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Illustrator Pikachu Most Valuable Pokémon Card After Record Bidding

A rare Pikachu Illustrator Pokémon card hangs against a teal blue background.

The market around cardboard for kids continue to sell tickets unexplored city territory. Earlier this week, auction outfit Goldin announced a three-dimensional “Illustrator” Pokémon Pikachu card from 1998 selling for $900,000. No one knows who bought it for so much, or why, but the winning bid broke the previous record of $375,000 achieved by a similar card exactly a year ago.

With the condition “Near Mint 7,” the Illustrator Pikachu on sale on February 23 is one of only 40 currently in existence, according to classification company PSA. Only one other copy has been graded in nearly the same condition as minted. Offers start as low as $75,000 in February 10, but a bidding war clearly pushed prices up in the following weeks.

To put the $900,000 price tag into perspective, a little better “Mint 9” Illustrator Pikachu conditions on sale in 2019 for $195,000. After that, a copy of “Near Mint 7” sold for $375,000 in February 2021. Before that, the most valuable Pokémon Card was Shadowless three-dimensional Charizard first version.

Over the last few years, the prices of all sorts of collectibles have exploded, but the speculation surrounding Pokémon cards remains extreme. As newcomers flocked to the scene, the prices of the rarest cards have skyrocketed and packages for new sets fly off the shelf. The hype was sparked in part by influencers like Logan Paul Create content by opening bundles and bidding on some of the most expensive cards (and sometimes get scammed). In the community, YouTube collectors like Gary Haase helped draw more attention to the financial side of this hobby. Others just happily set their own collection goals and enjoy a nostalgic part of their childhood.

But this threefold increase in just one year is a real concern. Pikachu in Illustrator is truly something unique even in the world of Pokémon cards. It was drawn by the creator of Pikachu, Atsuko Nishida and only a few dozen copies were produced as prizes for advertising contests in a Japanese magazine. However, that kind of exponential growth is reminiscent of the recent amazingly high prices turn the world of collectible classic games.

Auctioneers, card collectors, and collectors all have a vested interest in trying to amplify the hype and speculative value surrounding Pokémon cards. That alone isn’t proof of anything bad going on here, but without knowing the individuals directly involved in the latest bidding war, it’s hard not to be skeptical of the What’s going on in the high end of the market? For those who just want to have fun with Pokémon cards, the latest expansion, Sword & Shield— Shining starsjust released on February 25th.

https://kotaku.com/illustrator-pikachu-pokemon-card-most-valuable-record-s-1848598145 Illustrator Pikachu Most Valuable Pokémon Card After Record Bidding

Curtis Crabtree

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