Leonhart, one of the most popular Pokémon card content creators, delivered a major (and desperately needed) dose of positivity in 2020. As someone who has returned to collecting cards (I’m addicted), his videos have been a lifesaver during the pandemic. With card openings from the latest Pokémon sets to the original base set booster packs, Leonhart has helped reopen an area of my childhood that I had thought to be long lost.
But while Leonhart’s content has been incredible to watch, he is also a massive source of good in the community. His recent card openings, from 1st edition base packs and beyond, were used to motivate people to donate to the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI). By donating at least $10, people were automatically entered to win an incredible amount of rare Pokémon cards.
With December 31, 2020 being the last day to donate, Leonhart raised over $450,000 for mental health education, support, advocacy and awareness. Three lucky winners will win a collection of cards packed in either a 1st Edition Gym Heroes Box, a Base Set 2 Box, or every card pulled from every pack opened on Leonhart’s YouTube series. The 1st Edition Gym Heroes winner will grab a collection valued at $22,000!
“I wanted to say thank you all for watching a grown man open shiny cardboard!” Leonhart stated on Twitter. “2020 was such an up and down year for Pokémon cards. While collecting was up, earlier in the year interest in openings was low so I decided to take a risk opening a 1st Edition Base Set Pack to spark interest.”
Now at over 1.2 million YouTube subscribers, Leonhart has definitely witnessed the explosion of interest in collecting.
He continued, “Ever since [pulling a Charizard] things were crazy and led to what was a renaissance in big and fun openings with renewed or new interest leading to many new friendships! We also raised over $453,000 for mental health awareness, and I couldn’t be more grateful to the community for the support.”
While raising funds for NAMI is an incredible achievement alone, Leonhart is finding new and amazing ways to reach out to his community. In November, he released news about his 90s Pop Up Shop in order to give Pokémon card fans the opportunity to get their hands on vintage cards and booster packs.
“I’m going to be recreating an original Pokémon cards store from the 90s,” he revealed in a video. While this is exciting news in itself, some vintage Pokémon card booster packs are being sold for thousands of dollars, and can be nearly impossible for many collectors to find. Leonhart is bringing back the 90s in a true way… which includes the original prices of the packs: around $4.99. His mission is to get rare Pokémon cards out to as many people as possible in a “fair and legitimate way.”
As a 90s kid who desperately wanted Pokémon cards and couldn’t afford them… this is a shop I want to visit! Thank you Leonhart for being a phenomenal influence on the community and for keeping my childhood alive. 2021 is going to be a huge year for collectors!