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Charizard card sold for $420,000, third-highest price ever paid for a Pokémon card

Roasting the competition.

Charizard holo shadowless 1999 Pokémon card
Image credit: PWCC

A Charizard card for the Pokémon Trading Card Game has sold for $420,000 (£318,731), becoming the third-highest price paid for a Pokémon TCG card.

Part of the original first edition Base Set released for the trading card game in 1999, the Charizard card was publicly auctioned off by PWCC Marketplace, a company that hosts auctions for various collectables, including rare Pokémon cards. Not only was the Charizard card a holo version – also known as a shiny Charizard, which is considered to be one of the most popular cards on the collector’s market – it was also shadowless, meaning that a printing error had occurred in the making of the card, leading to there being no shadow behind the image of the Pokémon, making even rarer.

Charizard holo shadowless 1999 Pokémon card 2
Image credit: PWCC

The Charizard card had received a PSA 10 gem mint grade – indicating that it had been kept in excellent condition by its previous owner/s - making it one of only 121 known PSA 10 gem mint grade Charizard holo Pokémon cards left in the world. PWCC also noted that the card was one of the cleanest copies in existence, with it displaying none of the common whitening on the back, an exact centering of the image and no imperfections with the holo, all which can bring the worth of a Pokémon card down.

The most expensive Pokémon card ever sold remains the Pikachu Illustrator card, which was sold at auction for $900,000 (£683,000) earlier this year. A promo card that was awarded to the winners of a competition run through the Japanese magazine CoroCoro Comic, only 41 copies of the Pikachu Illustrator card are known to exist. Featured on the front of the card is an illustration by the original designer of Pikachu, Atsuko Nishida, alongside a commendation for the competition winner.

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In the Pokémon Trading Card Game, two players compete using their respective Pokémon decks. At the beginning of the game, players each choose a Pokémon card to put into their active slot. In order to use the abilities and attacks of their active Pokémon card, players need to play the required amount of energy onto it. Players can evolve their Pokémon cards to more advanced versions if they have the correct card in their hand. Whichever player manages to defeat six of their opponent’s Pokémon, or force their opponent to not have an active Pokémon or any left on their bench, is named the winner.

According to PWCC, most of the PSA 10 gem mint grade copies of Charizard holo Pokémon cards are owned by long-time collectors or celebrities, with the rapper Logic having previously purchased one in 2020 and another going to an anonymous buyer in July 2021, meaning that PWCC believe that it is unlikely that any more copies of the extremely rare card are expected to arrive on auction sites any time soon

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Alex Meehan avatar
Alex Meehan: After writing for Kotaku UK, Waypoint and Official Xbox Magazine, Alex became a member of the Dicebreaker editorial family. Having been producing news, features, previews and opinion pieces for Dicebreaker for the past three years, Alex has had plenty of opportunity to indulge in her love of meaty strategy board games and gothic RPGS. Besides writing, Alex appears in Dicebreaker’s D&D actual play series Storybreakers and haunts the occasional stream on the Dicebreaker YouTube channel.
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