If you're into the Pokémon Trading Card Game, you may have heard of the name Gary Haase. Known to many as "King Pokémon", this 67-year-old father of three's claim to fame is that his TCG collection is reportedly worth a cool $10 million – making it the most valuable collection of its kind in the world.
Haase is treated like a rockstar whenever he turns up at events and has celebrities all over the world approaching him in the hope that he will part with some of his collection. It's reported that Justin Bieber has been in touch, but Haase is famously reluctant to sell his goods (a recent exception was YouTuber Logan Paul, who purchased a PSA 10 first-edition Charizard card for $150,000 and then wore it ringside for his 'boxing' match with former champ Floyd Mayweather).
At a time when Pokémon TCG is hotter than ever and cards are changing hands for insane amounts of money, Haase is regarded as a legitimate celebrity himself (a recent meet-and-greet with him at the Collect-A-Con event in the US lasted for five hours – it was supposed to last one-and-a-half hours).
Haase's profile means he's a target for scorn as well as acclaim, of course, and recent comments he made during an interview have rubbed fans up the wrong way.
During the interview – taken from a show about finance, rather than Pokémon – Haase discussed one of his prized Charizard cards, in this case signed (on the protective case, not directly onto the card) by original artist Mitsuhiro Arita. Arita, in case you weren't aware, has been involved with Pokémon TCG for decades and has created the artwork for hundreds of cards. Amongst fans, he's revered and adored.
As you might expect, the reaction to the clip wasn't pretty:
However, several people have pointed out that Haase's comments were taken entirely out of context and were made on a show which is focused on finance. They claim he wasn't being disrespectful – rather, he was pointing out that the card was of such high value that the signature wouldn't make a massive amount of difference to its price.
For his own part, Haase has responded to the original tweet via his Instagram account and highlighted the charity work he's involved with via his wife.
He has also posted the following statement regarding the clip, confirming that his comment was taken out of context (edited to remove emojis and several 'lol's):
Since there’s been several messages about the Arita comment. That comment was taken out of context which is a trend these days. I was only referring to that one card. I have a dozen Arita autos with 5 or 6 including great sketches which I love.
According to the text, I inflated the market though I’ve only sold 3 cards out of my collection in 5 years. I’ve bought hundreds though. I guess by making the hobby more popular that equates to inflating the market.
This girl for some reason is being very petty and nasty on social media but this isn’t about her. We weren’t all brought up the same. We don’t know what trials these haters went through as kids. Best to let them work their own hate out.
I’d rather this be about us. What can we do to shed light on others? How can we lift them up? 99% of our community is positive, charitable, and loving. Don’t let the 1% affect, as RealBreakingNate would say, your positive vibes.
While it does seem like Haase has a point here, the negative reaction has a lot to do with the way the Pokémon TCG has been turned into a massive money-spinning exercise in modern times, with Wired reporting that those in charge of grading a card (and therefore deciding its value) are coming under intense scrutiny.
Report him to the Outrage Police. This is outrageous, and I am outraged.
Is there a petition I can sign somewhere to get this man's collection forcibly removed from his outrageously disrespectful hands? If so, I would sign it thrice!
You are not as outraged as I am, yes I am outraged beyond measure.
Well, good the air was cleared soon. But while I suppose it's good for the guy to harvest what buzz he has towards his charity cause, the general notion of treating collectors as celebrities... evokes many questions I expect a satisfactory answer to none of.🙄
They are not celebrities, whatever that term means anymore.
The Pokemon TCG is honestly dead to me, I’m so glad I stopped collecting several years ago.
I didn't got it. People are angry because he said that the signature means nothing? Just that?
First It is not even his real signature, it is just his name in Latin letters.
Second, it was on a show about fiance, so "means nothing" is about monetary value, not about the artist or his work meaning nothing.
IDK why people are so dramatic when the subject is Video Game characters (especially pokemon). It is not religion for f. sake.
Sounds like someone is jealous of someone's Pokemon card collection.
Dude, that's like having a SE Spider-Man comic signed by Stan Lee and saying his signature means nothing. Shame on you!
If you're a collector, you do it not just because you have respect for the art, but for the artist as well. If the creator means nothing, the creation means nothing.
Meanwhile, i still have hype with Yokai Watch 3 Tempura 3DS and not interested to get into that hubbubs (Pokemon cards).
I didn't realise people considered collectors celebrities. In terms of finance everything he says makes sense and is not disrespectful in context, it is weird that he doesn't make a comment to the effect of "of course it has another kind of value" but hey I don't know the guy, maybe it doesn't? It's his card, that's fine let him do as he wishes. I'm sure the artist has signed thousands of cards for people and I'm sure many have met worse fates. He didn't say the art or artist was anything negative.
That comment and image pairing reads weirdly sarcastic and cynical to me though. But I don't know if that's NL editing those bits together.
@Ogbert "Comment and image pairing"? Do you mean the tweets? Those are embedded, so we can't edit them.
How is that charizard worth so much money? I remember my brother getting one years ago in a pack when they first started the TCG sets in America. Was his valuable like that?
I’ll add my two cents from when I played Magic the Gathering a while ago. The most expensive card, (Black Lotus), was signed that much by the artist that it was reckoned to be rarer to have an unsigned copy than a signed one. Having a high graded very rare card signed by the artist would almost certainly detract from the appeal and value of it. This chap is not being disrespectful, just sensible but he worded things in such a way that it came across as dismissive.
If he still has it in great condition then it will still be worth a lot, as time goes on most copies from the early sets become lost to time or damaged through play so high quality versions are scarce. As long as the demand is high then they’re worth what people will pay, it’s not like you can get early edition versions new any more.
I had to watch the clip a few times just to figure out what was so bad about what he said. 😅 He was obviously talking about the card’s value.
Honestly, shame on the person who tried to get him cancelled over something like this.
I'm not quite sure what any of this means, and I pray I never will
"I've never seen someone be so blatantly disrespectful"
I think this person must have had quite a sheltered life then.
Oh no, somebody pissed off a group of kids on twitter, the tragedy!
You sound so cynical, just like me then.
Well such is people’s tendance to cancel. Get a grip, humans.
Lol I literally can’t begin to describe the utter minimal level of care it have for this ‘celebrity’.
Once again demonstrating the confusion between ‘monetary value’ and ‘personal value’. Something can have enormous personal value (you wouldn’t part with it for any amount of money) but is worth very little at resale and something else can have great financial value (where you could sell something for a princely sum) but have absolutely no personal connection to it whatsoever. It might be hard to grasp, but not everyone values your possessions the same way you do.
I know that to most people here this blatantly obvious but some people don’t seem to be able to grasp such a simple difference…
Who listens to a finance podcast of all things??
Removed - harassment; user is banned
Agreed. I hate the labels “celebrities” and “stars.” Slightly off topic, but I can’t stand this society’s obsession with “famous” people. I put famous in quotes because that’s all most of them are. A celebrity is someone we celebrate. A star is what gives life in this universe. I wouldn’t equate someone famous with either one of those things. I celebrate people like Ghandi, Mother Theresa, MLK, etc. Those are celebrities in my mind. This whole Kardashian thing needs to go away and never return for it contributes so much to the rot of this society.
I love it how people trash Kardashians for getting famous the way they did, but a guy collecting Pokemon cards is considered the king in the community xD
Not to defend Kardashians, just to be clear.
How will people now live when they lost respect for him??
Just another day in clown world
Clip was obviously heavily edited. Would like to have seen the unedited video in its original context.
At least Twitter is still fulfilling its primary function: creating outrage.
Gee, I wonder why the Pokémon company prints collectible cards, to begin with? It certainly can’t be for making millions of dollars. I think my eyes rolled back so hard they separated from their optic nerves.
@MetalToad Why does everyone troll anti-matter? If you’ve actually sat down and spoken with him, he’s a nice guy.
As someone who has been in the graded card world, yes sadly people often are willing to pay less for a signed card. This sadly shows that people's view has mostly turned toward money over love of Pokemon.
As for Gary, I'm not surprised. He started buying up Base Set in the 90s, not as a fan, but as an investor. Yes, the investment paid off, but I doubt he was ever really into Pokemon...
@Xeacons but if you had an absolute perfect 9.8 golden age comic, it would likely actually be worth more as a clean pristine copy, most don't collect signed copies and want them as clean as possible, which is what he is saying about this card. While cool a lot of signatures especially if not verified could reduce the value.
While if you have a less than pristine comic where its already not perfect so the value has dropped from pristine, Stan's sig would def add a lot of value back into the comic
Basically he is saying if there are are only a very select few charizards this pristine in the world leave them as they are, there are many thousands of other charizard cards you could get him to sign instead.
@Damo nah I mean the quoted bit in the article and then the embedded Instagram post. I don't know if they're related or two separate bits you've collated in the article?
I don't see how this is any more disrespectful than selling a piece of cardboard for obscene amounts of money.
This feels more like when there is a game I want to play but can't because I don't have the hardware and someone else is playing it saying it sucks.
I’m confused. Wasn’t he just appraising the value of the card?
Gary is a great person and I wish him and his charity good luck
What's a celebrity these days?
By that account, I should be a celebrity in my city for owning Japanese games.
@HammerGalladeBro Gary is famous amoung people who collects Pokémon cards because he has one of, if not the, greatest collection of Base set Charizards.
MetalToad is a Troll.
He keep constantly insulting me with his sarcastic comments for whatever I said.
Ignore him, I have blocked him, I don't talk with a Troll.
Back to topic, I'm glad I'm not really hyped with Pokemon franchises as I played the games on 3DS and Switch casually. A little bit contrast with Yokai Watch 3 3DS game I played that I have some motivation to collect almost every Yokai on Yokai Watch 3 than on Pokemon games (Not every Yokai looks interesting for me though, I tend to ignore very ugly looking Yokai if not really important to unlock the evolution or legendary Yokai)
I know nothing about cards and never heard of collector or artist and so I feel I can comment neutrally about it - the people tweeting and featured here are an absolute embarrassment… his comments clearly were about sale value and he meant he could keep signed case and put it on a different card as it he’d basically be giving it away.
People are so precious and have so many rules in their own head how fellow “fans” need to live and have rules on their own lives. People need to chill out. Toxic fan bases should be over…. Be kind people…. Constantly looking for mistakes people make and trying to cancel them is the opposite these people say they stand for.
Poor fella. Completely taken out of context.
@BloodNinja TBH a sometimes feel he is trolling all of us…. I’m sure he is a lovely guy… but seriously some of the stuff he posts is the most ridiculous stuff on here and that’s saying something.
But yeah trolling him isn’t nice and will only add to his issues IMHO
Something that nobody is mentioning (and that was likely cut out of that clip - or just assumed knowledge) is that graders will never grade your stuff as 'mint' if it's been signed. With cards, comic books, etc., the grading is about how good a condition, or how close to rolling off the press, the item is. If the card is autographed, it's not in its original condition and it can't get the 'mint' grade.
If you're investing (the topic of the video) that's important to know. You could always unslab a mint card and get Arita to sign it. But you could never unsign such a card. Morbidly, the value of a signed card might change after signer's death (which is hopefully due to extremely old age in the far distant future).
I mean sure, be in awe of his collection if you're a longtime collector, but that doesn't make him a celebrity. And why get ticked at someone for your choice to idolize them? Talk about Sour Grapes. 😏🙄
@Stocksy I haven’t seen him post anything that is so ridiculous that it warrants online harassment. He has strong opinions and likes to talk about music games/and games that are kid friendly and free of violence. I think that’s respectable. I also think he comes from a country where English isn’t the native language, so certain written nuances and syntax might be slightly off.
@TheJGG Only dumb people have a tendency to quote on quote cancel. As if they have any legit power or something.
@Stocksy Well said Stocksy
@gcunit Upvote for the "thrice". Nice.
But seriously, what a storm in a (collector's) teacup.
@Ogbert The quote is from his initial instagram post, here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CQ5AJTprcgW/
The embedded Instagram post is a follow-up he posted afterwards which talks more about the work he's doing with his wife's charity.
People need to get a life. Lol
@BloodNinja nothing warrants online harassment so I’m with you there. Maybe you are right mate. I’ve seen some stuff he says that I find it hard to believe he actually believes. Like his own “rules” live and let live I say but I do feel sometimes it seems like his rules make so little sense that there is a element of trying to goad a response out of others but not condoning anyone attacking him at all. Just hope he isn’t trolling for a repsonse himself.
@Stocksy You’re good! I got caught off guard at first as well, then realized that it’s mainly a syntax thing.
Exactly what "importance and significance" are these cards alleged to hold?
Good to see Joe Merrick sowing discord in his own community again.
Maybe tangential, but why haven’t we seen a remake or sequel to Pokémon TCG for Gameboy Color?
Maybe now more than ever getting this game to go digital - even with NFT features for collectors - would alleviate a lot of the problems that surround the physical game.
It’s also my favorite Pokémon game with a bullet.
@Damo Ah ok cool thanks! Without the context of the second post it looks like he just dropped a picture of his charity work at the end of it as some kind of statement. I didn't want to draw conclusions about the guy without knowing if it was edited together or not so appreciate the clarification.
I don't collect anything so maybe I don't understand the mentality, but if I did it would be for the art. I would not want the artist's name scribbled across it in sharpie. It would ruin it.
He's clearly just talking about the market value of the card, not the value of the artist as a person. Any person (and especially a journalist) should be able to tell that and react accordingly.
Also, yesterday was July 4th. Why is there no article about the "Top 10 Patriotic Games" or something? I'm starting to feel like I don't have the right to exist.
As a continually-jaded Pokemon TCG player...how is this news??! He didn't do anything to the card itself, so who cares? Any new owner could easily get it regraded if they don't like it (emphasis on 'could' due to the state of grading).
Pokemon TCG stuff really just shouldn't be reported on in this site anyway as we've seen before, so try to stay out of the lane in general, NL. @[email protected]
I remember someone once listed a complete copy of Mega Drive Tetris signed by Alexei himself, and one of the ebay questions was regarding if the signature could be removed.
If the main thing you're proud of, is the monetary value of your collection, then you're not a fan. You're an investor. What I don't like about this story is that his attitude strikes me very mush as thinking he's better than other people because of his gross, irrational greed.
There's nothing wrong with investment if money is what you care about in life. In fact, it's honestly probably one of the best ways to potentially make money.
But if you think I'm going to have any respect for someone just because of your wealth, you're out of your mind. When people have that kind of money, it's more about denying that wealth to those who need it and hoarding it to sate your greed.
I have no issues with celebrities with real talent, but the rest are just beyond moronic.
Twitter outrage flavor of the day everyone.
Get em before the end of the week before everyone focuses on something else to get mad at.
@gcunit Not gonna lie - snot loled
Even without the comments devaluing the artist's signature, I don't see a reason to respect this guy or celebritize him lol. He just owns a big collection, big deal.
@BloodNinja I 100% agree with you.
@Chocobo_Shepherd I totally get what you're going for, your sarcasm isn't lost on me, but I'm gonna be the guy that points out that NintendoLife is based in the UK. I don't think they care about July 4th as much as an American would
The cancel culture... as always taking everything out of context just to get a few retweets and likes.
@BaronMunchausen Stars and Celebrities and people worshipping them has been a thing for many decades, just look at the Golden Age of Hollywood or people like Elvis or Cash.
Twitter users upset!!!!! 🤷🏾♀️🤷🏼♂️🤦🏽♂️
Arita drawing a cool Venom was a nice highlight of the article. But it does all seem to be blown out of proportion... although, personally, I wouldn't consider this guy that legendary for a card collection. My little brother has an artist signed Yu Gi Oh card from Japan. He has no interest in selling it because for him it is all about collecting the cool ones, or ones he likes. This money-grubbing ***** is sickening.
I’m well aware; I’m 45 and a lover of history. If I was alive then, I wouldn’t have liked it either.
Containers of wealth with no care for what's actually inside, just the value. That's what most of these collectors are in this for. You cannot look at a $10M collection or paying $150k for one card any other way. These are seen as nothing but status symbols.
Even taken out of context seems like he's talking about the worth of the signature being on the case... Not the card. Does it make the card go up in value when someone signs something other than the card? Nope. Like I got a famous NFL player to sign my shirt... So that makes the football he didn't sign worth more!!!
Someone wants Twitter clout for outrage.
I've literally have never heard of this guy in my life. the only way he can redeem himself is to open that card and have arita sign the card.
I think collecting things just for monetary value is odd, buying a valuable thing just to have a valuable thing. Disclaimer: I’m broke.
I can get down with collecting things for complete sets though, or just hoarding the things you get along the way. I have several sets of Lord of the Rings books for example, and I have a strange fixation on coasters. I get new coasters whenever I travel, or go to a museum or sporting event.
Sounds like all rhe scalpers and haters are just jealous he has what they don't lol.thats how this generation is now
LoL at the Pokémon card fans who act like card collecting (or stamp or coin or ANYTHING) doesn’t have a sub-community that revolves around grading and assigning values. Do we already not remember amiibo and the “trinity?”
The only part of this article that I enjoyed was 'boxing' being in quotations. LOL
@Anti-Matter Yokai 3 is a tough one to get your hands on. You have every right to hype about that. Congrats!
As someone who LOVED collecting I just couldn’t keep up with astronomical prices and keep up with “the high rollers”. It seems every card is incredibly rare to the point where I couldn’t even collect cards I thought were cool or had great art because people just snatched them up or were selling for WAY too much money. Now that being said I sold off my whole collection and was able to put a down payment on my first home so… can’t be too upset but I do miss those cards sometimes
@UsurperKing That's fair. ^_^ I'm actually relatively new here, so I didn't know that.
I seriously don't get what's going on
Well, this just flies right over my head
@BaronMunchausen Mother Teresa? Might want to reassess who you put on a pedestal yourself mate.
A person who helped a great many others selflessly and without receiving a cent? I shall reassess.
@BaronMunchausen Sure, that's a good summation of how she and her supporters presented her. If you don't let reality get in the way then I guess that's all there is to her story.
I never said that was her whole story. Clearly you’re misunderstanding what I was getting at with my original comment anyway. And you must’ve known her to be speaking with such arrogant confidence.
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