Pokémon cards have been having a bit of a boom lately, and nowhere is that more obvious than in auctions for the holographic Charizard card that acted as the base set’s crown jewel in 1999. A third card featuring the fire lizard recently sold for over $US300,000 ($392,520).
The eBay auction, which closed Sunday evening, started at just $US9.99 ($13) before ballooning to $US311,800 ($407,959) over the course of 124 bids.
Why so much? First, it’s possibly the highest quality version of the card that’s been made public, earning a “virtually perfect” rating of 10 GEM MINT from trading card grading service Professional Sports Authenticator. Second, it’s what’s known as a “shadowless” card, meaning it’s from a first-edition printing that didn’t include a drop shadow behind the artwork box.
In short: this is one of the rarest, most pristine Pokémon cards in the world.
Surprisingly, this sale is a little low compared to previous auctions of the same card. In December 2020, two similarly graded cards sold for $US350,100 ($458,071) and $US369,000 ($482,800). Other notable, recent auctions include a Pikachu Illustrator, a limited card awarded to Japanese contest winners in the late ‘90s, going for $US250,000 ($327,100) in July 2020. A unique test print Blastoise with a blank backside also auctioned for $US360,000 ($471,024) earlier this year.
As buyer information for these types of auctions remains private, it’s hard to tell if the people buying these cards are just long-time fans like rapper Logic or, as is common in the world of classic art, wealthy elites trying to hide their money in nostalgic collectibles.
(h/t Nintendo Life)