Fake Illustrator? And how to spot?

Hello all,

First of al, I am a new member. So short intro: Although I never collected cards as a child, as an adult I am really into collection (Japanese) cards. Especially the Gym Decks do have my interest.

But okay, my questions is about another card. The Pikachu Illustrator. A friend of mine was asked to pre-grade this card. But as it was a Japanese card, he asked my (second-) opinion.

First of all, I think this card must be a fake based on the fact there are only 39 of them made, of which 15 (I believe) are graded. So only 24 out there unknown. Secondly, I think the fact the card looks mint at the front but played at the back does make me think this must be wrong. Thirtly, I believe the card too looks shiny? Lastly, the card looks to miss a detail on the left/below paper. But maybe I am wrong.

Can anybody help me out with this card? Fake or real. I do have small movie, because I asked the guy to make sure the front and the back where the same card.

Thanks for all the advice!


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Fake af.

Here is a simple solution for people who can’t tell if expensive cards are real; if it isn’t graded, its not real.


The condition of the front doesn’t appear to match the back at all. The back seems to have a lot of whitening and a crease whereas the front seems far too perfect - I’m guessing someone has printed a sticker on top of an existing card.

As a small correction, 25 have been graded as far as I’m aware: 23 with PSA, 1 with BGS and 1 with CGC. There are also at least 4 known extra copies and I believe 1 known ungraded copy is still owned by one of the original winners who doesn’t want to sell.

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Thanks, this makes a lot of sense. Just wanted to be 1000% sure.

Yes, this helps a lot. As a beginner collector, I still have to learn a lot. And kind of believed in the “I found this by accident”. But I guess that must be too good to be true :slight_smile: