Friday, October 28, 2016

Today in wise investments...

Not to be confused with Pokémon: The Card
Game: The Video Game 
game, based on the
card game which is based on the video game.
That can't possibly be right can it? $50,000? Of money? That's how much a Pokémon card (yeah, it's a card game too) is supposed to go for in an online auction. I hope you'll join me in a hearty exclamation of  'holy shit!' followed by an open palm to your forehead and plenty of judgmental opining about other people's priorities. The card, called Pokémon Illustrator is, according to the description, is one of only thirty nine ever printed. It was created for some contest in Japan and is considered the rarest of Pokémon cards.

At least you still admire my
skill, rare Pokémon card...
Obviously this is just a stupid card that just sits there, but even within the context of the game for which it is ostensively meant, it doesn't even do anything, unless you count emotional validation. Like I mentioned, the card is basically a trophy for a contest, a drawing contest for Japanese children in the late 90's and the text on the card says:

"We certify that your illustration is an excellent entry in the Pokémon Card Game Illust Contest. Therefore, we state that you are an Officially Authorized Pokémon Card Illustrator and admire your skill."

on the card some idiot's going to buy

Accuracy and journalistic integrity are
the very foundation of the internet.
 Well, that and porn. Lot's of porn.
Ok, so first we should walk this back a little bit. Fifty thousand is what the video game website IGN says the auction site is expecting, so already we're sort of second handing that number. I checked the link to Heritage Auctions, and I don't find anything about how much the card is expected to sell for, but what do I know? Other websites have picked up the story, and if you can't trust the internet, who can you trust? But whatever, let's say, for the sake of argument that a person pays that much for this card. Who is this person? Some kind of idiot?

Yeah, you could send your kid to a
moderately priced state university,
or you could invest in the future.
Idiot like a fox. I'm sure after dropping what amounts to the average American household income on the card, the hypothetical buyer will turn around and sell it someday, probably for a lot more money, and that kind of bums me out. Like, yeah, I get that it's the scarcity that makes it valuable, but that scarcity is manufactured. A limited number were printed with the expectation that they would someday be valuable. That's why they call them collectibles. This isn't some rare piece of art or a First Folio or something, this is something deliberately made in limited numbers just so people will pay a more for it.

So I guess my question is are collectors smart business people who make wise investments, or are they total chumps who will buy anything as long as it's a special limited edition or #399,999 of 400,000? Either way, fifty thousand dollars...holy shit, right?
The Middle Earth Limited Edition box-set
for only $499?  I'd be an idiot not to buy it!

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