Gotta Catch ‘Em All!: These Rare Pokémon Cards Could Make You a Fortune
Pokémon cards have been popular since they first debuted. While you may affectionately remember playing cards with your friends — or you are a parent of a Pokémon card enthusiast — a collection could fetch serious money at auction. Many rare, collectible, and valuable cards were readily available during their first print run. Decades later, these cards can fetch tens of thousands of dollars for mint condition. If you have any of the below rare and valuable cards, you may be surprised to find out their value.
No. 1 Trainer: The Rarest Card of All Time
In July 202, The No. 1 Trainer card sold for $90,000. It is the rarest Pokémon card of all time. In fact, it wasn’t even officially released. To own the No. 1 Trainer Card, players had to win a spot in a super-secret regional tournament. Finalists were given the holographic promotional card as their ticket to the Secret Battle tournament in 1999. Only seven regional tournaments were held, so it’s believed that as few as seven cards were ever in existence.
First Edition Shadowless Holographic Charizard #4 (1999)
If 90K sounds like a lot of money to you, wait until you see the price tag on the Edition Shadowless Holographic Charizard. Considered the most valuable card ever released, the Shadowless Holographic Charizard is a shiny version of the classic Charizard card. The first edition card lacked the shadow underneath Charizard, and it’s this production mistake that makes it so sought after.
In October 2021, a mint-condition First Edition Shadowless Holographic Charizard sold for over $220,000.
The Pikachu Illustrator is another promotional release. It was bestowed on winners of a series of contests hosted by CoroCoro Comic between 1997 and 1998. It’s said that 39 copies were originally released, but two additional copies were later discovered. In addition to its rarity, the card uses the term “Illustrator” over the traditional term “Trainer.” To add to its distinction, the card features a pen icon in its bottom right corner. The art is designed by Atsuko Nishida, the original illustrator of the franchise.
In October 2019, Pikachu Illustrator sold for $195,000.
24-Karat Gold Pikachu for 20th Anniversary
While many of the rarest cards are 20 years old at this point, the 24-Karat Gold Pikachu is an exception. It was released in 2016 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the game. The only way to acquire the card at release was to enter a lottery. If you won the lottery, you were eligible to purchase the card for roughly $2,081. The card itself is solid gold. It comes in a special frame and box. Though the card is collectible in its own right, it is not considered a legal card for playing.
Blastoise #009 is one of only two cards printed by Wizards of the Coast — the makers of Magic: The Gathering — as part of a presentation to persuade Nintendo of Japan to let the company handle the American release of the card game. While two cards were produced, only one has ever been seen publicly. This card was sold for an astounding $360,000 in January 2021.