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Rare silver trophy Pikachu card from Pokémon TCG’s second-ever tournament sells for $444,000 at auction

Gem Mint quality is highest rated of four catalogued copies of the Pikachu No.2 Silver Trophy.

Pikachu No.2 Silver Trophy artwork closeup header
Image credit: Goldin Auctions

A precious Pikachu Trainer card awarded to contenders in the Pokémon Trading Card Game’s second-ever tournament in 1998 recently fetched $444,000 at auction.

The Pikachu No.2 Silver Trophy card was awarded to second place contestants in the 1997-98 Japanese Lizardon (aka Charizard) Mega Battle Pokémon tournament cups, which ran from November 1997 through February 1998 at locations throughout Japan.

The top three placements each received a Pikachu Trainer card in Gold, Silver and Bronze matching their final position in the competitive bracket. Fourth place finishers were invited back to compete in future cups but did not receive a card. According to Goldin Auctions, which hosted the sale, only 14 of these cards are believed to exist in circulation. The first-ever 1997 tournament was the only other event where these trophy-toting Pikachu Trainer cards were distributed.

The particular card sold on September 7th was graded GEM MINT 10 by collectibles grading service Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA). This is the highest possible quality awarded to a card and reflects the near-perfect status. PSA reportedly has only three other examples of a Trophy Pikachu No. 2 Trainer in its grading history, and this is the sole copy sold at the very top of the grader’s ten-point scale.

Illustrator Mitsuhiro Arita created the artwork for Trophy Pikachu No. 2, along with the Gold and Bronze equivalents. Arita’s prolific work has appeared on cards since the very beginning of the Pokémon TCG and still appears on contemporary releases. His chunky-faced Pikachu with a big grin might not fit the current aesthetic of Pokémon’s longtime mascot but hearkens back to a time just before the anime and video game series rocketed Pokémon to pop culture mega-popularity.

The 10 most expensive cards from the Pokémon Trading Card Game's history.Watch on YouTube

“Based on the number of events held and the two age groups participating, it is believed that there are only 14 examples of this card in existence. This example presents beautifully, with excellent colour and surfaces,” a Goldin representative writes on the auction page.

The card began at $50,000 and accrued nearly 30 bids during the ten-day battle to add this rare piece to some lucky collector’s portfolio. The final sale price of $444,000 puts the Trophy Pikachu No. 2 Trainer firmly in the list of most expensive Pokémon TCG cards. It’s a far cry from the record-setting $5.275m that a private party coughed up for a Pikachu Illustrator card back in 2021.

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Chase Carter avatar

Chase Carter

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Chase is a freelance journalist and media critic. He enjoys the company of his two cats and always wants to hear more about that thing you love. Follow him on Twitter for photos of said cats and retweeted opinions from smarter folks.
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