How Much Your Pokemon Cards Are Worth Today Might Help Pay Off That College Debt

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Millennials may be constantly on the lookout for new side hustle ideas, but you may not need to look very far. In fact, there's a chance that you could be sitting on a goldmine or, at the very least, you can put some of the junk that you've been storing in your parent's house into you get your sh*t together to good use. Because if you were like me and your childhood friends mostly existed in books and on playing cards, it's time to cash in. That's right: it's time to break out your Pokémon cards.

Mashable has released a guide breaking down exactly how much your old Pokemon cards are worth. If you were indeed intent on catching them all as a child— which me and my brother definitely were, both in English and Japanese — there's a lot of money to be had. But you need to know where to look and what to look for.

Now, if you're looking at your old cards to see where the bank might be, there are two things to keep in mind — rarity and quality. Because nobody's going to care how amazing and cool your card is if it's been crumpled in the back of your drawer for 15 years.

The really good news is that it's not just super rare and unusual finds that can make you money. Mashable explains that regular old Pokémon cards that are in good condition can earn between one and five bucks. And if you have a hologram, we're talking more— up to about 20 dollars.

The Real Money Makers

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Beyond the basics, there are some tips you should know — look for first generation cards. For example, Mashable explains that these two Charizard cards — one normal, and one "shadowless" — are actually really different, despite looking the same. As in, one is worth almost three grand more than the other. Why? The shadowless card shows that it's from the first printing of Pokémon cards. Damn.

Similarly, random accidents in printing can produce more expensive cards— think: misspellings or elements being printed in the wrong place.

Believe it or not, the "Illustrator card" — a rare card where Pikachu is depicted holding a paintbrush — is basically as cool as they come. Because they were never really circulated and instead were presented as prizes, there are only 39 in existence — which is why one went for almost $55,000. Which is ridiculous, not just because it's a huge amount of money but because there's no way Pikachu could realistically hold the paintbrush and paint with it. But whatevs.

They say that the meek shall inherent the earth and that nerds will one day have all of the money. So it's time that we childhood nerds start cashing in and putting our paraphernalia to good use. So take a look through your old collection— you never know what you might find.