TOKYO, Nov. 05, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Encouraged by the historic rise in value of PSA-graded baseball cards and TCG cards, Professional Sports Authenticator (www.PSAcard.com) has announced the opening of a satellite office in Nihonbashi, Tokyo this month. PSA is the world’s largest trading card, autograph and memorabilia authentication and grading company and is part of Collectors Universe, Inc. (CLCT), a publicly traded authentication and grading company that has certified over 70 million collectibles. Already this year, several of its top-graded, encapsulated trading cards have sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars including a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311 card (PSA Near Mint-Mint 8.5 condition) that fetched $810,000 (approx. 91 million yen) in August. Also, in April of this year, another 1952 Topps Mantle #311 card, graded PSA Mint 9, sold for a jaw-dropping $2.88 million (approx. 324 million yen)!
After researching, visiting and gauging the viability of the Japanese market, PSA officials determined that now is the right time to make its formal entrance into the nation. Spearheading the new office will be Tony Aram, a bilingual financial expert and collector who has lived in Tokyo for more than 40 years. Japan represents an incredibly untapped market for sports and non-sports collectors alike. Collectors Universe already has offices in California, New Jersey, Paris, Hong Kong and Shanghai, and services coins, banknotes, trading cards, event tickets, autographs, professional model bats and gloves, photographs and memorabilia.
Trading card grading was considered a new concept in the U.S. when PSA launched in 1991. PSA employs a grading scale from 1 (Poor, lowest condition) to 10 (Gem Mint, highest condition). Since that time, the company has graded more than 31 million collectibles including some of the most impactful sports cards in the hobby’s history such as a 1963 Topps Pete Rose #537 rookie card, graded PSA Gem Mint 10, which sold for $717,000 (approx. 81 million yen), and a 2003 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection LeBron James signed 1/1 card, graded PSA Mint 9, that sold for $312,000 (approx. 35 million yen). Both cards sold in 2016. A year later, in the non-sports card realm, a 1999 Pokémon 1st Edition PSA Gem Mint 10 graded complete set sold for $98,400 (approx. 11 million yen). Of the 31 million collectibles previously graded by PSA, 68% of that number consists of sports cards.
“Because the practice of authenticating and grading cards is almost unheard of in Japan, there is an enormous opportunity to attract new consumers and future hobbyists to the marketplace,” said Aram.
PSA President Steve Sloan agrees with Aram’s assessment. “PSA’s new office will provide Japanese collectors with both sports and non-sports cards a better understanding of the benefits that come with grading their collections,” he said. “The new location will also help to better serve the overall Asian marketplace by having its headquarters in Tokyo.”
The language barrier as well as different time zones have long been deterrents to Japanese collectors utilizing PSA’s services in the past. That all changes with the opening of PSA’s new Tokyo office.
To be clear, all authenticating, grading and encapsulation of cards will continue to be performed stateside as bulk mail shipments will be made once a month from PSA’s Japan office to the company’s headquarters in California. The newly opened office’s website can be found at www.PSAcard.co.jp and is hosted entirely in Japanese for easy understanding.
In the early going, Aram estimates that 50% of the submissions coming from Japan will consist of baseball cards with a heavy emphasis on players competing in NPB. Non-sports cards including Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh! and Magic: The Gathering should also be well represented.
For more information about PSA, please visit www.PSAcard.com.
Tony Aram, 03-4405-5847
Photos accompanying this announcement are available at: