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Collecting Harry Potter Books, Trading Cards and Memorabilia - Part 2

Updated on January 4, 2015

Harry Potter Trading Card Game by Wizards of the Coast

Front of Harry Potter Trading Card Game box
Front of Harry Potter Trading Card Game box | Source
Back of Harry Potter Trading Card Game box
Back of Harry Potter Trading Card Game box | Source
Booster pack of the Diagon Alley set
Booster pack of the Diagon Alley set | Source

What are the types of Harry Potter Collectible Trading Cards?

In Part 1, we looked at how to identify a first edition book and evaluate its potential worth. In this article, we will explore the world of Harry Potter collectible cards.

The worldwide phenomena of Harry Potter has naturally spawned a vast collectible empire associated with the series. Not all items are created equal however. In the world of collectible cards, this is especially true.

There are two major publishers of Harry Potter trading cards. The first set to launch, back in 2001 was produced by the company Wizards of the Coast, with the launch of the Harry Potter Trading Card Game.

This release was targeted to the younger generation and meant to be played in a similar fashion to Magic the Gathering, another brand of Wizards of the Coast, and timed for the release of the first movie, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

They discontinued production of the Harry Potter Trading Card Game in 2003. Warner Bros. purchased the rights to the game. There is an authorized website associated with the game. Please see the link to the website below for further information on the actual gaming rules related to these cards.

The Harry Potter Trading Card Game cards have become a collector item in their own right, although they do not gather the same value as the Artbox movie release cards to come later. I will address the Art Box movie card releases in Part 3 of this series.

Harry Potter Trading Card Game Cards - Adventure at Hogwarts

Character, Item, Location & Adventure
Character, Item, Location & Adventure | Source

What is on the Harry Potter Trading Game Cards?

There are 8 basic types of cards, they are Creature, Lesson, Spell, Character, Location, Adventure, Items and Matches.

These gaming cards are arranged in lesson categories:

  • Charms Cards (these can be for spells, items and locations)
  • Potions Cards (Spells, Items and Locations)
  • Creature Cards (Care of Magical Creatures)
  • Quiddich Cards (Spells, Items, Locations and Matches)
  • Transfiguration (Spells, Items and Locations

(The above break down is courtesy of Wikipedia)

Each card carries a set of instructions and a point value in game play. The cards are numbered, with the maximum number in a deck dependent on which series deck you are playing with.

After the initial release, expansion decks were issued as follows:

  • Quiddich Cup (2001) (Cards range 1-80 for a complete base set)
  • Diagon Alley (March 2002) (Cards range 1-80 for a complete base set)
  • Adventure in Hogwarts (June 2002) (Cards range 1 - 80 for a complete base set)
  • Chamber of Secrets (October 2002) (Cards range 1-140 for a complete base set)

Adventure at Hogwarts

Location Card - Adventure at Hogwarts Booster
Location Card - Adventure at Hogwarts Booster | Source
Letters from Nowhere - Diagon Alley Booster
Letters from Nowhere - Diagon Alley Booster | Source

So What Makes Them Collectible?

As with most collectible card series, the game makers created unique and specialty cards that are more rare than the base set cards. In this series, these are holofoil cards and based on the scarcity these cards are the ones that are the most desirable.

The holofoil application on the regular cards makes them appear to have stars or fireworks on the surface. It's a really nice effect.

The most rare, are usually reserved for the wizard cards, making the portraits appear 3D. Because of this effect, they are difficult to photograph.

The values for these cards vary but can go for as much as $15.00 per card.

Holofoil Cards

Gringotts Bank Key from The Diagon Alley expansion
Gringotts Bank Key from The Diagon Alley expansion | Source
Harry the Seeker from the Quiddich Cup expansion
Harry the Seeker from the Quiddich Cup expansion | Source

What's In A Booster Box?

So who collects these cards? Everyone, of all ages. This set is especially good for younger children who might actually enjoy playing the game aspect.

Full booster boxes are still readily available for purchase from Ebay and collectible card retailers. It is fully possible to complete a basic set from one box of cards and get a great start on your collection of rare and holofoil cards.

The boxes come with a serial number printed on the interior bottom of the box. Inside the box will be 36 sealed packages containing 11 cards in each. In each pack there is a possibility for two rare or unique cards.

Typcally a sealed factory box of cards will run under $50.00.

Take a look at the you tube video below and see what you can open inside a sealed box of boosters.

Harry Potter Trading Card Game sealed box opening

Start Your Very Own Harry Potter Trading Card Collection

If you are a Harry Potter fan, this is an inexpensive way to launch your collection. If you are merely a collector of cards, this is a fabulous way to enter a world wide craze.

These cards are also available in Spanish and in the Japanese language. I love the Japanese packs and I have a few myself, just for the novelty. Harry Potter is just as big of a phenomena in Japan.

Japanese Booster Pack
Japanese Booster Pack | Source
Spanish Booster Pack
Spanish Booster Pack | Source

Why do YOU collect cards?

Why do people collect cards? See how your answers stack up against those who visited this page

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What a collection looks like

What is the best place to buy the Harry Potter Trading Cards?

Currently on Ebay, there are 80 listings for trade. This includes individual cards for sale and the purchase of sealed booster boxes.

You may find cards available through card collector websites, but many also run ebay stores so for the sake of competition, ebay will likely be the best place to source these cards. Try their international sites as not all listings show on every site. The eBay seller has the option of deciding where their listing will be shown and also what countries they are willing to ship to.

Locally, I would check with a collectible card retailer, who may or may not handle these cards. If they do not carry them, they might know of someone locally who does.

Compare the shipping costs being offered by the seller online. Sometimes the cost of shipping makes the boxes more expense than one being offered at a higher price with shipping included. Occasionally you will see a seller who offers an incentive such as offering free additional packs or free card of your choice to complete a basic set.

All feedback welcomed and appreciated

5 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of Harry Potter Trading Card Game Cards


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