Gary Haase, also known as King Pokémon, has found himself in a spot of bother for his apparently callous comments on the worth of a card signed by artist Mitsuhiro Arita.
A 67-year-old father of three from Las Vegas, Haase's collection of Pokémon Trading Cards from across the decades is worth about $10 million and it is extremely rare to ever see one of his prized possessions fly the coop. The most recent exception to this rule was the sale of a PSA 10 first-edition Charizard card to Logan Paul for $150,000, who then wore a card of the same sort to his fight with Floyd Mayweather and claimed it surged in value to over $1 million. Sure. That... isn't quite how that works, but it's best to leave those like Logan Paul to entertain themselves.
"I was almost in tears giving that card up," said Haase on the Iced Coffee Hour podcast. "I really felt a piece of me was going. But I honestly believed that it was better for Pokémon, better for the hobby, to sell it." To me, that sounds like someone who is passionate about Pokémon Trading Cards outside of their monetary value. However, Haase's statements on a recent podcast have incited ire amongst the community for being apathetic to the prolific contributions of artist Mitsuhiro Arita.
Check out our video on the importance of The Pokémon Trading Card Game and how childhoods were created around this amazing game.
"In this case, the signature means very little," he said of a PSA 10 first-edition Charizard card signed by Arita. He added that it is an "extremely special" card but doubled down on the fact that the extra embellishment from the artist doesn't change its value hugely. As Arita is adored by the community, the reaction of the community has not been favourable.
"I've never seen someone be so blatantly disrespectful," said FrostedCaribou, a YouTuber who specialises in The Pokémon Trading Card Game. "Unfortunately such an attitude and him in general is a symptom of the recent shift to seeing cards not for a cool collecting item or as a game to play, but as a financial thing to barter and it's so sad," replied Joe Merrick, founder of Serebii. "Now it's started, people will continue to focus solely on that. I hate it."
Published in a now-deleted Instagram post, Haase's statement on the response explains that he feels like his opinion was taken out of context and he holds his cards with Arita's signature in high esteem. "I was only referring to that one card. I have a dozen Arita autos with 5 or 6 including great sketches which I love," he continued. "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."
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