No, your eyes don’t deceive you – a small piece of cardboard has just sold at auction for a whopping $230,000.
The auction, which was purchased by an American bidder through ZenPlus, is believed to be the highest price that a Pokémon card has ever officially been sold for and no, you almost certainly don’t have a copy of your own laying around in a dusty collection folder somewhere. Distributed in only a small quantity to winners of a Japanese comic contest back in 1998, as low as 10 so-called Pokémon Illustrator cards are believed to still exist out in the wild, so to speak, accounting for its unprecedented value.
And just in case its scarcity wasn’t enough to pique the interest of wealthy collectors, the promotional card features art by Atsuko Nishida – the original illustrator of Pikachu. As The Pokémon Company’s iconic mascot, it’s hardly a surprise that anything featuring the electrically-charged mouse is sought after, not least when its original creator is involved.
Check out the version that just sold via the gallery below:
Coincidentally, today’s news comes just weeks following the revelation that another equally-as-rare Pokémon card, Super Secret Battle, fetched its own tidy sum of $90,000. Then, of course, there’s the now-infamous case of one card valued at $60,000 that went missing (presumed to be stolen) in the mail.
Without a doubt, vintage Pokémon cards are big business, so much so that some fans will spend thousands on sealed products just for the chance to win big. YouTuber Leonhart, for example, recently went viral online after they managed to pull a 1st Edition foil Charizard from the TCG’s original Base Set, a card that if graded well, can fetch upwards of $55,000.
Consider yourself a Pokémon collector? Be sure to share let us know some of the rarest memorabilia you own down in the comments below!