Pokémon Cards Remain Top Collectibles as Rare Pikachu Card Sells for $444,000

Pokémon cards may have fallen off the heights they enjoyed during the pandemic, but they're no less coveted by collectors.
Published On September 08, 2023
The 1998 Pikachu Silver Trophy card was a second-place prize at a 1997-98′ tournament. With just 14 such Pokémon cards in existence, it is the second-most-expensive Pokémon card ever sold. Photo via Goldin

Collecting, trading, and battling are the core features of Pokémon’s gameplay, and by many standards, the key to its lasting success.

The Pokémon trading card game (TCG) has been slightly different from its peers, particularly Magic: The Gathering. While the latter has amassed a following for “playing the game,” Pokémon cards are largely coveted for their nostalgia — and the pandemic boom just made this more evident.

Old cards skyrocketed in value, the demand for new packs went up, and befuddled collectors hurried to get their cards graded.

  • Logan Paul spent millions on boxes holding the hopes of a super-rare Pokémon card. The YouTube star eventually paid over $5 million for the Pikachu Illustration card in July last year, setting a world record.
  • The First Edition Shadowless Holographic Charizard card has sold for over $100,000 repeatedly, one selling for $420,000 in March 2022.

And now, a 1998 Pikachu Silver Trophy card — originally handed out as the second-place prize in a 1997-98’ Lizardon Mega Battle tournament — has been auctioned for $444,000, announced Goldin.

Believed to be just one of 14 in existence, the Pikachu Silver Trophy card is now the second most expensive Pokémon card ever sold.

Likely initially fueled by pandemic boredom, Pokémon cards quickly became synonymous with getting rich by a stroke of luck — with a forgotten card lying in some corner. The high demand created a shortage, and cards were taken off the shelves at retail stores like Target. The wave of nostalgia is, however, yet to die off.

Overprinting has brought prices “back to normal”. Meanwhile, the rare ones are still worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, with collectors actively seeking them out. There’s no denying it: trading cards are the hot new investment asset.