What Are Metal Pokemon Cards And Are They Worth Anything?

If you’ve browsed Pokemon cards on eBay or Amazon before, there’s a good chance you’ve come across what are known as metal Pokemon cards. We think it’s just worth saying immediately that if you are a parent looking to buy Pokemon cards for your kids who’ve asked for Pokemon cards, this probably isn’t what they’re looking for. But, they get sold in bulk and have all this super cool art on them, so what exactly are they and who is buying them?

Metal Machamp Pokemon Card

What Is A Metal Pokemon Card?

Metal Pokemon cards are unofficial cards sold by third-party companies that are made of metal. They are usually, exactly the same as standard Pokemon cards when it comes to card art and moves but as for the actual design of the card and its borders, it’s completely different. The usual grainy foil finish of the card is swapped out for a glossy metallic background instead as the original card art takes center stage. They are made of thin metal, only slightly thicker than a normal Pokemon card which makes them a lot sturdier than your average paper Pokemon card. The whole novelty of metal Pokemon cards is that most of them are metal versions of already rare cards which means that collectors can have a metal version of a card so that they can still own the card’s art without paying an arm and a leg for the actual thing. If they were making metal versions of all the common cards that the Pokemon Company are releasing, it would essentially just be like the Pokemon TCG then.

They aren’t actually playable at any legitimate Pokemon tournament and aren’t taken seriously as cards when it comes to any context of their actual playability however, they are a fun little collector’s item.

Are They The Same As Fake Pokemon Cards?

Unlike the average fake Pokemon card which is designed to look exactly like cards printed by the Pokemon Company to fool any unknowing buyers, most metal Pokemon cards make it blatantly obvious that they aren’t real Pokemon cards as they barely look or feel like an actual Pokemon card. As well as this, most sellers selling metal Pokemon cards will specify in the description of their product that it is a metal Pokemon card, whereas a seller trying to pawn off a fake card as legitimate likely isn’t going to mention the fact that their card isn’t real at all.

Who Is Buying Metal Pokemon Cards?

Surely collectors who want to own specific card art isn’t enough demand for these cards to be sold in the hundreds on Amazon, so who else is buying these cards? Well for one, clueless parents may contribute to some of these purchases when their kids ask for Pokemon cards. It’s pretty easy, if you know nothing about Pokemon cards, to just buy some cards that look cool and are affordable and even better than that, are made of metal. However, some parents who are a bit more knowledgeable about Pokemon may even be buying these cards intentionally for younger children who aren’t currently ready for the responsibility of handling much more fragile Pokemon cards with much greater value than just some random metal Pokemon cards.

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Where Can I Buy Metal Pokemon Cards?

Metal Pokemon cards aren’t exactly hidden gems, they are pretty easy to come by if you just type “metal pokemon cards” into whatever browser it is you may be using. From there you will be prompted with hundreds of sellers selling, you guessed it, metal Pokemon cards. However, let’s say for some reason you are struggling to find some, or you want to be sure that you are getting the right metal Pokemon cards, we have compiled a list of the best places to get them from, just for your metallic trading card needs.


#1 Etsy

For those who don’t know, Etsy is a platform for private sellers, typically in some sort of creative, artsy trade, to sell their products. This just so happens to include people who make metal Pokemon cards. Some of these sellers however go that extra mile and even make some awesome original art that at times looks better than some of the art that the Pokemon Company themselves make. Regardless, Etsy is a great place to get in touch with some pretty awesome sellers and who knows? They may even be able to make you a custom card of your own if you find the right one.


Amazon is a much better place to visit if you are looking to get a hold of some metal Pokemon cards for an affordable price in bulk. You can buy around 54 unique metal cards for around $10 and chances are these metal cards are all going to be Vs and VMaxes, because let’s be honest, who wants a metal version of a common card? As well as this, with some of the sellers on Amazon, you can even get next-day delivery if you are really desperate for some metal Pokemon cards for some reason.


#3 eBay

eBay is another great place to get a hold of metal Pokemon cards as it has evolved from the marketplace for second-hand items that it once was into a legitimate marketplace for, like Etsy, people with a product, whether it be brand-spanking-new or pre-owned, to sell it quickly and easily. As well as this, it rewards sellers who are reliable and frequently sell things on their platform by placing them closer to the top of the search results for certain keywords. So, in the case of metal Pokemon cards, someone who has good reviews and a bunch of sales is much more likely to appear as the first result for the search term “metal pokemon cards”.


What Are Metal Pokemon Cards Worth?

If you’re looking to start picking up metal Pokemon cards for their potential monetary value in the future, we hate to disappoint you, but you are wasting your time. Some of the coolest art on official Pokemon cards aren’t even worth that much for a number of different reasons. These reasons can range from the card being overprinted to the Pokemon just not being super desirable. So, as you could imagine if the card doesn’t even meet the requirement of being made by the Pokemon Company, there is literally no chance it will ever be worth anything unless your card is made of gold. Unfortunately, people just aren’t super interested in collecting cards that aren’t official and have that seal of approval on them regardless of how stunning the art of the card is.


Are They Like Gold Pokemon Cards?

Metal Pokemon cards are actually quite similar to the gold Pokemon cards made by third-party companies, except they are actually metal. But, having said that, some metal Pokemon cards are also gold (in color, not material) making them pretty much the same, in terms of looks, as a gold Pokemon card.

However, if you are referring to the golden secret rare Pokemon cards, then, unfortunately, these metal cards are in fact nothing like gold Pokemon cards.


What Is The Most Expensive Metal Pokemon Card?

Although we may have said that metal Pokemon cards are practically worth little to nothing, there are a few exceptions to this rule. If you’ve checked out our article on gold Pokemon cards then you would have heard of the Japanese Ginza Tanaka Pikachu. This is the only card in Pokemon history to actually be made of gold or at least contain gold. The card was released as a promo for the 20th anniversary of Pokemon in collaboration with famous Japanese jeweler Ginza Tanaka who was tasked with making a few copies of the original base set Pikachu containing 11 grams of 24 karat gold. The card would go on to be distributed to a few lucky winners of a competition held by The Pokemon Company. None are known to exist in a PSA 10 but one previously sold for $10,000 in a PSA 5. This is one of the only (technically) metal Pokemon cards that the Pokemon Company ever released.


Are There Any Official Metal Pokemon Cards?

Okay, but we said there are a few exceptions to the rule of The Pokemon company not making metal Pokemon cards, so what are the other exceptions? Well, you don’t actually have to look very hard to find them. If you look at just last year, the 25th Anniversary Celebrations Ultra Premium Collection Box featured a metal version of not only the same base set Pikachu as the Japanese gold remake one but also a metal version of the now notorious holographic Charizard from the base set of Pokemon. In a PSA 10, the Pikachu can sell for around $400 while the Charizard has been known to sell for around $800.

Apart from this, it’s pretty difficult to find official metal cards. You could argue that the 1999 promotional cross-over with Burger King in which the Pokemon were physically embossed onto a plate of metal, but these are barely even recognizable as Pokemon cards. In fact, they aren’t even gradable with PSA and only sell for around $30 even today.


Then What’s A Metal Type Pokemon Card?

A common misconception about metal Pokemon cards is how interchangeable their name is with “metal type” Pokemon cards which are a completely different thing. If you aren’t familiar with how Pokemon work, each Pokemon has its own type and this type indicates what other type the Pokemon is strong against and what Pokemon it is weak against. In essence, it’s like a really complicated game of rock paper scissors. As of right now, there are 18 Pokemon types and it just so happens that “steel”  is one of them. But, people often call steel-type Pokemon metal-type Pokemon either because they don’t know or it’s just easier to remember than steel-type. So, when referring to a metal-type Pokemon card they are referring to the typing of the Pokemon, not the actual material which the card is made from. However, the reason this causes so much confusion as some people abbreviate metal-type Pokemon to just metal Pokemon which strays completely from the original name steel-type Pokemon.


Then What’s A Metal Type Pokemon Card?

If you came here with zero interest in Pokemon cards that are actually made of metal and wanted to hear more about steel-type Pokemon cards, not to worry, we’ve got your back. There aren’t many super memorable steel-type Pokemon apart from maybe Steelix, Magnemite or Magneton which is why they have the lowest population of expensive cards. This is not to suggest that there are no valuable steel-type Pokemon cards as there is one that reigns above all and that is the First Edition Shining Steelix. In a PSA 10, this card is worth around $2000, and even ungraded this card is worth upwards of $250.


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