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Rare Pikachu Illustrator Pokémon card sells for $2 million

A PSA 9 copy of the rare Pokémon card Pikachu Illustrator just sold for $2 million - and another version is up for auction right now.

Rare Pokemon card - a Pikachu clutching a brush drawing a charmander

A copy of the 1998 Pokémon card Pikachu Illustrator has sold for a massive $2 million. The rare Pokémon card, which was in mint PSA 9 condition, sold in a private sale on auction site Goldin. Now the website is auctioning off an identical copy of the Illustrator card with the same PSA grading.

Since 2019, the Pikachu Illustrator promo card is judged to be the most expensive rare Pokémon card of all time. But thanks to Logan Paul, this $2 million is not even close to the record price. That’s because the YouTuber bought what may be the only PSA 10 quality copy of the card for an astounding $5.275 million back in 2021.

Promo cards like Illustrator are always among the most expensive Pokémon TCG cards because so few copies of them are made in the first place. This Pikachu Illustrator card, for instance, was created as a prize for a Japanese illustration contest run by Japanese magazine CoroCoro. Only 39 copies were ever made, given out to the children whose drawings won the contest. Guess how many kept theirs in pristine condition?

Rare Pokemon card - Pikachu Illustrator.

Since it’s likely there are very few quality copies of the card in circulation, it’s easy to see why promo cards like Illustrator – or the prize cards awarded at the first Pokémon tournaments – easily outstrip fan favorites like the first edition Charizard Pokémon card. That’s despite the fact that they’re not playable cards.

Pikachu Illustrator also has some added prestige, since it was illustrated by artist Atsuko Nishida. She’s credited with some of the most famous Pokémon designs, including Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle.

Goldin is currently auctioning a second PSA 9 Pikachu Illustrator card. At time of writing the bids have reached $240,000, with a week left before the auction concludes.

For more Pokémon TCG news, check out our guides to the newest Pokémon set and the best Pokémon booster boxes.