FATHER’S COLLECTION EARNS HIM NICKNAME OF WORLD’S MOST ‘RAD DAD’
Pokémon was bigger than a game for “Rad Dad” Bart Kiser. It was as big as the love he had for his children.
Kiser gifted a portion of his massive card game collection to his children on Christmas morning 1999. “Some of us were a little too young to know what was going on,” says son Matt Kiser, watching home video of that holiday morning. “But we see our family…we see, especially our dad who loved us and was doing everything he can to share in that passion with us kids.”
The loving father, Bart Kiser earned the nickname “Rad Dad” from his career as a radiologist. He connected with his kids through the colorful cards depicting “pocket monsters.” Although Bart Kiser died in 2018, his family is once again reminded of his love and generosity in sharing the family’s Pokémon passion.
“This is by far one of the most extraordinary collections I’ve ever seen and one of the most extraordinary families I’ve ever seen,” said Joe Maddalena, Executive Vice President at Heritage Auctions. “The Kisers are a loving family and Bart’s delight at sharing the Pokémon experience with his children is evident in just how far he went to build this epic collection – the ‘Rad Dad Collection.'”
Pokémon, the trading card game that swept the world 26 years ago, has once again gone mainstream during the past year. This year Heritage Auctions garnered world-record auction prices for sealed box sets, one of which sold for $408,000. Newfound nostalgia driving the market is the push behind Heritage’s inaugural Trading Card Games Signature Auction, its first sale dedicated to cards from Pokémon, Magic: The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh! and others. Sealed boxes and individual cards date from the mid-1990s through the mid-2000s realized prices totaling $3.2 million!
“I happened to go in our closet and there were two or three of these sealed boxes, plus 20 other boxes and I was like, OK, this is real,” Matt Kiser said.
Highlights from the Rad Dad Collection included sealed box sets such as a Pokémon Japanese Base Set Sealed Booster Box (Media Factory, 1996) released only in Japan, which sold for $33,600. A Pokémon Unlimited Edition Base Set Booster Box (Wizards of the Coast) sealed since 1999 – the year the set was released – included 36 booster packs, each with 11 cards, for a total of 396 cards. It sold for $21,600.
Bart Kiser obtained a rare Pokémon First Edition Jungle Set Sealed Booster Box (Wizards of the Coast, 1999), which sold for $14,400. This was the second set of the mega-popular Pokémon Trading Card Game, released on June 16, 1999. The set included a total of 64 cards and it was the first set to include copies of the holographic cards in non-holographic form.
The rare Pokémon Japanese Gym Challenge Set Sealed Booster Box (Media Factory, 1999) focused on the last four Gym Leaders from the game’s Kanto region: the physic-type Gym Leader Sabrina, the poison-type Gym Leader Koga, the-fire type Gym Leader Blaine, and Gym Leader Giovanni (leader of the evil Team Rocket organization). The sealed booster box also realized $14,400.
A Pokémon First Edition Fossil Set Sealed Booster Box (Wizards of the Coast, 1999) (realized $10,800) was the third set of the Pokémon Trading Card Game and Bart Kiser acquired a box shortly after it was released Oct. 10, 1999. He preserved the box in its original shrink-wrap.
This article appears in the August 2021 edition of The Intelligent Collector magazine. Subscribe to the digital magazine here.