Monday, April 23, 2012

Top 5 Most Valuable e-Reader Cards

In lieu of Nintendo’s recent foray into cards with AR cards for Kid Icarus: Uprising, I must remind everyone of another card-based enterprise started by Nintendo. Do you remember the Nintendo e-Reader? I do.

History of e-Reader Cards

This card-scanning add-on was released in Japan for the Game Boy Advance in December 2001. The original version did not support the link cable and could not be connected to the Gamecube. Later on, the e-Reader+ was released in Japan, this version did include the link cable support. In September 2002, the e-Reader was released in North America, this time with the link cable support. It was not successful at all. As a result, Nintendo canceled most of their projects with the add-on and pulled all support for it.

The whole project was horribly misconceived. Some cards came in sets and if one of those cards were missing, you could no longer use the data stored on them. The cards were also easy to lose or damage unless they were kept stored in a binder. They also received tremendous wear and tear as they had to be manually scanned, which could damage them.

People didn’t want to buy DLC in the form of a card. It is a pity because Nintendo put a lot of time and money into hyping and advertising this and as a result we, as the collectors, have a few really neat and interesting pieces of history to keep an eye out for.

Collecting e-Reader Cards

It is important to say that there is no stable market for these cards. You can just as easily buy a card for $5 dollars today and be able to sell it tomorrow for $50. Without this stable market, it is impossible to create a comprehensive price guide of them.

It is also not a well known fact but these cards can be printed using your own printer at home. This completely undermines the entire market but it is also important to note that not all of these cards have been scanned and finding the scans is a real pain.

You should never buy any e-Reader cards for any region other than the same region as the e-Reader you intend to scan them with. These cards are region locked.

Most Expensive e-Reader Cards

5. Kirby Slide Card
Included in the December 2003 issues of Tips & Tricks and Nintendo Power and also given away at Toys ‘R’ Us stores, this card contains a slide puzzle featuring Kirby. It is interesting to note that it also contains images of Sonic, Raphael from TMNT, and characters from Shaman King. It only contained one puzzle and when you beat it, it asked if you wanted to play again. Never pay more than $5 for this card, you can probably buy a copy of the entire magazine for that much.

4. Mario Party-e
Released on February 18, 2003. This 64 card set included a playmat and much needed instruction manual. It received very poor reviews and could even be played without the titular e-Reader. What makes it rare is that it is hard to get a full set of 64 cards along with box, playmat, and instructions. The rarest card wasn’t even included in it put instead came packaged with GamePro Magazine issue 177. It was a “Special Bonus Card” and by that, it was simply meant to replace one of the Coin cards in the deck.
The price for a complete set without the “Special Bonus Card” can be found for under $10 and with the “Special Bonus Card” the price doubles to $20.

3. Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bro. 3-e

The Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bro. 3-e card set included two sets of 18 cards each, two pack-in cards, and five Walmart exclusive cards making a complete set of 43 cards. Finding all of them is nearly impossible but they unlock some really neat stuff in-game and might be worth purchasing just for what they do. You can find several incomplete sets on eBay ranging from $20-$40 but to find them all you might have to shovel out $60. If you find all 43 for cheaper, they are a good buy.

2. Eon Ticket
This card is usable with Pokemon Ruby or Sapphire and is the only way someone can obtain tournament legal “Soul Dew”, an item held by the Pokemon. This card was given away at E3 2003, in the September 2003 issue of Nintendo Power, and for a limited time at Toys "R" Us stores. What makes this card valuable is the packaging. The only version of this card that is worth more than $5 is the E3 2003 version. You can tell which one that is because it came with a red and blue paper pamphlet stamped with a golden E3. That version sells for over $100.

1. 2002 E3 e-Reader Pack

This pack was given away at the 2002 E3 and contained 4 cards. The two Pokemon cards (Hoppip and Pichu) in this pack are interesting in that they come from a the official TCG but they have the Japanese backings as opposed to the normal US backs. The other two cards are a special variant of Manhole (the gameplay is the same but the card looks different) and a Kirby Prize Card. The Kirby Prize card is worth the most because it was used in a contest then ripped up. Not many survived.

As you can imagine, this is pricey. I have seen these cards go for around $300. That is a lot for four pieces of paper but collectors are just that insane.

That concludes the TOP 5 MOST VALUABLE e-READER cards list! I want to reiterate that there is no stable market for e-reader cards and they are a niche collector's item. As far as I can tell, this is the first price guide. Since there is no stable market, you can find prices for all these items that vary wildly from my own numbers. Now is a good opportunity to buy these while they are cheap.

This article was made in Stevesesy (from


andy wells said...

If you are looking for.the e3 2002 e-reader cards. I am selling a new, sealed pack.

Unknown said...

How much are you selling it for if you still have it? I would definitely be interested if it's not too outrageously priced.

Anonymous said...

I have a huge selection of e reader cards vintage

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