One of the rarest Pokémon cards ever printed has just gone under the hammer at an online auction for $360,000.
Before you go scrambling around your parents’ attic in an effort to find one of these sought-after collector’s items of your own, however, we’ll go ahead and save you the effort of bothering. Only two of this particular Blastoise card were ever created and according to Heritage Auctions, the version recently sold is the only one accounted for, meaning the second has either long since been lost, destroyed, or enshrined in a private collection somewhere never to be seen again.
Why such a small number? Well, according to the sold listing, Cartamundi was commissioned by Wizards of the Coast back in 1998 to produce the pair as a proof of concept intended to seek Nintendo’s approval for an English-language print of the popular trading card game. The rest, as they say, is history, and while the former is no longer responsible for all things Pokémon in the trading card world, the hobby remains as big as ever.
As clearly shown, several features of this prototype would ultimately change for the subsequent full release of Base Set in 1999. Most notable is the presence of sharp corners as opposed to the rounded variants used exclusively in the final product. Likewise, text fonts are noticeably different, as too, is artist Ken Sugimori’s Blastoise artwork. The pose would ultimately find itself being used as box art for Pokémon Blue Version, of course, with the water-type’s card variant being changed completely.
As for the chances of owning this slice of history for yourself, Heritage notes that the current owner is open to offers. Assuming you have $468,000 (at minimum) to burn, you can restart the bidding process by hitting the link below.