We’ll save you from the injury-sustaining act of scouring your parent’s attic for your old Pokémon card collection right now by telling it straight. You don’t, and likely never have owned this particular piece of cardboard. That is, of course, unless you were not only living in Japan during the late 90s but participated in one of the TCG’s first-ever tournaments, in which case, you could be the unwitting owner of a small fortune.
Heritage Auctions has just confirmed that a copy of ‘Pokémon Super Secret Battle “No.1 Trainer” Promo’, (catchy name, right?) has just been sold for an eye-watering $90,000 on the secondary market, making it one of the most expensive sales of its kind to date. Those curious to see what the highly sought-after collectable looks like can find an image of the Gem Mint 10 version that recently sold at auction via the gallery below.
A translation of the card’s text reads as follows:
The Pokémon Card Game Official Tournament’s champion is recognized here, and this honor is praised. By presenting this card, you may gain preferential entry into the Secret Super Battle.
As for how many of this particular card is believed to be in circulation, only participants who came first in regional tournaments were ever issued their own copy, granting entry to the grand finals. Seven regionals in total took place, meaning the number that still exists today is believed to be in the single digits. For the sake of comparison, 19 copies of the next rarest Pokémon card, Pikachu Illustrator, are known to exist, making Super Secret Battle No.1 the most scarce by a wide margin.
This isn’t the first time that old Pokémon cards have made headlines for the obscene amount of money they demand, of course. Earlier this year, one unfortunate collector’s expensive purchase went missing in the mail. See here for the full story.