PSA Set Registry
Collecting the 2001 Pokémon Neo Revelation 1st Edition Set
"Shining" the Spotlight on a Pokémon First
by Kevin Glew
Collectors have taken a "shine" to this early Pokémon issue.
The 2001 Pokémon Neo Revelation 1st Edition set was the first Wizards of the Coast (WOTC) series to offer rare and valuable Shining cards. The two Shining cards - Gyarados (#65) and Magikarp (#66) - were manufactured with a special reflective coating and were inserted into booster packs on a limited basis.
"I would say you probably get one [Shining card] per box," said Zack Browning, who owns the No. 1 Current Finest 2001 Pokémon Neo Revelation 1st Edition set on the PSA Set Registry. "That's just my opinion based on what I've pulled and seen others pull."
Well-known Pokémon trading card expert Scott Pratte can also vouch for the scarcity of these cards.
"Unequivocally, they [Neo Revelation 1st Edition cards] are the most difficult to pull and they're intended to be a tier above every other card in the set," he said.
Both Gyarados and Magikarp are iconic Pokémon, and the fact that they are featured on the first Shining cards makes these singles highly desirable. Respectively, there are 52 and 50 PSA GEM-MT 10s each of the 1st Edition Gyarados (#65) and Magikarp (#66) cards. PSA 10 examples sold for more than $760 each on eBay in October 2017.
But while the Shining cards generate the most buzz for this 66-card issue, the third in the Neo series, there are several other singles that are also in high demand.
"Revelation" seems like an appropriate name for this set because not only did it "reveal" Shining cards, but, as Pratte points out, Revelation is also the last book in the Bible and the Neo Revelation set unveils the final second-generation Pokémon that weren't previously featured on cards.
"It was the last installment to complete all of the [Neo] second-generation Pokémon, and it contained the rookie cards for the last few species. So you need Genesis, Discovery, and Revelation [sets] to get all of the second-generation Pokémon," explained Pratte.
The first 14 Neo Revelation cards are holographic singles. In all, this set offers five different levels of cards (if you include the Shining cards) that are generally grouped together throughout the issue (see accompanying chart).
Like the 2001 Pokémon Neo Discovery 1st Edition singles, these cards boast yellow borders with the name and HP at the top above the artwork. The 1st Edition stamp (Edition 1) and the Pokémon's vitals (type, length, weight) ensue, followed by the Trading Card Game information. The Weakness, Resistance, and Retreat Cost can be found at the bottom.
The set symbol, which is showcased to the lower right of the artwork, is meant to depict the three Legendary Beasts (also known as Legendary Dogs) escaping the Burned Tower. In Pokémon folklore, the Burned Tower was hit by lightning and three Legendary Beasts perished in the ensuing fire. Ho-Oh later returned to revive these three beasts and they became known as Raikou, Suicune, and Entei. This story has been popularized in Pokémon games and anime over the years.
Released on September 21, 2001, the Neo Revelation 1st Edition cards were available in 11-card booster packs that consisted of seven common cards, three uncommon cards, and one rare card. Regular holographic cards were inserted in approximately one of every three packs.
There were four Neo Revelation 1st Edition pack wrappers each highlighting a different Pokémon, either Entei, Suicune, Raikou, or Misdreavus. There were 36 packs in each booster box. The 1st Edition packs and booster boxes are marked with the "Edition 1" stamp.
Another "unlimited" version of the Neo Revelation cards was manufactured in much higher quantities and is less valuable. The "unlimited" cards do not have the small circular black stamp on the left (that says "Edition 1") below the character box on the front.
Unopened Neo Revelation 1st Edition booster boxes and packs are in high demand and are becoming increasingly difficult to track down.
"In my experience, I see less of Neo Revelation and Neo Destiny than I do of the previous two [Neo] sets: Neo Genesis and Neo Discovery," said Pratte.
An unopened booster box of Neo Revelation 1st Edition cards sold for $2,950 on eBay in October 2017. A PSA 10 booster pack (with the Entei artwork) sold for $112.50 in the previous month.
Aside from the Shining cards, there are also several regular holographic cards that are highly coveted.
"I would say that more than half of the [Neo Revelation] holos are good cards to acquire," said Browning. "There are other sets where half of the holos are OK, but people aren't really chasing them like they are for this set."
The holographic cards of the three aforementioned Legendary Beasts (also referred to as Legendary Dogs) - Entei (#6), Raikou (#13), and Suicune (#14) - are especially desirable.
"The Legendary Dogs are very desirable Pokémon in the game and they were very elusive," explained Browning. "There's this mystique around them."
Browning says the Raikou card is likely the most valuable of the three Legendary Dogs.
"I would say the Raikou is probably more sought after due to it being more difficult to grade over the years," he noted.
Of the 173 Raikou cards submitted, there have been 17 PSA 10s, one of which sold for $1,547 on eBay in October 2017.
The Ho-Oh holo (#7) is also a key card.
"Ho-Oh and Lugia, from Genesis, are very popular cards," explained Pratte. "This is the first appearance for Ho-Oh, and the artwork on the card just catches your eye. Even if this weren't Oh's first appearance, I think the artwork would still draw you in."
Browning offers a similar assessment.
"Ho-Oh is going to be the marquee card of the set," he said. "It's going to be the go-to card because when we were kids growing up, there was a game called Pokémon Gold, which is the second of the series of games, and Ho-Oh was the prized Pokémon. He was the legendary Pokémon that you went for ... He was always the golden bird in the sky. He was always this mystery."
Of the 230 evaluated, there have been 35 PSA 10s. A PSA MINT 9 sold for $144.50 on eBay in October 2017.
The most elusive card to track down in top grade is the set's first holographic single, Ampharos. There are just three PSA 10s.
"It's one of those cards that kind of flies under the radar," said Pratte. "I think it's tough to grade, but people don't really talk about it because Ampharos is in three out of the four Neo sets."
Browning also notes that the Magneton (#10) and Misdreavus (#11) holographic cards are hard to find in top grade. They have just nine PSA 10s each. Browning says factory lines commonly hamper the Misdreavus card. A PSA 10 Magneton fetched $399.99 on eBay in November 2017.
Unlike the Neo Discovery set, not all of the holographic cards were repeated in non-holographic form in the Neo Revelation issue. Just four of the holo cards - Celebi (#16), Entei (#17), Ho-Oh (#18), and Raikou (#22) - also have non-holo rare singles and the artwork is different on these.
Browning says that, in general, the Neo Revelation cards were harder to obtain in top grade than cards from previous Neo sets.
"To me, the issue with the cards in this set seemed to be factory scratches," said Browning, specifically citing the Ampharos and Misdreavus cards. "I'm talking about straight lines across the holo."
With the addition of the Shining cards, the Neo Revelation series is generally more widely collected than the Neo Discovery and Neo Genesis sets.
"This is for sure a step up from the previous set [Neo Discovery 1st Edition]," said Pratte. "The Shining cards are one of the reasons, but even if you remove the Shining cards, it has more in-demand holographic cards as well. I can't find these cards in near-mint-to-mint condition anymore."
Browning has seen the prices for high-grade Neo Revelation 1st Edition cards climb in recent years, and he expects this to continue.
"I see this set as being highly collectible," said Browning, when asked about the future of the Neo Revelation 1st Edition set. "It's one of those sets where I don't really see the value going down."
For more information on the 2001 Pokémon Neo Revelation 1st Edition gaming card set, please visit https://www.psacard.com/cardfacts/non-sports-cards/2001-nintendo-pokemon-neo-revelation-1st-edition/32720.
Please feel free to contact Kevin Glew at [email protected] if you have any additional information or comments. Please note that the Population Report figures quoted and Set Registry rankings reported are those as of January 2018.