A major Pokemon Trading Card Game trade just went down, with nearly $1 million in cards exchanging hands. PokeBeach recently reported on a card trade between two private individuals that saw nine Charizard cards exchange hands for a rare Pikachu Illustrator card. The Charizard cards include three highly graded original Base Set Charizard cards (including a First Edition card and a Shadowless cards), two rare promo cards, a Charizard card signed by Ken Sugimori, the first-ever "Shining Charizard," and the last Charizard card produced by Wizards of the Coast. Three graded illustrations by Mitsuhiro Arita were also included in the trade.
PokeBeach estimated the total value of the Charizard cards and illustrations at $900,000 based on recent sales of similarly graded cards. If the valuation is accurate, this would make the trade the most expensive single Pokemon card transaction in history.
The "buyer" of the Pikachu Illustrator card was only referred by his first name, Marco, and compared the Pikachu Illustrator card to the extremely rare Honus Wagner baseball card, seen as the "Holy Grail" for baseball card collectors. "Why did I trade away my Charizard collection? Charizard is fantastic and I had the best Charizards ever made, but it's nothing compared to the iconic Pikachu," Marco told PokeBeach. "It's the Honus Wagner of Pokemon. I consider the card not only nostalgic, beautiful, and historical, but also a fantastic investment."
Pokemon cards have seen their popularity rise immensely this year, thanks to a surge in celebrity interest and nostalgia. While rare vintage cards can sell for tons of money (such as the aforementioned Shadowless Charizard card, which recently sold for nearly $200,000), even new cards are selling for hundreds of dollars on the secondary market. For example, the Rainbow Rare Pikachu VMAX card from the recently released Vivid Voltage set is selling for $250 ungraded...if it doesn't have any major creases.
For those looking to get into the Pokemon Trading Card Game, collectors can look forward to several special sets coming out in the next few months. In addition to a special "Shining Fates" set featuring over 100 Shiny Pokemon cards, the Pokemon TCG is also introducing a new Battle Style mechanic, starting with the release of the Sword & Shield - Battle Styles expansion early next year. You can purchase Pokemon cards at places like Target or WalMart, or your local board game store.