Logan Paul has revealed he now owns the holy grail of Pokemon cards: a PSA 10 Pikachu Illustrator card. He debuted the card last night for his WWE wrestling match in Texas.
Following his match, Guinness World Records presented Paul with a certificate for “most expensive Pokemon trading card sold at a private sale.”
Guinness revealed Paul purchased the card last July in Dubai for a record $5,275,000. Paul gave the owner $4,000,000 in cash plus a PSA 9 Pikachu Illustrator he purchased for $1,275,000. In other words, he “upgraded” his PSA 9 to a 10 for $4,000,000. It should be noted there could be other private sales that exceeded this, but only Paul took the initiative to contact Guinness.
Unlike his fake Base Set case, Paul’s PSA 10 Pikachu is a known specimen with a long history in the fandom. The card has gone through multiple owners over the years and was graded as a PSA 9 several times due to a small chip in the corner. However, it was regraded again and ultimately received a 10.
WWE and Guinness World Records both advertised Paul’s purchase on social media, so there is some level of marketing involvement from both companies. WWE matches are staged, the same as reality shows or stage plays, so bringing Pokemon in to the mix helps Paul’s “character” allure with younger fans. It also serves to advertise Pokemon to a larger audience, which is a net good for the hobby in the long run.
The “Pikachu Illustrator” cards were originally awarded through three card illustrator contests in CoroCoro magazine in 1998. Winners received a copy of the promo plus their winning artwork on a promo card. It’s estimated a maximum of 39 copies of the cards were awarded. However, only 24 are still known to exist thanks to PSA grading.
While there are other cards in the Pokemon TCG that are technically rarer than this Pikachu card, such as the “No. 1” and “No. 2” Mewtwo cards, Pikachu usually fetches a higher price due to the unique artwork and the fact it’s Pikachu. It’s also illustrated by Atsuko Nishida, the creator of Pikachu.
In February a PSA 7 Pikachu sold for a record $900,000. At the time it was the most expensive Pokemon card in history.