Published: November 5, 2019
LYNBROOK, N.Y. — A Nintendo Pokémon Pikachu Illustrator trainer promotional hologram trading card, graded in Mint 9 condition and given to a winner at the 1998 CoroCoro Comic illustration contest in Japan, soared to $224,250, inclusive of buyer’s premium (a new world auction record), at an auction conducted October 23 by Weiss Auctions, online and in firm’s gallery.
Fan-favorite Pikachu starred on what is inarguably the most valuable and rarest Pokémon card in the world, accounting for the dizzying selling price. Although the technical name for the card is Pokémon Illustrator, it is known as Pikachu Illustrator due to the image. What makes it so rare is that it wasn’t sold but awarded as a prize.
The card was created specifically for the contest. In the January 1998 issue, three first-place winners won a copy of the card, as did another 20 second-place winners. With cards awarded in two more contests that year, there were a maximum of 39 copies released. It isn’t known exactly how many surviving copies are still around; however, only ten PSA-certified copies are known.
The card sold is the only card in the long-running collectible card game series to say “Illustrator” at the top of a trainer card, and the only one to bear the pen symbol in the bottom right corner. The artwork is by Japanese illustrator Atsuko Nishida. The card carried an estimate of $125/175,000, which some believed was high, but determined bidders thought otherwise.
For information, 516-594-0731 or www.weissauctions.com.
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