Pokémon trading cards have steadily risen in value over the past few years, aided in no small measure by the fact that the franchise as a whole seems to be growing in popularity all the time. Those individuals who got into the TCG "back in the day" are now of the age that they have a little more disposable income, and as a result, the value of sealed packs has ballooned of late.
If you need hard evidence of this fact, consider this: a sealed first edition base set booster box from 1999 has just changed hands for a whopping $360,000. The exchange took place at the Heritage Auctions' Comics & Comic Art Auction, an ongoing event which ends on November 21st. The winner was Thomas Fish, president of Blowoutcards.com. He also won a Pokémon Demo Game Sealed Booster Pack from 1998 for $22,800.
Due to its small product run, the Pokémon First Edition Base Set is seen by many as the absolute zenith of TCG collecting; the previous record for this set was $198,000, and was only hit in September this year.
Heritage Auctions Assistant Comics & Comic Art Operations Supervisor Jesus Garcia had this to say:
This set is the pinnacle for all Pokémon collectors, and the back-to-back record-breaking sales show that. This set comes from a very low print run, and to find one that is still sealed and in such great condition explains why the demand for it was so intense.
According to Heritage Auctions, bidding was "exceptionally aggressive", and online bid surpassed the previous world record before the auction had even opened.