When SkateBoards Become Pokémon Cards, a New Resale Market Is Born

On September 13, Santa Cruz and Pokémon released a set of collaborative skateboards and clothes. To an unassuming viewer, an ordinary product drop. To an enterprising hustler, a quick buck.

Thing is, Santa Cruz had an objectively clever idea: package Pokémon-themed skateboards in a foil wrapper meant to imitate the foil wrapper that shrouds Pokémon trading cards. It’s a cute nod to a cultural touchstone embodied by the collaboration.

The skateboard company likely never could’ve predicted the feeding frenzy its skate decks would inspire. Not only did the Santa Cruz x Pokémon skateboards sell out in mere moments, but they’re inspiring ridiculous resale prices on eBay.

Knowingly or not, Santa Cruz tapped into the surprisingly potent resale market that surrounds Pokémon cards. By tempting fans with the luck of the draw (literally), sought-after packs of unopened Pokémon cards often fly off retailers’ shelves and flip for massive sums of cash.

Attention-desperate boxer Logan Paul once paid over $3,500,000 for a pack of vintage Pokémon cards that were eventually proven fake, for instance.

A similar blind-pull opportunity proffered by KITH’s recent X-Men and ASICS collab also inspired comparable demand and resale values: the highest bid prices for KITH’s Marvel-cosigned ASICS are for the ones still unopened in-box.

Santa Cruz’ Pokémon skateboards have inspired a similar reaction, with the $110 skate decks flipping for upwards of four figures. The highest prices are demanded for the rarest decks: there are 15 ordinary iterations and five extra-rare gold foil decks, which are still rather rare even on eBay.

Most customers prefer to instead simply flip the unopened blind bag decks, which at least hold the potential of hiding a gold foil deck inside. Those average $400, which is still nearly four-times retail value.

These kinds of rare card pulls, which have engulfed all kinds of trading cards but especially those of the Pokémon and sports variety, inspire all kinds of crazy hype — it’s really just a form of legal gambling, when you think about it.

Most of the other Santa Cruz P merch sold out with similar speed on the brand’s web store but it’s more readily available and at more approachable prices.

But, then again, it wasn’t offered in ultra-rare gold variants.

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