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3 Essential Products to Protect Your Pokémon Cards

Or Any Trading Card, Really

A regular 3 clip binder with Ultra Pro collection sleeves (top load)

Everybody had a time in their life where they had a few dozen Pokémon cards, right? I bet if you thought about it hard enough, you could remember the exact place that they’re hiding. Maybe they’re in your parents' attic, in a “tin” box. Maybe they're loosely thrown into an old toy box. Wherever they are, you probably didn’t identify them as “collectibles.”

Nowadays, Pokémon cards from all around the world, in all different languages, are becoming more and more popular. And within that popularity, a whole world of collecting, trading, and selling has arisen. A world that’s far more serious than it used to be in the early 2000s. 

There are two ways to value a Pokémon trading card... as a collector's item worth displaying to others or keeping in a private collection... and as an item with monetary value. And like any collector's item, these go hand in hand. The process is incredibly simple.

  1. You open the Pokémon Trading Card Booster Packs. 
  2. You pull the best and most valuable cards. 
  3. If you’re a collector, you protect it and display it. Or if you’re a seller, you protect it, display it, and sell it.

But how has this cycle gone on and on for the last 20+ years? How have collectors and sellers alike “protected” their valuable trading cards? Well, that’s what this article is about. How do you protect your beloved Ultra Rare Pokémon cards?

Collector's Albums

Ultra Pro Collectors Album

Collector's albums are the perfect place to store your “common” and “uncommon” cards within your collection. Whether you’re just storing them, or you’re organizing a finished set first to last, collector's albums are the route to go. There are several different sizes you can get of these binders and the sleeves within as well. And they prove to be a perfect place to keep those sets you’ve been dying to complete.

“Penny” Sleeves

The MANY different options

Penny sleeves are, without a doubt, the most important part of any collector and seller's arsenal. And you’d be hard-pressed to find someone with a different opinion. The purpose of the soft plastic penny sleeve is to keep the card in as good condition as possible. This doesn’t necessarily help with bending, but they do a fantastic job of keeping the back, front, and corners clear of any physical harm. They also do a fantastic job of keeping dust and unwanted particles off of your more valuable cards, especially when combined with hard plastic sleeves (toploaders). These Penny sleeves are also great in combination with collector's albums, since they seal off dust from the top and bottom of the card, as well as keep them free from particles, and greasy fingerprints. And as a bonus, they stay nice and orderly!

Hard Sleeves A.K.A Toploaders

BCW Topload Card Holders

Toploaders are also incredibly essential to any collector or seller, in that they are the final piece to your most valuable cards. If you’ve pulled the BEST cards in the set, you’d want to make sure they stay in the condition you got them in; MINT. And no other condition is good enough. Toploaders are essentially hard, plastic sleeves. And with the combination of a soft penny sleeve, you’ve got yourself an impenetrable fortress around your trading card. You can now display your card anywhere, you can store it anywhere, and most importantly, you can ship it. Anywhere. If you’ve browsed eBay for trading cards, you’ve definitely seen the most valuable cards tucked away in one of these hard plastic sleeves.


The Instagram picture above is an example of a card protected by a penny sleeve and a hard sleeve! Perfectly safe even in an outdoor environment!

So here’s the TLDR on how to protect your cards;

  1. Collectors Albums + Sleeve Protectors — Put your cards in the pages and you’ve got style, protection, and storage!
  2. Collectors Albums + Sleeve Protectors + Penny Sleeves (on your more valuable cards) — All the protection and storage with bonus protection on those more valuable cards!
  3. Penny Sleeves — Protection from physical harm.
  4. Penny Sleeve Perfect Fit (First) + Penny Sleeve Standard Fit (Second) — Double the protection with no tearing, bending or wrinkling of the card or sleeve.
  5. Hard Plastic Sleeve (Toploader) + Penny Sleeve — The ultimate way to protect your cards while providing the durability to sell and ship them. As well as openly display them in less protected environments like a bookshelf.

And that’s it! There’s plenty of ways to store your cards that I didn’t mention. Deck boxes, cardboard boxes, tins, etc... but that’s for a different article. This time it’s about protecting your collection because collecting is expensive and time-consuming. You want to be cautious and proud of your cards. So do yourself and everyone a favor... Sleeve your cards and display them proudly!

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