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Seller accidentally etches buyer’s name on $400 Pokémon card

A Redditor has reminded Pokémon TCG fans to take care packaging up rare cards, after their name got engraved into a $400 Mew gold star card.

Pokemon card seller accidentally ruins Mew card - Pokemon TCG image showing the Mew Star Delta Series card on a background of Pokemon card backs

We all know some Pokémon cards can be incredibly valuable items in today’s collector’s market. But that only made this Pokémon TCG fan more dismayed to find that the Mew Gold Star card they bought for $400 was damaged upon arrival – because the seller had apparently accidentally engraved their name right into into the card art.

Despite the Mew being sold as “excellent” condition, the buyer – who goes by RYUKARI77 on Reddit – says that, when they took their new rare Pokémon card out of the delivery envelope, they found the letters of their name etched into the card, and clearly visible.

It seems the seller had packaged the card without a hard plastic ‘toploader’ sleeve or protective cardboard over the top, meaning that when he wrote the buyer’s name on the envelope, it became imprinted on the card inside. Needless to say, that kind of damage would seriously impact the card’s value – somebody didn’t read our guide to Pokémon card collecting carefully enough, it seems.

The card in question was a Mew Star (Delta Species) from the 2006 Dragon Frontiers Pokémon set – a rare card that currently sells for around $450 on TCGPlayer. Commenters on RYUKARI77’s Reddit thread – in which the buyer shared a damning photo of the alleged damage – advised them to return the card, while others suggested either gently rubbing the card with their thumb or using a q-tip to tease out the markings.

Pokemon card seller accidentally ruins Mew card - Wargamer image showing Reddit screenshots of users' sympathetic comments, on a blue hex pattern background

Whether the damage is removable or not, it’s still a highly frustrating error, and serves as a reminder to always properly protect cards when posting them – especially if they hold significant value. There are plenty of vendors that sell sleeves for trading cards at low cost, so there’s really no excuse for cards to arrive damaged.

This isn’t the first case of a rare and valuable card being ruined, and surely won’t be the last. Back in 2021, the collector im.ivy.r damaged a Holo Charizard EX Crystal Guardians Delta Species by accidentally placing it in a washing machine with their laundry.

The tragic blunder went subsequently went viral on TikTok, netting over 1.7 million likes – a small consolation for the devastating hit to the user’s collection. 

For more Pokémon TCG coverage, check out our guides to the strongest Pokémon cards in the game right now, and our personal picks for the best Pokémon cards in the world, considering looks, gameplay, and community impact.