Pokémon cards have been having a bit of a boom lately, and nowhere is that more obvious than in auctions for the holographic Charizard card that acted as the base set’s crown jewel in 1999. A third card featuring the fire lizard recently sold for over $300,000.
The eBay auction, which closed Sunday evening, started at just $9.99 before ballooning to $311,800 over the course of 124 bids.
Why so much? First, it’s possibly the highest quality version of the card that’s been made public, earning a “virtually perfect” rating of 10 GEM MINT from trading card grading service Professional Sports Authenticator. Second, it’s what’s known as a “shadowless” card, meaning it’s from a first-edition printing that didn’t include a drop shadow behind the artwork box.
In short: this is one of the rarest, most pristine Pokémon cards in the world.
Surprisingly, this sale is a little low compared to previous auctions of the same card. In December 2020, two similarly graded cards sold for $350,100 and $369,000. Other notable, recent auctions include a Pikachu Illustrator, a limited card awarded to Japanese contest winners in the late ‘90s, going for $250,000 in July 2020. A unique test print Blastoise with a blank backside also auctioned for $360,000 earlier this year.
As buyer information for these types of auctions remains private, it’s hard to tell if the people buying these cards are just long-time fans like rapper Logic or, as is common in the world of classic art, wealthy elites trying to hide their money in nostalgic collectibles.
(h/t Nintendo Life)