Pokemon card collector Gary ‘King Pokemon’ Haase’s comments about his signed Charizard base card have sparked mass backlash within the TGC community.
In 2021, the Pokemon Trading Card Game has been making news headlines across the globe. With scalpers emptying out stores, and cards inflating in value as unboxings became a YouTube phenomenon, some fans have been lamenting the good old days.
As issues with the cards continue to plague the game, millionaire collector King Pokemon has sparked yet another controversy within the title’s passionate fanbase.
A 2020 video of him showing off his signed first edition Charizard card has gone viral this year, but for all the wrong reasons.
Pokemon King reveals signed Charizard card
Part of a longer podcast showing off his collection to finance YouTubers Graham Stephan and Jack Selby, King Pokemon’s comments about his signed 1999 First Edition Charizard has received backlash.
Not only is the card the second most expensive one out there, but it’s also signed by original artist Mitsuhiro Arita. The designer of both this iconic Charizard and countless other cards, many within the TGC community see Arita as somewhat the father of the game.
When Stephan inspects the card, King Pokemon informs him that “in this case the signature means very little,” noting that “in a lot of cases that’s a big deal, but this card is such a big deal [that] his signature means nothing. I’m tempted to take it off.”
He also highlights that it’s signed “on the case, not the card; never would you let him sign that card.” Importantly, they are talking about monetary value and not emotional value, which may explain his comments.
(Topic begins at 51:11)
Pokemon TGC fans hit back
A Twitter post slamming King Pokemon’s reaction to Arita’s signature has garnered over 14k likes at the time of writing.
Calling him “blatantly disrespectful,” the fan writes “this person has the nerve to call themselves ‘King Pokemon,’ and is continuously idolized by this community.”
Swathes of comments are calling him out for saying Arita’s signature is meaningless, with one collector noting “never liked Gary, always felt he was out of touch with reality. This confirms that feeling.”
Never liked Gary, always felt he was out of touch with reality. This confirms that feeling.
A true “King of Pokémon” loves EVERYTHING in relation to Pokémon. Joe Merrick is my Pokémon King.
— REVERSAL (@REVERSALx7) July 4, 2021
Another calls the Pokemon world “a dark place right now,” confessing that “making a children’s game all about its supposed ‘value’ rather than the joy it brings to others is honestly disheartening [on] so many levels to me.”
The pokemon fandom is in a dark place right now and it sucks to see BS like this take place.
Making a children’s game all about its supposed “value” rather than the joy it brings to others is honestly disheartening ok so many levels to me
— Tomato TCG (@TcgTomato) July 5, 2021
While the insane amount of likes prove that a lot of people back this fan’s opinion, others have defended King Pokemon’s opinion in the comments.
“I watched this full interview recently and also spoke to him on Zoom for 2 hours. Here he was talking about the card’s financial value. He’s met Arita many times and has great respect for him, and the card,” writes one fan.
I watched this full interview recently and also spoke to him on Zoom for 2 hours. Here he was talking about the card’s financial value. He’s met Arita many times and has great respect for him, and the card. He’s a collector since ‘97 and also runs an autism charity with his wife.
— Dr. Lava’s Lost Pokemon (@DrLavaYT) July 4, 2021
Another notes that “the clip is being taken out of context. The clip is from a FINANCE podcast, and he’s speaking about the signature in terms of the financial value it adds to the card (none, in this case, because it’s such a high-end card).”
The clip is being taken out of context.
The clip is from a FINANCE podcast, and he’s speaking about the signature in terms of the financial value it adds to the card (none, in this case, because it’s such a high-end card).
— MetaMahan (@metamahan8) July 4, 2021
Pokemon King is yet to respond to the outcry that this tweet has riled up.