Gotta Collect ‘Em All: The Most Expensive Pokemon Cards

The world of collectibles was forever changed by the introduction of everyone’s favorite electrified critter. Pikachu, Charmander, and the rest of their colorful group stole the hearts of a generation back in the late ‘90s. But more than that, the franchise’s collectibles ushered in a new, much more expensive era for the waning trading card industry.

Today on Filthy Rich, we explore some of the most expensive 2.5-inch by 2.5-inch pieces of paper on the planet. Pokemon is an international phenomenon that shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. So, you might as well embrace them and attempt to learn more about them.

And so, without further ado, these are the most expensive Pokemon cards in existence. Crippling debt, I choose you!

Pokemon Illustrator Card

The Pikachu Illustrator card is the granddaddy of Pokemon cards. The rare and endlessly sought-after trading card recently fetched $54,970 at a comic-centric auction in Beverly Hills.

So, what’s so special about the card? For starters, it’s incredibly rare. The pros estimate that, of the roughly 25 that were released, only 10 of them are graded in top condition. The actual number of top-condition Pokemon Illustrator cards is anyone’s guess.


Prerelease Raichu

This particular card is often referred to as the “Holy Grail” of Pokemon cards. What’s so special about it? If you take a look at the bottom right portion of the Raichu graphic, you’ll notice that it says “prerelease” in all caps. It’s this prerelease notifier that makes this particular Raichu so rare.

You see, the prerelease graphic wasn’t meant to be included on the Raichu. It was printed on the card by accident. The error affected roughly 8-10 Raichu cards. That’s right, there are only 8-10 of these cards in circulation in the entire world. Its estimated value starts at $10,000.

Shining Pokemon Cards

Shining Pokemon cards entered the trading card world as part of the game’s Neo Revelation expansion in 2000. Esthetically, shining cards set themselves apart with their alternate color variations of basic Pokemon. But that’s not the only feature that sets shining cards apart. When used in-game, the cards benefit from super-charged energy attacks designed to devastate foes.

So, how much do these babies cost? Shortly after the cards were released in Japan, the value of the cards skyrocketed to as much as $300 a pop. The release of the game’s American counterpart diluted the market a touch, but a mint-conditioned shining card today will still set you back at least $150.

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