Another copy of the Pokémon Trading Card Game card that once cost YouTuber and erstwhile boxer Logan Paul $5 million has appeared at auction. While not quite as pristine as its siblings, this newest Illustrator Pikachu will probably fetch a puckering sum on the block.
Hosted on collectible auction site Goldin, the latest sighting of Pikachu Illustrator was graded near-mint 8 by Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) for damages or blemishes that you or I likely wouldn’t notice but kept this copy out of the coveted gem mint 10 territory. That hasn’t stopped the auction from garnering a $75,000 ask with nearly 19 days still on the clock, at time of writing.
Pikachu Illustrator is widely considered one of the most rare and valuable Pokémon cards. Only 41 copies are currently known to exist, all of which were handed out to winners of a card drawing contest held by Japanese magazine CoroCoro in November 1997 and then twice more in May and June 1998. Several have sold for staggering amounts of money (the lowest sold for $100,000), but the most famous example is Paul’s PSA 10 card that he privately purchased for $5 million before wearing it as part of his costume during a surreal appearance at WrestleMania 38.
Nobody would blame you (or your wallet) from blanching at those numbers, but prospective Pokémon TCG collectors might find an accompanying auction for a Base Set 1st edition holographic Charizard more in their price range. I mean, what’s $37,000 for a PSA gem mint 10-graded piece of childhood nostalgia? This card is an example of the holy grail-esque shadowless Charizard, whose pricelessness derives from a printing error that omitted the big lizard’s shadow from its artwork. Other tells include the text for its Fire Spin attack using only two lines instead of three in the later Unlimited printing.
Another promotional card that doesn’t crop up very often is the NM-MT 8 Japanese Promo Family Event Trophy Card Holofoil Kangaskhan. Teams of parents and children nabbed this card by not just competing in the Parent/Child Mega Battle Tournament of 1998, but clinching a certain number of victories. Artwork by Ken Sugimori, the illustrator whose designs introduced the world to Pokémon, certainly helps ratchet up the appeal, and Goldin claims only 66 individual cards have passed through their catalogues.
Fancy a Charizard but shadowless base set is too rich for your taste? One final auction of note skews a bit more modern than collectible Pokémon cards normally do with a EX Dragon Frontiers Charizard in its Gold Star format. This 2006 set contained a number of hard-to-find Delta Pokémon species whose type matched their colour palette. Hence, this PSA NM 7 holo Gold Star Charizard’s shadowy scales evoked a Dark typing and moveset. It’s the most sought after Gold Star in the Dragon Frontiers expansion.