Former professional boxer and current YouTube creator Logan Paul has reportedly lost over $3 million on a sealed box of fake cards for the Pokémon Trading Card Game.
In a video released on the creator’s official YouTube channel, Paul revealed that the sealed box of first-edition Pokémon TCG cards purchased for $3,500,000 (£2,550,000) in December 2021 - which Paul claimed was the “only known one in the world” - was in fact a fake, despite having been authenticated by the Baseball Card Exchange, a company specialising in authenticating trading cards, prior to Paul’s purchase.
Over the course of a seven-minute video entitled ‘I Lost $3,500,000 On Fake Pokémon Cards’, Paul outlined how they had bought the sealed box in the hopes of it potentially containing several incredibly rare Pokémon cards - such as first-edition Charizard or Blastoise cards - only to have several online influencers and Pokémon TCG experts question the authenticity of Paul’s purchase.
To verify whether the sealed box was authentic, Paul reached out to the person they’d bought the cards from - who was apparently also a close friend - and contacted the BBCE, which then sent the representative who had given the Pokémon TCG box its authentication. In the video, the representative explained why they had deemed the box to be authentic - the seal looked like it was aged onto the case and the label appeared worn - nevertheless, doubt still remained.
Eventually, Paul and the BBCE decided to open up the box to discover that the first-edition boxes for the trading card game inside looked odd. Further suspicion led Paul to open up one of the boxes, only to discover that they did not contain any Pokémon TCG cards, but instead held cards for the now discontinued GI Joe Trading Card Game, thereby removing any value the sealed box had once held. At this revelation, the representative from the BBCE can be heard saying, “We’ve been duped.”
Prior to Paul’s purchase of the fake Pokémon cards, the YouTube creator made headlines by buying a rare first-edition Charizard card for $150,000, as well as spending $2m on several boxes of first edition Pokémon TCG booster sets - which they’d then promised to auction-off to viewers for a minimum of $10,000 (£7,364) a set. Other famous Pokémon TCG collectors include DJ Steve Aoki and the rapper Logic, who have also gotten their hands on a rare Charizard card.
The shortages of Pokémon TCG cards and customer demand have caused the price of first-edition booster sets and boxes to skyrocket in recent years, with the emergence of fake products, such as the one purchased by Logan Paul, likely to only increase their price tags even further.