Are you a collector of Pokémon cards or just a fan of the beloved Nintendo franchise? If so, you know that Charmander is one of the most popular Pokémon and that has helped make its trading cards among those worth the most money. However you became a fan of this fire-tailed character, this article will tell you a bit of history and all about some of the most valuable and sought after Charmander Pokémon cards on the market.
What is a Charmander?
Charmander is a small, dinosaur-like Pokémon that has a small flame on the tip of its tail. In the Pokémon card and video games, Charmander is known for its speed and special attack capabilities. In the games, he evolves into the similarly popular Charmeleon and then into the huge fan-favorite, Charizard. Charmander cards first appeared in 1996 as part of the Pokémon Trading Card game in Japan, and it later debuted in the US as part of the original set of 150 cards released by Wizards of the Coast in 1999.
Since then, the beloved Fire-type Pokémon has been featured on dozens of different cards in various sets. Over the years, the popularity of the Pokémon franchise and the trading card game has only continued to grow, leading to an ever-expanding collection of Charmander cards for players and collectors to enjoy.
What makes a Charmander Pokémon Card Valuable?
There are several key factors to consider when evaluating the quality of any Pokémon card, including its rarity, condition, and design. Also, keep in mind that pricing on Pokémon and many cards spiked between 2020-2021 when the COVID-19 crisis was at its peak. For trading card games, prices have started to fall and, in some cases, it’s been a dramatic change. This gives newer collectors an opportunity to get their hands on the cards they want for their collection before prices spike again.
Charmander Card Value Factor #1: Rarity
Rarity is an essential factor in calculating the collectible nature of a Charmander Pokémon card and how much money it's worth. The extremely rare cards from the first edition are popular with collectors and tend to go for the highest prices. This includes versions of Charmander of historic significance to the game, including ‘Secret Cards’ that appear outside the normal card count for a set. For more detail on Pokémon rarity, check out our ultimate guide to Pokémon rarity.
Charmander Card Value Factor #2: Condition
The condition of a Charmander card is also an important part of judging a card’s value. Cards in excellent condition and with few signs of wear are more valuable than damaged ones with noticeable wear and tear from game play, including bends, creases, or fading.
PSA has definitely dominated the space for grading Pokémon cards over main rival BGS, but there are plenty of things to consider when you choose a grading service. This holds true for valuable trading and collectible cards of all types.
Charmander Card Value Factor #3: Design
In addition to rarity and condition, the design of a Charmander Pokémon card is also an important consideration. Cards with intricate and eye-catching illustrations or special features such as holographics and embossing are often highly valued by collectors, especially if they are purchased for display. Few collectors will use valuable cards to actually play the game.
The Most Best and Most Valuable Charmander Pokémon Cards
While recent versions of Charmander can be obtained for as little as $5 or $10 dollars, here are 7 Charmander cards from a variety of eras that are both really interesting finds or have proven to be worth a lot of money. They are presented in the order in which they were released.
1996 Japanese Charmander No Rarity Symbol #004
The earliest card on the list is from the original set published in Japan back in 1996. This 1996 #4 Charmander lacked a rarity symbol, which was corrected in later editions of the card. Thus, these early editions fetch a tidy sum in great shape. Back in January 2021, a PSA 10 Gem Mint copy sold for $3,761 but recent prices have it down in the $200-$400 range for even premium graded cards.
1999 First Edition Shadowless Charmander #46/102
The designation of “Shadowless” can confuse even regular collectors. Early printings of Pokémon had a lighter card background. After the first two editions, it was decided that the cards needed more dynamic shadows in the background. That change made the earlier cards more valuable. This distinction is easiest to discern by looking at the right panel next to the main card image. These early versions also list the edition number, but it’s easiest to tell the difference with a side-by-side comparison against an unlimited print run version of the card.
In February and March of 2021, PSA 10 Gem Mint copies of 1999 First Edition Shadowless Charmander #46/102 with cards were sold for thousands of dollars. In the nearly two years since, prices have come down significantly for even a card this special and beloved by collectors. Now may be the perfect time to add a copy to your collection.
2000 Topps Chrome Charmander Tekno Refractor #98
While most of the cards on this list are for the Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG), Charmander is a popular enough character to command good prices for regular collectible cards that can’t help you beat another trainer. The 2000 Topps Chrome series are linked to the Pokémon TV series and this Charmander belongs on this list not just for its visual appeal: In November 2022, a copy of 2003 Pokémon EX Dragon Charmander Holo #98/97 sold for almost $1,200. In January 2023, an ungraded copy sold for $787.77, and a month later, another went for $500. Prices have fluctuated on this card a lot, even for graded copies.
2003 Pokémon EX Dragon Charmander Holo #98/97
This Charmander is a Pokémon from the Ex Dragon series but there are a few special distinctions here. It’s a Holo card, which is intriguing enough to make it worth more than normal Pokémon cards. Charmander 98/97 is also a Secret card (thus, “98 of 97”) and part of the City Championship card sets. In January 2023, a PSA 10 Gem Mint copy of 2003 Pokémon EX Dragon Charmander Holo #98/97 sold for $849.99, but most other copies sold before and after have been at least a few hundred dollars less. This sparkling and rare card is quite affordable for such an exclusive twenty-year old card.
2004 EX FireRed & LeafGreen Charmander Holo #113/112
One of four secret cards from the popular EX FireRed & LeafGreen expansion to the Pokémon TCG, a PSA 10 Gem Mint copy of 2004 EX FireRed & LeafGreen Charmander Holo #113/112 sold in August 2022 for $420, but most other recent sales of near-mint and mint copies have been in the $100 to $200 range.
Another secret card, this one from the final major expansion from the Diamond & Pearl series, Stormfront. While a PSA 10 copy sold for $1,275 in February 2022, a PSA 9 copy sold in June 2022 for $186, and most recent sales of 2008 Diamond & Pearl Stormfront Charmander Holo #101/100 have trended above $100 for PSA 8 cards and below. That full range of prices makes this card available for collectors with a range of budgets.
2016 Pokémon Charmander XY Evolutions Cosmos Toys R Us Holo #9/108
This relatively recent promo card from the 2016 XY Evolutions era has gained fans and value quickly. A PSA 10 Gem Mint copy sold in February 2023 for $500, but lower-grade versions can be had for around $100.
Conclusion: Catch Those Charmanders Pokémon Cards
Collecting Charmander Pokémon Trading Cards can bring you hours of enjoyment as you search for your favorite cards and build your own unique collection. It's important to research the market before investing in high-value pieces, especially since pricing in Pokémon cards can vary widely from card to card, and over time.
With the tips and suggestions we have provided in this article, you are now armed with the knowledge needed to create an amazing Charmander Pokémon collection, maybe one you can expand out to include Chameleons and Charizards, too. Happy hunting!