JapanesePokemonTCG News

Pikachu Illustrator sold for record $720,000 – highest Pokemon card sale ever!

Pikachu Illustrator Auction

A PSA 7, Near-Mint, Pikachu Illustrator promo card from 1998 which originally sold for a record $900,000 last month via Goldin saw its bid unfulfilled. The card has now been offered to remaining bidders and officially purchased for $720,000, the highest recorded Pokemon TCG individual card sale of all time.

The PSA 7 Pikachu Illustrator was the first public auction on the western market since February last year when another copy sold for a surprising (at the time) $375,000. The card which is deemed one of the most sought-after holy grails of the Pokemon TCG hobby rarely appears at auction with collectors surprised by its low sale point last year.

Pikachu Illustrator

Distributed as a prize in 1998 for winners of the Japanese magazine CoroCoro’s illustration contest there are reportedly only 39 cards in circulation. Looking at the PSA population report on this particular card highlights the scarcity and rarity of the “Holy Grail” of Japanese Pokémon cards. There are currently 24 graded variants, only one a PSA 10. 

When it comes to such a rare card, the value is exponential whether it’s ungraded or in this case a Near-Mint PSA 7.

Last year was a crazy time for Pokemon TCG with exponential prices everywhere. In February 2021, American DJ Steve Aoki purchased a raw Pikachu Illustrator for $420,000 before grading the card as a PSA 9. Values for higher grade Pikachu Illustrators are hard to come by with no recent sales to note, however, in December 2020 a collector known as Poke_Mafa on Instagram traded $900,000 worth of value in Pokémon TCG for a PSA 9 Illustrator card.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen unpaid for bids in the hobby reported prematurely, most notably back in the peak of Pokemon TCG of February 2021 a 1st Edition Bae set PSA 10 Charizard broke the internet when reports of a $500,000+ bid were reported. That bid remained unpaid and the card sold for way below the record price.

Other grading companies have also entered the fray when it comes to Pikachu Illustrator. CGC graded their first copy last year when a raw card from this huge $800,000 trade received a Near Mint/Mint+ 8.5 on CGC’s grading scale.

This new record price for the Pokemon TCG hobby will shine the spotlight on high-end Pokemon cards once more. Are you surprised by this astronomical price of Pikachu Illustrator?

Keep up to date on exciting happenings in Pokémon and beyond by following Ludkins Media on Instagram and Facebook.

John-Anthony Disotto – Ludkins Media Editor-in-Chief

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