Ultra-rare Pokémon 'Pikachu' illustrator card expected to reach seven figures at Heritage Auctions June 11-12
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Ultra-rare Pokémon 'Pikachu' illustrator card expected to reach seven figures at Heritage Auctions June 11-12
The Pokémon “Pikachu” Illustrator Unnumbered Promo CoroCoro Comics PSA Trading Card Game 9 (The Pokémon Company, 1998) (estimate: $2.5 million+)

DALLAS, TX.- An exceptionally rare Pokémon card appears destined to be the first ever to top $1 million when it is sold in Heritage Auctions’ Trading Card Games Signature® Auction June 11-12.

The Pokémon “Pikachu” Illustrator Unnumbered Promo CoroCoro Comics PSA Trading Card Game 9 (The Pokémon Company, 1998) (estimate: $2.5 million+) is a spectacular card and exceedingly scarce. It initially was available only through a CoroCoro Comics illustration contest, an event that was held just three times, all in 1998. Twenty-three copies of the card were distributed in the first contest, and just eight in each of the two subsequent events.

“This is an incredible card – it’s absolutely the Holy Grail for serious Pokémon collectors and seems sure to become the first Pokémon card to reach seven figures at auction,” Heritage Auctions Trading Card Games Consignment Director Jesus Garcia said. “These cards are the only ones that feature the ‘pen’ symbol in the lower right corner and the word ‘illustrator’ at the top, and they are exceptionally rare: the one offered here is one of only 39 that were distributed.

“There is one PSA GEM MT 10-graded copy of this card, which sold in a private deal for $5.275 million – that’s the card that Logan Paul wore into the ring at Wrestlemania 38 in Dallas April 2. But that’s it – the only one graded higher than this one. PSA has only certified eight copies with a MINT 9 grade, and this is one of them. This is an incredibly rare opportunity for someone to acquire one of the finest and rarest Pokémon cards in the world.”

A Pokémon First Edition Base Set Sealed Booster Box (Wizards of the Coast, 1999) (estimate: $250K+) is a must-have for any serious collector, a pillar in the Pokémon collecting world that has fared exceptionally well at auction – see the one that sold at Heritage Auctions in January 2021 for $408,000. Released in January 1999 by Wizards of the Coast, the Base Set includes 102 cards, including the all-important Charizard. But because of the low print run, finding a box still sealed in its original shrink-wrap is exceptionally rare … which explains the demand. Few sealed boxes remain, and those that do rarely, if ever, make it to market – making this a can’t-miss keepsake for the most serious collectors. The box contains 36 booster packs, each with 11 cards for a total of 396 cards.

A Pokémon “Kangaskhan” Family Event Trophy Card Promo 115 Parent/Child Mega Battle PSA Trading Card Game 9 (The Pokémon Company, 1998) (estimate: $75,000-100,000+) is one of the rarest of Pokémon cards. The tournament that produced this card was unique, in that it included teams of parents playing with their own children; after a certain number of battles won, a team would win this card. The Pokémon showcased on the card is Kangaskhan, who carries its infant inside its pouch, perfect for the tournament's theme, and the card is one of a select few featuring as the set symbol the original Pocket Monsters Trading Card Game logo, which was intended only to be used on the rarest of all cards. The card offered here is one of just 16 copies that has earned a MINT 9 grade from PSA; only 11 graded higher.

Other top Pokémon lots in the auction include, but are not limited to:

A Pokémon No. 3 Trainer Tropical Mega Battle CGC Trading Card Game 8.5 (The Pokémon Company, 1999) Holo (estimate: $50,000+)

A Pokémon UK Edition Base Set Uncut Sheet (Wizards of the Coast, 1999-2000) $50K+ (estimate: $50,000+) – the fact that it is the UK edition makes it much rarer; this is the first time a UK edition uncut sheet has been offered at Heritage Auctions.

Magic: The Gathering

A rare Magic: The Gathering Black Lotus Limited Edition (Alpha) BGS Trading Card Game 7 (Wizards of the Coast, 1993) (estimate: $50,000+) is the most sought-after trading card in existence. It is part of the most powerful group of cards in the entire game, known as the “Power Nine” – cards that did not deliver victory in the game, but they sure did make things a lot easier! Wizards of the Coast (WOTC) released the Alpha Edition in August 1993, and its popularity convinced WOTC to print out the Beta Edition just two months later. Wizard of the Coast printed just 1,100 copies of the Alpha Black Lotus, making each time one comes up for public auction a noteworthy event. The artwork is done by Christopher Rush. BGS has certified 17 copies NEAR MINT 7 grades and 206 graded higher.

A Magic: The Gathering Beta Edition Starter Deck (Wizards of the Coast, 1993) (estimate: $30,000+) is from the second print run sparked by the game’s immediate initial success and popularity. It is identifiable as a Beta Edition by the barcode on the bottom, and does not say the words “Unlimited Edition.” The deck could include a Black Lotus, a Timetwister, a Mox or any of the other Power Nine cards among its 60 cards.

Other top Magic: The Gathering lots include, but are not limited to:

Magic: The Gathering Splendid Genesis RG97 BGS Trading Card Game 8 (Wizards of the Coast, 1997) Richard Garfield Promos (estimate: $20,000+) – notable because it was gifted to Richard Garfield’s family and friends only. The card had a print run of 110 copies, and this is only the second time a copy is ever offered at a public auction.

Magic: The Gathering Phoenix Heart RG2015 BGS Trading Card Game 9 (Wizards of the Coast, 2014) Richard Garfield Promos (estimate: $20,000+) – this card is notable because it was included in the invitation to Garfield’s second wedding … and never has been brought to auction before.


The only CGC-certified copy of the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Seal of Orichalcos UDE Duel the Master Event, CGC Trading Card Game 7 (Upper Deck Entertainment, 2005 (estimate: $15,000+) out of fewer than 30 made (to reduce or prevent counterfeiting) comes from the Seal of Orichalcos Challenge, a side event hosted by Upper Deck that pitted its R&D department against challengers from among attendees at Gencon and other major conventions. These events often had unique rules and features that weighed the games heavily in favor of UDE. Those who won against these odds won special prizes and cards. The one factor that made these games incredibly difficult for the challengers was the “Seal of Orichalcos,” which was printed by UDE specifically for these events and was not meant to be used as an official Yu-Gi-Oh! card. This auction marks the first time this card has been offered for public sale fully authenticated by CGC, and the card offered here is the only version of the card fully authenticated by any company.

Other top Yu-Gi-Oh! lots include, but are not limited to:

Yu-Gi-Oh! German Gold Sarcophagus DE001 Pharaoh's Tour PSA Trading Card Game 8 (Konami, 2007) Ultra Rare (estimate: $15,000+) – the German version makes it exceptionally rare.

Yu-Gi-Oh! First Edition Legend of Blue Eyes Set Sealed Booster Box (Konami, 2002) (estimate: $15,000+)

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