Consignment auctioneers PWCC will list the holy grail of Pokemon cards, a Pikachu Illustrator, in this month’s February auction.
The card has been graded by PSA and achieved a grade of ‘Near Mint 7.’ The auction coincides with the 25th anniversary of Pokemon, and is described by PWCC to be their biggest Pokemon auction to date, eclipsing their December auction which featured a complete PSA 10 1st edition Base Set. The auction will open on February 17th and is expected to last 10 days.
This auction is especially exciting as it represents the first public auction of a Pikachu Illustrator on the western market in years. The vast majority of Pikachu Illustrators which have come up for sale have been listed on Japanese-exclusive marketplaces like Yahoo Japan Auctions and Zenplus, which are difficult to navigate for individuals residing outside of Japan. It is often necessary to have an in-person middleman to initiate the purchase and transfer the funds. Given the astronomical prices involved, it is incredibly difficult to secure someone willing to middle the transaction.
Despite these challenges, Pikachu Illustrators have been selling for record prices recently. The most recent copy was acquired ungraded by Steve Aoki for $420,000. Aoki graded the card and it achieved a PSA ‘Mint 9.’ However, the true market value of graded Pikachu Illustrators is expected to be much higher than the purchase prices in Japan. The degree of difference between the Japanese and western market is unclear.
It is widely expected amongst serious Pokemon collectors that this Illustrator will set a new public sale price record for a single Pokemon card. Aoki’s Illustrator currently holds the record for the highest public ungraded sale, however the highest public graded sale is held by a 1997 (1995 copyright date) Blue Back, No Number Topsun Charizard which sold this past week for just over $493,000.
Ethan Pohl – Ludkins Media
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