BEVERLY HILLS, CA.-
A mint condition example of the elusive Pokémon "Pikachu Illustrator" trading card sold for a world record $54,970 during a public auction of comics and comic art held by Dallas-based Heritage Auctions
in Beverly Hills, California, November 18, 2016.
"The Pikachu Illustrator Card was given in January of 1998 to winners of the CoroCoro Comic Illustration Contest," said Barry Sandoval, Director of Operations for Comics at Heritage Auctions. "Only 20-39 copies of this card were released, 10 of which are graded in top condition and it is unknown how many still remain with the public."
According to Sandoval, the Pikachu Illustrator first sold in the early 2000s for around $23,000. The Pikachu Illustrator Card is considered the most valuable and iconic Pokémon Card among collectors. The illustration was designed by Atsuko Nishida, one of the chief Pokémon graphic illustrators. The card depicts the fan-favorite Pikachu, holding what seems to be drawing utensils.
The card was offered at auction in the wake of popularity surrounding the Pokémon Go app, which attracts more than 20 million active users. Heritage Auctions first reported the trend linking the app in a press release from late July, commenting on the rapid rise in Pokémon Card values.