Trading card game market grows strong in China along with animation, comics and games
Remember the joy of collecting game cards as a child? Well, for many Chinese people, this favorite pastime has now become a booming business.
Despite being considered a niche market, trading card game market grows strong in China, alongside the animation, comics, and games industries.
The Chinese trading card industry was valued at 884 million yuan (US$117.62 million) in 2022, with an impressive production volume of 287.67 million cards, most of which featured famous IPs like Magic & Wizards, Pokemon, OnePiece, and Digimon Adventure.
To many Chinese people, these trading cards hold a special place in their hearts as childhood memories. However, trading cards have since evolved into much more than just a hobby.
Trading cards' value is determined by grading agencies and companies. They also serve as one of the most important link that holds the trading card ecology together.
As the one of the world's largest trading card grading companies, US-based sports card and trading card grading company Professional Sports Authenticator(PSA) has graded more than 60 million trading cards and collectables, with a total declared value over 1 billion Yuan since 1991.
To tap into the growing Chinese ACG( animation, comics and games) market, PSA announced their official operation in Shanghai in June.
PSA threw a celebratory party for their official Chinese partners from trading game cards industry and collectors last Friday at Columbia Circle in Shanghai.
Goldin Auctions, partner of PSA, also showcased their 40-some rare trading cards at the party, ranging from baseball cards to movie celebrity-themed cards.
The cards' diversity will boost collectors' confidence in the auction house's future China operation, said the operator.
The important thing is that the industry work together toward a sustainable and healthy growth, said Michael Oviedo, head of Collectors China, an affiliate of Collectors Universe Inc., an American company that provides third-party authentification and grading services.
PSA used to take submissions and send them to the US. With the rapid market growth, the company hopes to get local operation up and running as soon as possible to adapt to China's trading cards market as well as to make it more convenient for Chinese collectors, said Oviedo.
One of the amazing things about China is that it has all of these emerging card manufacturers making amazing cards. One of them is Kakawow, who made a set of Disney 100, which blew up in the US and internationally.
In the meantime, a lot of cards are being produced with traditional Chinese culture intellectual properties. Such as Chinese Paladin, Soul Land, and the Legend of Qin.
One of PSA's partner, Pokecolor, started as a group of enthusiast collectors, now they are a professional TCG service platform with 20 some people.
The collectable card market has been growing pretty fast out of collectors' zest for the cards at first, and the market is seeing more dabbling collectors by the day. As early as 2017, the collector's circle were basically all enthusiasts, however, with more people got involved, the trading cards became more valuable, which can be beneficial for the IP owners, grading companies, as well as the mass collectors, said Fan Hua, Pokecolor's manager.
With a focus on the Pokemon's cards' grading and auction, Pokecolor also operates as a trading cards sales agent, and a middleman to help Chinese collectors who wish to have their cards graded by PSA, Fan added.