#AskTamara: Are Pokeman cards lead-safe?

Question: Are Pokemon cards lead-safe?

Answer: Hell ya! [#ImAPokemonFan!]

We happen to have several thousand Pokemon cards in our home.  Luckily most were given to us, either via “Freecycle” or friends and family passing along their collections, so I haven’t had to buy many of these for my kids. My kids have been nuts about Pokemon for nearly 20 years!

I have tested several of our own cards and never found any to test positive for lead, so I have no concerns for toxicity in Pokemon cards (or Magic-The-Gathering cards for that matter, which we also inherited thousands of!)

I think these types of toys are wonderful as they encourage reading, math, sharing and creative play.  My kids love making up their own Pokemon too – so it also encourages artistic endeavors (there are several youtube videos that teach kids how to draw some of the existing official Pokemon characters as well – & my kiddos love those videos!)

I looked for links* of Pokemon cards on Amazon tho and had a hard time finding vendors that seemed to be legit (new-in-box original product.) Here’s one that seemed real.

I think if you are buying these online you want to double check vendors (ratings and comments) and packaging notes to make sure you are getting the real thing (or buy on eBay used from sellers with lots of sales and high ratings!)

But truly, first check with your friend and local free groups (#BuyNothing, #Freecycle, #NextDoor) because you might do very well there… as kids always do grow out of these things and most people don’t have the patience or time to sell their vast collections on eBay!

As far as things to potentially be concerned about when it comes to Pokemon or other role playing games (in general):

  • Dice
  • Metal Figurines
  • Plastic Figurines
  • Game Tokens (plastic and metal)

These things (above) can have lead, however ALL of the newly made official Pokemon branded things I have tested to date (new as in post-2010) have been lead-free, and I have no concerns about my children playing with them. None. At. All.

In general, be wary of things sold as “intended for adults” or “collectibles”, especially items made before 2010. And one big thing to keep an eye out for is painted metal figurines – which can be lead (or lead painted) and may get past regulatory agencies since there are so many of them produced by so many different manufacturers.

As always, thanks for reading! Please let me know if you have any questions.

Tamara Rubin

*Some links on this post may be Amazon Affiliate links. If you click on a post and make a purchase I may get a percentage of what you spend – at no extra cost to you! This “commission” on sales that are originated on my website helps to cover some of the costs of my advocacy work, so thank you!
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