Logan Paul's $3.5 Million Box of Pokemon Cards Could Be Fake

Prominent members of the Pokemon trading card collecting community have expressed major reservations about Logan Paul's record-setting Pokemon card haul, noting that the rare box of cards seems to be fake. Last month, YouTube personality Logan Paul announced that he had purchased a sealed case of first edition Base Set Pokemon cards for a whopping $3.5 million. The case supposedly contained six sealed booster boxes and was touted as the most expensive purchase of Pokemon cards ever. However, many notable Pokemon card collectors quickly pointed out a number of inconsistencies involving the history of the box, along with discrepancies with the box itself, leading to some doubt as to the case was actually legitimate. The Pokemon TCG site PokeBeach compiled much of the evidence in an article yesterday evening, which all indicates that Paul was the victim of a scam. 

PokeBeach points out that the case of Pokemon cards first appeared on Canada's eBay site in March 2021 in a error-ridden post. The seller, "number1pokemonmaster," provided multiple explanations for how they came to own the set, ranging from purchasing the case at an estate sale to getting the case as a birthday present while a child. While sealed cases typically sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars, the eBay auction eventually ended at the low price of $72,500, which suggests that most collectors were leery of the authenticity of the card cases. Eventually, the cards were purchased by the well-known collector "Card Kahuna," who had the case authenticated by the company Baseball Card Exchange, and the case eventually found its way into Paul's hands after several additional purchases. PokeBeach notes that Baseball Card Exchange doesn't have a history of authenticating Pokemon cards outside of booster boxes and didn't provide any analysis validating the case's authenticity. 

What's more, PokeBeach pointed out several inconsistencies between the box and other vintage Pokemon card cases. The label contains an "E" at the end of its serial number which is missing from other authentic Base Set card cases, but the bar code doesn't reflect the additional letter. This could mean that the forger added an E to the serial number to make it look like the case was a first edition, but copied the bar code from an actual case. The label on the case also didn't age like other card case labels, which again suggests that it's a forgery. The tape also doesn't match that used by Wizards of the Coast when sealing up card case boxes. There are additional details about the purchase that don't line up, which you can find on PokeBeach's website. 

This wouldn't be the first time that Paul was duped by a Pokemon card scammer. In 2020, Paul purchased a fake Pokemon Illustrator card for $150,000 and in the aftermath ended up in the hospital when he punched a wall. And due to the popularity of Pokemon cards right now, scammers seem to be getting more and more elaborate. 

Paul hasn't said what he plans to do with the box, so we'll likely not have a definitive answer whether the case is authentic or not for quite some time. Expect some major fallout if the cards end up being a fake, which of course would lead to Paul dominating another news cycle on hobby sites.