‘King Pokémon’ causes outrage in TCG community over value of card artist Arita’s signature

Gary Haase King Pokémon Mitsuhiro Arita artist signature controversy mint condition 10 Charizard Pokémon TCG Trading Card Game

Pokémon Trading Card Game has been nuts for the past year or so, with the likes of scalpers buying up everything and Target taking down its cards at physical stores to avoid problems. However, 67-year-old “King Pokémon,” aka Gary Haase, has been causing some debate within the TCG community as of late with his comments about the value of the signature of famous artist Mitsuhiro Arita, who has produced art for hundreds of cards.

Haase is well-known for having apparently the most valuable Pokémon TCG collection in the world, as its reported value is $10 million, and he recently appeared on a show about finance to be interviewed about his collection. During the interview, Haase spoke about one of his rare mint condition Charizard cards, the sleeve of which happened to be signed by Mitsuhiro Arita. The segment, viewed in isolation, infuriated TCG fans because Haase said, “In this case, the signature means very little,” and soon added, “In a lot of cases, that’s a big deal, but this card is such a big deal (that) his signature means nothing. Yeah, I’m tempted to take it off of there.”

Gary Haase King Pokémon Mitsuhiro Arita artist signature controversy mint condition 10 Charizard Pokémon TCG Trading Card Game signed autograph

This caught the attention of Twitter user FrostedCaribou, who posted a thread discussing the various controversies that “King Pokémon” Gary Haase has caused over the years with Pokémon TCG in addition to this one over the Arita signature. One such controversy involved Haase creating his own card and urging fans to purchase one with the intention of signing it. Joe Merrick, the webmaster of the legendary Pokémon fan site Serebii.net, joined in the discussion:

The tweet by FrostedCaribou has garnered the attention from Pokémon fans all over the world, who generally agree that this was a disrespectful statement from Haase. King Pokémon has since responded to the clip about the Arita signature on Instagram, explaining that it was taken out of context:

Since there’s been several messages about the Arita comment. That comment was taken out of context which is a trend these days. I was only referring to that one card. I have a dozen Arita autos with 5 or 6 including great sketches which I love.

According to the text, I inflated the market though I’ve only sold 3 cards out of my collection in 5 years. I’ve bought hundreds though. I guess by making the hobby more popular that equates to inflating the market.

This girl for some reason is being very petty and nasty on social media but this isn’t about her. We weren’t all brought up the same. We don’t know what trials these haters went through as kids. Best to let them work their own hate out.

I’d rather this be about us. What can we do to shed light on others? How can we lift them up? 99% of our community is positive, charitable, and loving. Don’t let the 1% affect, as RealBreakingNate would say, your positive vibes.

The battle over Pokémon cards is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, as they have since skyrocketed in popularity after YouTubers such as Logan Paul started opening “vintage” boxes of cards. Unfortunately, Pokémon TCG has become less about playing and even collecting but instead a way for scalpers to make a quick buck. The Pokémon Company recently announced Pokémon Celebrations, a 25th anniversary TCG set that will see the return of iconic cards such as Base Set Charizard.

If you happen to see Pokémon TCG cards out in the wild, don’t second-guess yourself, as they are becoming increasingly hard to find. What are your thoughts on the King Pokémon Arita signature situation?


Jaimie Ditchfield
Freelance Writer. Work seen on GGRecon, Zelda Universe, and BackToTheGaming. Studied Games Journalism and PR for three years, and is relentless at spreading his love for The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.