A single Pokémon card - the incredibly rare "Pikachu Illustrator" - sold for a whopping $233,000 (25,000,000 JPY) earlier this month on ZenPlus, making it the most expensive sale in existence. The card was purchased by an American customer via our Pokemonmania store.
Before you start rummaging through your old Pokémon Card folders, know that the Pikachu Illustrator card could only be obtained through a Japanese comic contest in 1998. From the 39 released initially, there is said to be only 10 left, making it “the most valuable and rarest Pokémon card in the world.” It even features art by Atsuko Nishida - the original illustrator of Pikachu.
This beats the previous most expensive Pokémon card (sold for $190,000), which was also “Pikachu Illustrator” in 2019, as well as the recent “No.1 Trainer.” that sold for $90,000 at auction earlier this month. For those interested, the same Japanese seller is currently selling all three trainers (No.1, No.2 & No.3) on ZenPlus for a whopping $203,782.
The Pikachu Illustrator card sold on ZenPlus is graded as a PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator) Mint 9, meaning that it is in “superb condition” with only one flaw. That’s impressive for a 22-year-old trading card.
Although the price may suggest extreme power, Pikachu illustrator does not have any competitive effects. The front text reads, “We certify that your illustration is an excellent entry in the Pokémon Card Game Illustration Contest. Therefore, we state that you are an Officially Authorized Pokémon Card Illustrator and admire your skill.”
The reverse of the card is adorned with the Japanese logo and name for the game.
This isn’t the first time collectible cards have been sold for big money. Back in the early days of Magic: The Gathering, an overly powerful card known as "Black Lotus" was released. It was later banned due to it being too powerful and was sold for over $160,000 last year. Who knows what might be hiding in your collection?
If you’re looking for Japanese Pokémon cards, we suggest you check out our Trading Card showcase containing lots of individual cards, decks and booster packs from your favorite TCGs.
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