Opening trading card game booster packs for an audience has become a popular pastime for both streamers and celebrities, but DJ and producer Steve Aoki is leveraging his name and the trend to raise money for neuroscience research during the Pokémon Saves the World charity auction.
Aoki and US-based collectibles seller Goldin are currently auctioning 35 lots each containing three first edition boosters from the 1999 release of the Pokémon Trading Card Game - one each from the base box, shadowless edition and Unlimited edition. The winners will also be awarded a pair of tickets for a Pokémon-themed party in Las Vegas where Aoki will publicly open packs live on stage.
All of the funds raised through auctioning cards will be donated to a number of charities and foundations that support neuroscience research, therapy and awareness. The Aoki Foundation, which the musician founded to better understand “regenerative medicine and brain preservation” is on the list along with several other notable centers throughout the world who promote the study of developmental disorders or otherwise push for understanding and acceptance of autism.
““A few things I really love are supporting good causes, throwing amazing parties and collecting Pokémon,” Aoki said in a press release. “Give me the chance to do all three at one time and you know I’m going all out.”
For those who might be wondering why someone would pay a minimum bid of $5,000 (£TKTK) to open three 22-year old booster packs, several cards from the first set printed in English have been fetching princely sums at auction over the past few years. High on the list - and the dream pull as far as investment return- is the 1st edition #4 holographic Charizard, of which two sold in 2020 for more than $300,000. With a whole booster box split between lots, chances are high someone at that party will walk out with the coveted trophy card.
Joining Aoki at the event scheduled for later this year are Dave Hanson, Chris Camillo & Jordan Mclain, the folks behind the Dumb Money YouTube channel, along with notable Pokémon collector Gary “King Pokémon” Haase. Bidding on Pokémon Saves the World's auctioned booster pack trios will remain open until September 18th, giving interested parties a little over a week to scrape together the coin for a pocket monster-shaped lottery ticket.