Pokémon cards are proliferating.The same is true of hatred towards raters


When Peter Graham Noticed that people went crazy Pokémon It’s another card-adult men are scanning packages into their shopping carts Draw a gun Fend off crazy weed robbers; Logan Paul spent $150,000 to buy a Charizard card that he wore around his neck before fighting Floyd Mayweather-he remembered his own childhood.

Graham, now 30, speaks with a kind of restraint and kindness of a salesman. He remembers how he used to shuttle on the playground, clutching an elastic band full of cards. Like the more mundane kids at the time—they end each school day with the best deal—he saw this new craze as a business opportunity. In this way, he entered a new world. A world where he spends 12 hours a day checking and talking about Pokémon cards. In this world, his days are sometimes full of anger and vicious abuse.

The status of a Pokémon card depends on its grade-this is the process by which a card is certified as authentic, rated on a scale of 1 to 10, and sealed in a transparent box called a tablet, which permanently protects from sticking fingers and element. Rating is a $1 billion industry, dominated by three American companies, PSA, Beckett, and CGC, and a good rating from one of these large companies can make the value of a card soar.

Since Pokémon cards are bubble-like like NFT or house prices, major rating companies cannot keep up with demand.according to vice, The company has hired hundreds of new employees to handle “large amounts of cardboard”-500,000 cards per week-but they still have to stop accepting submissions. Collectors who passed the customs waited more than a year to get their cards back, while the staff had to work thousands of hours of overtime.

Graham was shocked by this situation and the value gap between graded and ungraded cards. “I just can’t understand it,” he said. “Who are these people who have the power to make these decisions?” If Graham is the smart kid on the playground, then these three companies are bullies.

So, using the profits of his Pokéclub delivery service, Pokéclub, and (after discussing with his partners) the money he saved for the family, he bought the right machines-boxes, packaging, labels, ultrasonic welding machines ——Led an office and founded Pokégrade. But he said that the grading industry is toxic. “I was called a liar. I was called a liar. I was called a swear word,” he said. “To be honest, I already have everything.”

Pokégrade is just one of a new wave of UK rating companies established last year to take advantage of the new wave of Pokémon mania.The road to this strange moment has begun About 12,000 years ago, When humans abandon the nomadic way of life and begin to “collect” items they consider important, Really started In 1976, James Beckett III, a statistics professor at Bowling Green University, noticed that the baseball trading card market was a wild west of price fluctuations.

Cards have no fixed value between sales: the price someone pays seems to have nothing to do with the price they can sell.In order to solve this problem, Beckett recorded credit card prices across the United States, and finally produced Sport Americana Baseball Card Price Guide, And the condition rating is “mint” to “poor”. In doing so, he basically invented the tradition of card grading and changed the scene forever. One of the three most important rating companies is still named after him.

Until recently, the Pokémon trading card game or TCG was not included in this process. This is not accidental. The two most famous Pokémon collectors in the world, Including Gary Haas, I can see that there are two crises at the scene. The first is the same as Beckett’s understanding of baseball cards: it is impossible to distinguish the value between one card and another. The other is personal: both collectors hold cards worth millions of pounds, but their value is declining. Pokémon is no longer cool. They were the first important collectors to send cards to PSA for grading. “This makes a huge difference,” Haas told enter“It makes it no longer a child’s adventure, but more of an adult’s adventure, just like a sports card.”

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