Pokémon cards are no stranger to high auction prices, but if you’ve ever tried to peddle some first edition Charizards, then you know it’s not so simple. Recently, a mint condition Japanese Pokémon Illustrator card (often referred to as “Pikachu Illustrator” in the west) sold at auction for $195,000, breaking the previous record of $100,000.
Don’t start digging through that dusty collection in your garage just yet, because if you’re reading this, then the chances of you owning this card are extraordinarily low. First of all, the Pokémon Illustrator card was given out to art contest winners in CoroCoro Comic, a Japanese magazine. Secondly, there are only at most 39 of these cards in existence.
The card was awarded over the course of three different contests. In addition, the three winners of the first contest, as well as the winner of the second, got their winning artwork printed as an official card. Judging by the card art that won, these were likely kids (except maybe that Mr. Mime), and they might possibly be kicking themselves over misplacing their originals.
Who would have thought that the most valuable trading card would be one that nobody plays with? I genuinely hope the kids who won the contest in ’98 have been able to cash in because you could get a lot done with $195,000.