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The 10 most expensive Pokémon cards of all time!

Whether it’s a movie, anime, or video game, Pokémon is always one of the most popular franchises in the world. So popular that it has become the most valuable intellectual property of all time. A good part of the success of Pokémon owes to the trading card game that started shortly after the release of Pokémon Red and Blue.

As with most collectible items, Pokémon cards have a dedicated fan base, which can often lead to some eye-popping prices. If you have any of the following cards in your deck, look into banking them. For the rest of us, we can take a look at this list of the most expensive Pokémon cards.

Related: Top 10 most expensive pokemon cards for beginners

The most valuable Pokemon cards of all time

Honorable Mention: Raichu Beta

Sold to: ???

Image via Yahoo Finance

This card could easily be considered the first entry in this one since it has no price tag. There are 10 pre-release Raichu cards at most, with no real idea of ​​their status. The cards are a bit of a legend with no concrete evidence of their existence. The story behind them is that they were accidentally printed by the then distributor of Pokémon TCG, Wizards of the Coast, and given to a select few employees.

Presumably the way to set this card apart from any other Raichu card is the “PRERELEASE” printed in the bottom right of the monster’s image, but none of the cards ever went on sale and Wizards of the Coast deny their existence. A photo of the card was reportedly revealed by a staff member in 2006, but some question its authenticity. If you search online, some websites value it at $10,000. However, given the small amount available and how some call it the “holy grail” of collectible cards, we wouldn’t say there’s real value you can put on this card until it’s put up for sale and bought legitimately.

Honorable Mention: Tropical Mega Battle Tropical Wind

Image via eBay

Sold for: $65,100

As you’ll see in a few others on this list, cards awarded to finalists in certain tournaments as trophies gain a lot of value years down the road. This award was given to 12 finalists from a 50-person tournament held in Hawaii.

Honorable Mention: Tamamushi Magikarp University

Image via eBay

Sold for: $66,100

Anyone who knows Pokemon knows about the most useless of all monsters, Magikarp. Usually the only move he knows is the “Splash”, which sees him just roll over and do nothing. Having it in your deck is basically a hindrance until you evolve it into Gyarados, so seeing a card with one art fire a powerful beam of energy is unique and interesting. This particular Magikarp card was a promotional card that saw little distribution in a Japanese tournament in the late 1990s. Participants can only enter by completing a specific test in a journal. There are at most 100 of these cards in the wild.

10. Umbreon Gold Star Hollow

Gold Umbreon Hollow Star

Sold for: $70,000

Umbreon is a fan favorite Eeveelution, stealing the hearts of many fans when it was introduced in Gen 2. This remained true seeing as many Pokemon cards featuring Umbreon tend to sell at high values. Most recently, Umbreon stole the show in its Evolving Skies expansion with incredible alternative art.

However, in 2021, The Black Dog stole the show with a different card. Barely making it into the top ten, the 2005 Gold Star Umbreon holo sold for $70,000 at auction.

9. 1999 Super Secret Battle No. 1 trainer

Image via TechEBlog

Sold for: $90,000

As you might guess from its name, this card had a completely secretive feel to it. The contestants had to win the regional tournaments first and then those people were directed to a secret location where the finals were held. It was this card that granted them access to that battle. There are supposed to be seven of these in existence, with six given perfect ratings and 10 ratings.

8. 2006 World Championship No. 2 Coach

Image via BeStreamer

Sold for: $110,100

This card was given out to contestants at the Pokémon World Championships in Anaheim, California in 2006 and is one of the rarest cards of all time, with only three cards known to exist. Only one of these three, ever seen publicly and graded, sold for more than $110,000. The three people who earned this card were all finalists in that tournament and were granted immediate access to the following year’s World Championship.

7. New Genesis 1st Edition Loggia Stereo

Image via Troll and Toad

Sold for: $144,310

Lugia is one of the most popular Legendary Pokemon of all time, but it’s the circumstances surrounding this deck of cards that make it so valuable. When the first edition was made, so many errors and typos meant that this card only had an estimated 44 good enough to get a perfect 10. If you have one of those cards that score big, you’re looking at a card It will become more valuable.

6. Kangaskhan parent/child promotional card

Image via eBay

Sold for: $150,100

This card was awarded to the winners of a parent-child battle tournament in Japan in 1998. If a pair won enough games, they were awarded this card with the original “Pocket Monsters Trading Card Game” logo on the back, a symbol reserved for the rarest of cards. There are supposedly 46 total of them in existence, but only three have been seen in the wild since 1998.

5. Black Star Ishihara signed the GX promotional card

Image via DiceBreaker

Sold for: $247,230

Tsunekazu Ishihara is the founder and current president of The Pokémon Company. To help celebrate his 60th birthday in 2017, this card was made and given to employees, but Ishihara signed this very card.

It features the Master Ball and the Rotom while parading the chief in a red jacket, a Japanese tradition for someone’s 60th birthday. Red is supposed to bring luck and prosperity, drive away demons, and signify rebirth.

4. Bronze Trainer Pikachu Trophy

Pikachu Trainer No. 3 Bronze

Sold for: $300,000

To steal the #4 spot in early 2023, the Bronze Trainer Pikachu #3 is being sold at Heritage Auction for $300,000. And like many of the cards on this list, its value is derived from the very limited number of copies worldwide.

Pikachu was awarded to participants who competed in the first Pokemon TCG tournament in 1997, making it one of the oldest cards in the franchise.

3. Backless plastoise

Image via Old Sports Cards

Sold for: $360,000

This is a unique Blastoise card that was never intended for the public. It’s “backless” because it was part of a Pokemon card play experience made in 1998. Wizards of the Coast made this when trying to convince Nintendo to let them handle the English version of the trading card game.

Since it is a quiz card, there is no art printed on the back, only two. The card, which sold for $360,000 in 2021, is the only card seen. The whereabouts and condition of the other is currently unknown.

2. Holographic Shadow-less Charger First Edition

Image via

Sold for: $420,000

Since the inception of Pokémon, Charizard has been one of the most popular monsters in the series. When you were a kid, if you had a 3D Charger card, you were a legend on the field. Nowadays, if you have one, you can get up to $100 for it. Not too shabby. If you have one of the first issue cards with an early 3D bug of no drop shadow around the image borders, you can get hundreds of thousands of dollars for this bad boy, but it’s usually valued in the $12,000 range depending on its condition and valuation.

1. Pokemon Painter

Image via Bulbapedia

Sold for: $5,275,000

The Pokémon Illustrator Card was given to 39 contest winners in Japan in 1998, and only 10 are expected to remain in the wild. The card contains Pikachu’s art utensils that first sold at auction for $55,000 in 2016. Since then, the value of the card has increased exponentially, and it is the most expensive Pokémon card sold to date. Logan Paul bought one for $5,275,000 in July 2021. There are many knock-offs out there in the wild (if you see them printed in English it’s an easy way to tell they’re valid), but a real photographer’s card is sure to make a small fortune.

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