The World’s Most Expensive Pikachu (Birthday) Card

The World’s Most Expensive Pikachu (Birthday) Card

If I told you there was a Pokémon card going for $US50, you’d wonder why I was bothering you. In a world where such things regularly change hands in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, such a figure is a shrug. But sorry, I should have been clearer: it’s a birthday card. A brand new one. Mass-produced. It’s a $US50 birthday card.

Now, The Pokémon Company has been overcharging for greetings cards plenty, and I’ve previously triple-checked to see how many cards you get in a $US15 or $US20 pack, only to be flummoxed that the total really is one. But $US50?! What’s the point of having access to an internationally famous, widely-read, top-tier gaming site when all the staff are on holiday if you can’t use it to complain about that?

The card prices are—I hesitate to use the word “justified”—by always including a Pokémon pin, too. The site’s tiny metal badges also go for wallet-punching figures, rarely less than ten dollars, and sometimes as much as $US25. (This is something that bemuses me, given similarly sized pins are routinely included in triple-pack blisters as “freebies”.) So when you’re paying $US9.99 for a “Happy New Year” card, you’re really paying for the Pikachu pin that pokes through the hole in the front.

But this latest $US50 birthday card? It’s…it’s functionally identical to the one linked above, with the same size pin, the same Pokémon on the pin, the same sort of cut-out design, and as far as I can tell, it’s not printed on paper-thin diamond.

Image: The Pokémon Center

At first I gallantly assumed the description of “Pikachu Birthday Balloons Pokémon Pin & Greeting Card” meant it was going to also come with an amazing Pikachu balloon, and possibly a large bar of gold bullion. But it seems the only balloons included are those drawn on the cardboard, and the only sign of gold is the color of the lettering.

And no matter how many times I re-read the page, it still doesn’t say, “Pack of 20″ anywhere, no matter how much all of reality says it should.

I realize the trap I fall in if I say, “How can they justify a fifty dollar price for a folded in half piece of cardboard,” given the money I’ve spent on unfolded pieces of cardboard from the same company. But still.

We have of course reached out the Pokémon to check this isn’t a matter of a typo, because then wouldn’t everyone look silly? In the meantime, you can comment below complaining what a slow news day it must be, and how everything’s such a rip-off in this day and age that we shouldn’t be surprised.

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