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Pawn Stars' Chumlee Reflects On Rick Missing Out On A Big Pokémon Card Payday - Exclusive

Anybody who has collected anything — from baseball cards to action figures to movie or sports memorabilia — has gotten that sinking feeling from time to time. It happens when you have an opportunity to purchase an item with speculative value and pass on it, only to see that very same item skyrocket.

It's a tale all-too familiar for the stars of History's Pawn Stars, whether it be Rick Harrison, Corey Harrison, or fan-favorite Pawn Star Austin "Chumlee" Russell. And while the memories of the occasional miss on an item can easily be erased with another slam-dunk purchase, on occasion the pawnbrokers at Rick's Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas wish they could get back the one that got away.

Easily one of the most memorable things to escape the shop was the set of Pokémon Charizard cards that Gary, The Pokémon King, tried to sell Rick in an episode in 2019. On the surface, it's pretty easy to see why Rick passed on purchasing the Charizard lot, considering that Gary was asking $500,000 for the whole kit and caboodle. On top of that, Rick's reasoning was extremely sound. He had no idea what the Pokémon card craze was all about — he kept on referring to it as Pokéman, only to be corrected by Chumlee — and he simply couldn't commit to buying something completely out of his depth of knowledge. Whoops.

Chumlee recounted the big miss in a recent exclusive interview with Looper. As the story goes, the Charizard cards rose dramatically in price. Had Rick made the purchase, the shop could have brought in well over $1 million on the deal, if not much more. Gotta catch 'em all, indeed.

Chumlee says Rick doesn't speculate on futures

In the interview, Chumlee wasn't about to go down the "I told you so" route on Rick when it came to the subject of him passing on the Charizard cards. It's a dilemma Chumlee faced himself, albeit on a much smaller scale. In a season 18 episode that aired prior to the interview, a prospective seller brought in a wrapped, mint condition version of the Nintendo video game Mike Tyson's Punchout!! from 1987; he was seeking a $100,000 payday. Chumlee held firm on his $60,000 offer, and doesn't regret letting the seller walk out of the door, game in hand.

"Well, when we're talking that kind of money, it's got to make sense to Rick, and video games? They just don't make sense to Rick that much. I do think if I followed correctly, that game actually did sell for over $70,000. I was looking online trying to follow it recently," Chumlee shared with Looper. "Does Rick wish he would have bought it and made a quick few $1,000? Maybe he does. But it goes back to the big Charizard Pokémon collection that we had several seasons ago. And now some of those cards are selling, from that same collection that guy had, some of those cards are going for, oh, a couple-100,000 apiece. And does Rick wish to go back in time and buy it? Sure, he does."

Reflecting further on the Pawn Stars fan question submitted to Looper about the Charizard miss, Chumlee said the best way to rectify the situation is to stand firm by the decision to not purchase the cards, no matter how much money it would have made the shop.

"[Rick] always says, 'I can't speculate on futures and then the pawn business, I can only pay what it's worth now at this time — and that's how he looks at things," Chumlee said. "I'm a little more lenient. I kind of try to watch trends and say, 'Well, this is going to go up. I can't pay too much for it, but I could pay a little more than I normally would.' And I do that. Rick's not so guilty of that though."

New episodes of Pawn Stars season 18 are playing now on History.