Steve Aoki is selling almost $US3 (A$4) million worth of graded Pokémon merchandise on the trading card marketplace TCGplayer. The mystery boxes will also include clothing, records, meet-and-greets, and physical merchandise.
Steve Aoki is a Grammy-nominated DJ, producer, and record label founder. He’s also a fashion designer who has collaborated with Japanese brands such as Sanrio (Hello Kitty), Naruto, Inuyasha, and Street Fighter. While he doesn’t have an official collaboration with Pokémon, he found other ways to incorporate the franchise into his brand.
“My journey into card-collecting was initially about connecting with a new community, as the pandemic made it impossible for me to play shows, tour or be with my fans,” said Aoki. “As my love for the hobby grew, I started thinking about new ways to bring the products that got me hooked on collecting to a community that has embraced me from the start… I look forward to dropping new products on TCGplayer every week!”
The TCGplayer website lists several boxes at the Diamond, Gold, and Magma tiers. While each box contains several Pokémon cards, most of the contents contain Steve Aoki memorabilia. So unless you’re looking for a randomised selection of older Pokémon cards, these boxes are probably a better purchase for those who are fans of Aoki’s work.
The first time that Aoki had publicly engaged with Pokémon cards was in November of last year, when he unboxed a rare Jungle card box for his charity stream (like many Twitch streamers). In February of this year, he auctioned off autographed copies of Pokémon cards for Pokémon Day. Both charity events were for his own nonprofit organisation, the Aoki Foundation (which supports neurological disease research).
The cards in the TCGplayer collaboration are individually sealed and certified by PSA, a third party card authentication company. So you can be assured that his collection holds collection value. The same can’t be said for Aoki’s recent forays into non-fungible tokens (NFTs). This April, Aoki launched an NFT collection, despite the fact that NFTs are massive scams and an environmental disaster. Aoki has been attending NFT events and giving them out as recently as this week.
Pokémon cards have grown massively popular during the pandemic years due to all the speculative buying and selling. When an old Charizard card can fetch $US300,000 (A$403,738) at auction, it’s hard to tell who’s in it for the game and who’s in it for the money nowadays.