Holofoil cards are made with a very thin layer of metal, which makes the pack heavier. A heavy pack sells for more because the buyer/seller knows that there is a holofoil card inside.

Prices: (click to check current price on eBay)

Red logo Jungle booster packs

A Jungle booster pack with the red logo

Some of the Jungle booster packs feature a red ‘Pokémon’ logo instead of yellow. The blue border is the same on both versions. 

This was done as a measure against counterfeiting in Australia only. If you have one of these booster packs, it came from Australia. 

The red logo is not the only difference.

The community found that the cards inside these booster packs were slightly different than their North American or even Japanese counterparts. The cardstock is different, and the cards are glossier than regular cards. In addition to these changes, there is a different copyright date on the bottom of the card and the official Nintendo seal on the back of the packaging is missing. 

Why the Nintendo seal is missing is unknown, but the red logo is confirmed to be a counterfeiting measure and we can only assume that the different gloss and copyright are related to that as well.

A red logo booster pack without the Nintendo seal (Top) and a standard Jungle booster pack with the Nintendo seal (Bottom)

Are Jungle cards a good investment?

Yes, probably.

Vintage Pokémon cards are old (over 25 years!) and only getting older. As time goes on, cards are lost, damaged, destroyed, bought, and sold. This will eventually lead to lower supply and higher demand.

A common or uncommon card from the Jungle set may not skyrocket in value- actually, it definitely won’t. But the holofoil cards will, especially if they have the first edition stamp.

Sealed booster packs will always be a good investment. Once the seal is broken, there is one less in existence. So once again, supply goes down and demand goes up.

It will take time, perhaps years, but the value of Jungle cards will increase. 

Final thoughts

The Pokémon Jungle expansion hit the market in 1999 and has been growing in popularity ever since. This set featured 16 beautiful holofoil cards that remain sought-after to this day. There are a few Jungle cards to look out for such as the black star promo Pikachu, or any first edition Eeveelutions.

To purchase a complete set, you’re probably looking at $1,500+ unfortunately! 

The Jungle set is beautiful and nostalgic. If you have any Jungle cards- hold onto them and get them graded if you desire to do so. Collecting Pokémon cards is a timeless hobby that brings some of us back to childhood. Preserve these pieces of 90s Japanese culture and never let them go… unless it’s for the right price!