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The Most Valuable Pokémon Card Was Sold At an Auction and the Price is…

27 November 2016

The Most Expensive Pokémon Card was Sold for $55k at an Auction

Is there such a thing as the Most Expensive Pokémon Card in the world 2016? You bet there is and we’re about to take a look at it!

To those who are completely unaware of how the world of high-priced collectibles works it’s completely baffling. For those on the outside looking in, that a card -rare as it may be- can fetch such stunningly high prices, and be so hotly contested in bidding wars seems nothing short of perplexing. “Isn’t it just a piece of cardboard?” one might ask.

The truth of the matter is that investing in collectibles is risky business. After all, there is no need for a collectible trading card. The value of a card depends squarely on the demand for something that is in short supply, and this demand in turn depends on there being a cultural interest.

Well, it turns out there is an interest in character based trading cards used in popular role playing games such as Yu-Gi-Oh!, Magic: The Gathering, and Pokemon. Limited edition cards from these series are fetching thousands, and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars, with the Most Expensive Pokémon Card in the world was sold for $55,000!

The Most Expensive Pokémon Card was Sold for $55k at an Auction
The Most Expensive Pokémon Card was Sold for $55k at an Auction

What is Pokemon and Why is there a Pokemon Card so Expensive?

Pokemon is a popular Japanese media franchise consisting in an Anime series, Video Games, and an extremely popular trading game. The word “Pokemon” in English roughly translates to “pocket monsters”, and the cartoons, video games, and card game all center around the many different critters who are trained by their human captors to fight against one another.

The most popular of the Pokemon are a subspecies known as the “Pikachu”.

The Most Expensive Pokémon Card was Sold for $55k at an Auction
The Most Expensive Pokémon Card was Sold for $55k at an Auction |source: pcgarage.com|

The most extraordinary and one-of-a-kind Pokemon card is called the “Illustrator”, and it is a representation of a ‘Pikachu’. This is the card that was believed to fetch $100,000, but it only managed to go to $55k!

The Pokemon Pikachu Illustrator is the most expensive Pokemon card in the world because it was sold for $55,000!

The seller wanted $100,000 USD, although he (or she…the only thing we can infer about the seller from the post on eBay is that they’re living in Edwardsville, Illinois in the USA) was seeing and accepting all kinds of  offers.

As of this writing, the highest bid was for $47,000 USD. The seller refers to his possession as both the “Holy Grail of Pokemon” and worth to Pokemon card collectors what the “T206 Honus Wagner” is to baseball card enthusiasts. (This is a reference to the extremely rare and expensive baseball card produced by the American Tobacco Company featuring an image of the Pittsburg Pirates short stop and turn of the century baseball star Honus Wagner).

Why Is The Pokemon Pikachu Illustrator The Most Expensive Pokemon Card In The World?

This card was fist printed in 1998. It was an unnumbered promotional card that was awarded to the winners of an illustration contest held by the highly influential Japanese youth magazine ‘CocoCoro Comic”.

This limited edition card was printed and awarded to the winners of the contest, (who also each received 20 cards featuring their winning illustration).

At the time they were called “the holofoil trophy cards”, and one of the main reasons that a card from this extremely rare set is the most expensive Pokemon card in the world is that it was printed in entirely in Japanese with no English text.

Out of the ten of these cards that are believed to be in existence, one is out of circulation as it belongs to the official Pokemon TCG blog, a sort of FIFA-esque regulatory body for the Pokemon trading card game.

Other High Priced Pokemon Cards

There are other cards that serious Pokemon collectors are willing to pay top dollar for. For instance, a card from the pre-release ‘Raichu’ series (another popular variety of Pokemon characters) could very well be worth more than $10,000 USD. It is believed that only 10 to 15 of these trading cards were ever produced.

really expensive pokemon card raichu
Another expensive pokemon card is this one!

Another high priced Pokemon card is the “Tropical Mega Battle” card that was released in a limit edition of only 12 cards for a special tournament in Hawaii in 2001. In mint condition, this card can also garner a purchase price of $10,000 USD.
The current owner, a twenty year old or so, private collector in the US decided to buy the card. The card was designed by Atsuko Nishida, one of the chief Pokémon graphic illustrators.

Would you have bought the most expensive Pokémon card for yourself? How much were you willing to pay for it? Let us know in the comments below because I’m curious to find out your opinion about this subject. And while you are at it, tell me your favorite Pokémon.