An extraordinarily rare Pokemon TCG card goes on sale at an auction house, and estimates suggest that the card could end up selling for a whopping $50,000.
Collecting video game memorabilia isn't a cheap hobby, especially when collectors try to acquire extraordinarily rare items. Pokemon fans who are determined to collect 'em now have a chance to pick up the rarest Pokemon TCG card in existence, but potentially at an outstandingly steep cost.
The item in question is an extremely rare Pokemon card entitled Pokemon Illustrator. The card features an illustration of Pikachu holding two stylized pens in front of a background of Pokemon art, which has led to the card also being referred to as the Pikachu Illustrator. While some rare Pokemon cards have sold for large sums of money in the past, it's estimated this card could net $50,000 due to the fact that the card never circulated as a normal Pokemon TCG card.
The Pokemon Illustrator card was originally gifted to just 39 lucky competitors who entered one of three CoroCoro Comic contests in Japan held between 1997 and 1998. According to the Heritage Auction site, 23 cards were initially given away during the first competition, and two more followed which distributed the remaining cards. The site states that it's unclear how many of these cards have survived over the years, but even if all of them were still to exist in mint condition, it would still be the rarest Pokemon TCG card in existence.
While the Pokemon Trading Card Game doesn't command the same extreme popularity today that it did in its heyday, there are most likely many collectors who would love to add this item to their collection. Although there are still 19 days remaining until the actual auction is held, 9 proxy bids have already been placed in advance, putting the current price of the card at $340 at the time of this writing. While there's still a long way to go to reach $50,000, the early excitement for this auction means that it's entirely possible that the bidding price could skyrocket in the weeks to come.
The idea of spending tens of thousands of dollars on a single Pokemon card probably shocks many, but it's hardly the first piece of gaming memorabilia to potentially fetch such a price. The similarly rare 1990 Nintendo World Championship Gold Edition NES cartridge was given to winners and runner-ups of the Nintendo Power Contest in 1990, and only 26 ever existed. As a result, those cartridges have sold for up to $15,000 second-hand, despite the fact that they only contain common games like Super Mario Bros. and Tetris.
This Pokemon card will probably be out of the range of most gamers' budgets even if it doesn't meet the estimated value at auction. Whatever the card ends up selling for, it's clear that fans still adore Pokemon and that some will pay nearly any price to own a prized collectible from the series.