If you thought that Pokémon was just a game or an animated television series, you might be surprised to find out how valuable Pokémon trading cards can be. As with many collectibles, scarcity and condition are key factors that determine the value of a Pokémon card. However, the sentimental value or attachment of collectors to specific Pokémon characters can also drive up the card’s value. In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of Pokémon card collecting and present the top ten most expensive Pokémon cards based on past auction sales and recognized valuations.
1. Pikachu Illustrator Card
Topping the list as the most expensive Pokémon card ever sold is the Pikachu Illustrator Card. Only 39 of these cards were ever made, awarded as a prize for winners of the CoroCoro Comic Illustration Contest in 1998 in Japan. The card fetched a whopping $233,000 in an auction in 2020, making it the highest price ever fetched for a Pokémon card.
2. Shadowless First Edition Charizard
Charizard has always been a fan favorite, and its first-edition shadowless holographic card is highly sought after. Released in 1999, it was part of the first-ever English Pokémon TCG set. A PSA 10 graded card sold for $220,574, making it one of the most expensive Pokémon cards ever sold.
3. First Edition Shining Charizard
Shining Charizard is another rare variant of the Charizard card, known for its unique shiny black coloration instead of the usual fiery orange. This card, which hails from the Neo Destiny expansion released in 2002, has seen prices of over $10,000 for PSA 10 graded cards.
4. Tropical Mega Battle Trainer Card
The Tropical Mega Battle Trainer card is one of the rarest Pokémon cards, as only 12-16 are believed to exist. These cards were given out to competitors at the annual Tropical Mega Battle tournament, which ran from 1999 to 2001. In 2020, a PSA 9 copy of this card sold for a staggering $50,000.
5. Number Trainer Cards
The Number Trainer cards are some of the most elusive cards in the Pokémon world. They were given out to the top competitors of the World Championships each year. The No. 1 Trainer card, for example, grants access to the finals. These cards have fetched prices between $30,000 and $70,000 depending on the year and condition.
6. Kangaskhan Parent/Child Promo Card
This card was given out during a parent/child Pokémon tournament in Japan, which makes it one of the rarest cards in existence. Given its rarity and the difficulty of keeping it in mint condition, this card can fetch anywhere between $10,000 and $133,000.
7. Pre-release Raichu Cards
These cards are surrounded by mystery and rumors, which adds to their value. They’re basically Raichu Base Set cards with a “PRERELEASE” stamp, and it’s unclear how many exist. Although there have been no recent public sales, they’re reportedly valued between $10,000 and $30,000.
8. Holographic Shadowless First Edition Mewtwo
This card is part of the first English Pokémon TCG set like the Charizard card mentioned earlier. Mewtwo, as a legendary Pokémon, combined with the rarity of a holographic, shadowless, and first edition card, make this a highly coveted card. Mint condition versions of this card have fetched over $10,000 at auction.
9. Black Star Ishihara GX Promo Card
This card was made to celebrate Tsunekazu Ishihara, the president of The Pokémon Company. A secret card within the Pokémon TCG: Tag Team GX Collection, its rarity and unique design featuring Ishihara himself have fetched prices of up to $50,000.
10. Base Set Booster Box
While not a single card, the Base Set Booster Box – which includes packs of the original set of Pokémon cards – has become a hot commodity. Sealed Base Set Booster Boxes, especially those with the shadowless print, have sold for up to $68,880.
These cards symbolize the enduring appeal of the Pokémon Trading Card Game. Some of the most expensive Pokémon cards can cost more than a luxury car or even a house! As with any investment, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research and consider the card’s condition, rarity, and the current market demand. Happy collecting!