World's rarest and most expensive Pokémon card on auction for over £400,000

If you’ve got a spare £400,000 lying around, you could try and buy an extremely rare Pokémon card that was only ever given away in the 90s.

Monday, February 27 is Pokémon Day, which not only means some new announcements (maybe some Pokémon Scarlet & Violet DLC or old re-releases for the Nintendo Switch?) but also an excuse for fans to snap up some new merchandise.

Most will be happy with one or two plush toys or even some themed accessories, but one diehard fan could find themselves acquiring an extremely rare Pokémon card that only saw limited distribution in the 90s.

Whoever this fan is will need to have a large wallet, though, as the card is being auctioned on eBay at a starting bid of $480,000, which is roughly £400,000.

For context, this card, which is dubbed Pikachu Illustrator and depicts franchise mascot Pikachu holding a paintbrush, is described as something of a holy grail among collectors.

It was given away as a prize for two Pokémon Illustrator contests than ran in 1997 and 1998, with just 39 in total produced.

One Tomoyo Ohna from Pokémon Club Shangri-La, a store that specialises in selling Pokémon cards through eBay, travelled from Japan to California to have his Pikachu Illustrator card graded by the Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA).

The PSA graded it an eight, meaning it’s in near mint-mint condition. Since the same type of card with a PSA grade of seven went for $375,000 (roughly £310,000) in 2021, Ohna obviously expects his card, which is in a better condition, to go for even more than that.

This also makes it the most expensive Pokémon trading card in the world, beating out the aforementioned $375,000 one.

The auction will give fans plenty of time to outbid each other for the card as its scheduled to run for 10 days, starting from Saturday, February 25 at 1am to Monday, March 6.

Even if you can’t afford, or aren’t interested, in this rare card, you can at least look forward to a new Pokémon Presents showcase airing on Pokémon Day at 2pm.

No exact details have been shared, but it’s safe to assume there’ll be at least a couple of game related announcements.

Some fans on Reddit think there could be a new Pokémon Mystery Dungeon spin-off, since the trademark of series developer Spike Chunsoft’s can be spotted in the data for the official Pokémon Day website.

The next #PokemonPresents is on the way, Trainers! 🤩

Tune in to our official YouTube channel at 6:00 a.m. PST on February 27 for about 20 minutes of exciting Pokémon news in celebration of #PokemonDay 2023! 🎉

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