In what’s fast becoming a familiar story, a holographic shadowless Charizard Pokémon card has sold at auction for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The latest Charizard to fetch an exorbitant amount of money was a first-edition Charizard #4 from the Pokémon TCG’s Base Set, released in 1999 by the game’s English-language publisher Wizards of the Coast.
Like other Charizards that have sold for eye-watering sums, the card was graded at a perfect Gem Mint 10 by card grading specialist PSA. It is one of 122 such top-condition copies of the rare Pokémon card to be authenticated by the company.
A number of Charizard cards have appeared at auction in recent months, the result of the continuing excitement around buying and selling Pokémon cards that has led to several record-breaking sales since last year. The demand for new releases alongside older cards has also seen stock shortages, scalping of recent sets and even led some US stores to pull products from their shelves to curb violence among those fighting over the limited stock.
Last October, rapper Logic purchased a 1999 Charizard card for $220,574 - the most ever paid for the specific card at the time, and among the most expensive Pokémon cards ever sold at auction. The card bought by Logic was the rare “shadowless” variant of the card - identified by not having a visible printed shadow effect along the artwork’s frame - with the printing error making the card even more valuable than a standard holographic Charizard.
Since that record-breaking sale, multiple Pokémon cards have sold for even greater amounts of money, including an extremely rare Blastoise presentation card sold for $360,000 in January - potentially making it the most expensive Pokémon card of all time. Boxes of unopened booster packs from the game’s earliest sets have also rocketed in price, fetching hundreds of thousands of dollars under the hammer.
The latest Charizard to be sold also appears to be a shadowless version of the card, despite its listing on auction site Heritage Auctions not referencing the valuable visual variation. Heritage described the card as “arguably the hottest card in the entire hobby”.
The first-edition Base Set Charizard #4 card sold for $264,000 on July 24th, joining a rare Pokémon-Magic: The Gathering hybrid card and sealed Base Set booster box sold for similarly staggering sums on the same day.