Despite launching over 20 years ago, the Pokemon Trading Card Game has exploded in popularity in 2020. Items once thought worthless can now sell for thousands of dollars. Here are the top five most valuable ones.
Not many could imagine in 1999 that Pokemon cards would one day be worth a lot of money. However over two decades later, rare items from the TCG have absolutely skyrocketed in value.
From special tournament prizes, to shadowless 1st Edition monsters from the base set, here are the top five rarest and most expensive collectibles on the market today.
Top 5 most valuable Pokemon cards
Before we jump into it, it should be noted that top lists are almost always up for debate. A card's value can be determined by the highest its ever sold at auction, or what it sells for on average. Prices also wildly fluctuate with the market, and are largely dependent on the item's grading and condition.
Ishihara GX Promo (2017) - $50,000
A bit of an oddity, the rare promo card dawns the artwork of none other than the CEO and President of the Pokemon Company Tsunekazu Ishihara. According to interviews, the card was actually given out to each employee at the executive's birthday in 2017.
The extremely scarce item sold at auction in April for $50,000. Reports also estimate that only 30 to 60 of these cards may exist, although it's hard to know for sure unless more of them make their way out into the public.
Charizard 1st Edition Shadowless (1999) - $55,000
As almost any kid that grew up in the 90s can attest to, Charizard has always been the crown jewel. If you didn't have one, you desperately opened booster pack after booster pack trying to obtain it.
1st Edition versions of this 1999 base card can go for an absurd amount. Even more so if it's "shadowless" – an early print version that doesn't have a shadow around the art's border.
Kangaskhan Family Event Trophy (1998) - $100,000
The first of the "prize" rarities on the list is the Family Event Trophy card, which could only be obtained by participating in a special tournament in Japan. The adorable item features Kangaskhan with its baby in its pouch.
Fittingly, the contest required both a child and their parent to participate alongside each other in battles. According to reports, there are only 11 of these currently in existence that have been graded.
Trainer No. Trophy cards (1997) - $150,000
Just like the previous entry on the list, the Trainer Number cards were handed out at the Japan World Championship. Since these cards were given to winners, it makes their population extremely scarce.
The prize cards also came in different versions for each year, such as the 1998 iteration which has a Mewtwo silhouette instead of Pikachu. That version sold for a whopping $90k in July. Although it's the Pikachu edition that fetches a lot more.
Illustrator (1998) - $243,000
Without a doubt the rarest of the rare is the elusive Pikachu Illustrator card. In 1997, CoroCoro held an art competition where winners were given the stunning item which depicts the Electric-type adorably drawing other monsters.
Over the last five years, the card has consistently sold around $195k to $200k. However, in 2020, one fetched a whopping $250,000, eclipsing the previous record of $243,000 that another one fetched back in 2019.
According to reports, less than 20 of them are known to exist – almost guaranteeing that its price will continue to grow in the coming years.