Incredibly rare Pokémon card auctioned for $480,000, no one’s bidding

Photo: eBay / Tomoya Ohno

Everyone knows old pokemon Cards are incredibly hot right now, but nobody knows exactly what they are worth to collectors. Exhibit A: Someone auctioned off a holographic Illustrator Pikachu in near mint condition on eBay with a starting bid of $480,000and it went over like a lead balloon.

Illustrator Pikachu, a Japanese promo card released in 1998, is considered one of, if not the rarest, and thus most valuable, pokemon trade cards. There are only a few dozen known to exist, and one sold for $224,500 through Weiss Auctions back in 2019. One more sold for $375,000 on eBay back in 2021. Last year, Logan Paul claimed to have spent over $5 million to buy one so he could wear it to WrestleMania and broadcast to all the world how little money means to him.

In an era where collectors’ markets for all types of vintage memorabilia are spiraling out of control, it seemed like the sky was the limit for paintbrush Pikachu. Apparently, the limit was actually $480,000 at public auction. That’s how much “old eBay seller and passionate pokemon fan” Tomoya Ohno asked for a “PSA 8” state Illustrator Pikachu on that auction platform earlier this month.

Read more: The top 12 most valuable Pokémon cards in history

eBay sent out press releases and everything to cheer up the occasion as the company tries to monetize speculation by collectors. Many web sites covered the announcement of the auctionwhich started on February 24 and ran through March 6. When all was said and done yesterday, the Illustrator Pikachu received a whopping zero bids.

“eBay is working closely with the seller of this rare pokemon Illustrator card, and we can update you if the card is relisted,” a spokesperson for the public relations agency representing the auction told Kotaku in an email.

As the old eBay saying goes, “if you don’t succeed at first, create a new listing and try again.”

It’s hard to know how much of that the overall market is expensive pokemon cards that cool down or just a reality check at the top end of the market where interest and prices are driven by the wallets of just a few individuals. New sets are still all the rage among fansand The Pokémon Company is looking to tap into the nostalgia of lapsed collectors later this year when it releases the original holographic Charizard, Blastoise and Venusaur from the basic set. A shadowless version of Charizard infamously sold for $420,000 last year.

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