A single Pokémon card has managed to break a world record after selling for an immensely high price at auction.
Moved through an auction hosted by Goldin Auctions, the hyper-rare Japanese Promo “Illustrator” Holographic Pikachu card sold for a whopping $900,000 USD. Just shy of a million dollars, this makes it the most expensive Pokémon card to date, beating out the previous “Illustrator” Pikachu which earned $375,000 at auction. According to Goldin, only 23 copies of the card are logged in the Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) database. To further add to its rarity, the artistic Pikachu sports a grade of “Near Mint.” It’s believed that only one other copy of the card has a similar quality.
The “Illustrator Pikachu” has become infamous for its scarcity in the Pokémon Trading Card Game community. The card was never released as a part of a core set and was only given to the winners of the Pokémon Card Game Illustration Artist Contest 1997. When the competition came to a close, it was never reprinted. It is the only card in the game to utilize the “Illustrator” title rather than the traditional “Trainer.”
As the Pokémon Trading Card Games continues to grow in popularity, so do the values of some of its rarer collectibles. While Illustrator Pikachu is considered one of, if not the rarest card in the game, various cards from the base set sell for similar prices. An uncut sheet of holographic first-edition Pokémon cards recently sold for an impressive $34,000 USD, despite various scuffs and marks.
The soaring prices of many of these classic cards aren’t just attracting avid collectors. More and more scammers are jumping on the bandwagon, taking advantage of enthusiasts desperately looking for their next major find. Notorious YouTuber Logan Paul recently made headlines after spending $3.5 million USD on a box of booster packs for the base Pokémon Trading Card Game set. He later discovered that he’d been swindled as the crate contained G.I. Joe trading cards, which are comparatively worthless.
Beyond scams, some have just taken to stealing Pokémon Trading Cards through elaborate heists. A Minnesotan game store recently fell prey to a thief who managed to tunnel through the shop’s wall, making off with around $250,000 USD worth of Pokémon merchandise. It’s currently unknown whether the culprit has been apprehended.