Japanese Pokemon trophy cards from different eras


I am a new forum member. I am in my early 30’s and started collecting Pokemon cards about one year ago. Before that, I did some research on high-end trophy cards. I will never be able to afford one in my life. Just out of curiosity, I want to learn more about them. I know there are loads of Pokemon card collecting experts here. This is what I have learned so far from my research.

The first set of Japanese Pokemon trophies was released at a Pokemon card tournament in 1997. They were reprinted for winners in the following year. Pikachu Illustrator was awarded to people who won an illustration contest in 1998. A set of new 1999 Mewtwo trophy cards was given to winners at Super Secret Battle. Next, the trophy cards from 2000 to 2002 are really unique because each card has the name of the winner. Lastly, the 2003 trophies showed a photo of each winner.

That’s all I know. When I google a list of most expensive Pokemon cards, it’s always the Pikachu Illustrator that takes the top spot because it is being the most iconic card in Pokemon card history. I have heard that it’s not possible to put a price on No. 1, 2 and 3 Trainer cards because of their rarity.

Here are my questions.

(1) From the 1997-1999 era, are the 1997 Pika trophies more valuable than the 1998 and 1999 No. 1,2,3 Trainer cards because they are the first ones ever made?

(2) From the 2000-2003 era, those trophy cards are unique in the sense that it’s impossible to find two copies with the same winner’s name. On top of that, there are also depictions of female trainers on them. Are the 2000 trophies more valuable than those given out in the following three years for the same reason as in (1)?

What is your opinion?

  1. I think the 1997 is more expensive because they are rarer, I think there were only 4 made of each place in 1997. While in 1998 and 1999 there were more categories (dont remember how much).

  2. They are unique if they have got a winners name on them, but there are trophies with no name which are not unique. The female versions of this era are rarer, since there were less women competing. As for values on these, not a clue.

@pokenovice, check out this thread, it links to a number of helpful articles. Check them out to read a bit more:


The Secret Super Battle (SSB) cards were awarded to the winners of the regional tournaments in Japan, and the card bought them entry to the finals in a secret location in Tokyo. There is also a set of Tropical Mega Battle (TMB) cards which were released in the same fashion, to winners of the Regionals. It was the younger age group who won the TMB ones. They are both very scarce, and very desirable, likely equally so.

The Pika trophies you mention were released in 1997 (Pokémon Card Game Official Tournament), 1997-1998 (Lizardon Mega Battle), and 1998 (Kamex Mega Battle) respectively (3 different sets). Although they’re colloquially (and incorrectly) known as the “1997” “1998” and “1999” sets. Again they were awarded to winners of the Regional tournaments in Japan. The Pika trophies are all highly sought after and valuable, especially in a full set from the same tournament. There may be a small premium for a 1997 copy, depending on the collector, although most would just want ANY Pika. With cards like this, it’s what someone is willing to pay (and someone is willing to sell for), so it’s challenging to assign objective metrics of value. They change hands infrequently, but a Lizardon Mega Battle No.1 just sold for 200K in a public deal.

Though “unique” by virtue of the winner’s name on the card, the 2000-2001 prints (from a number of different tournaments) are less sought after than all of the above cards. They do not have nearly the same caliber of art, they are non-holo, and they do not have quite the same lore. The art was used for a number of different tournaments from 2000-2002. They all look reasonably similar to each other, so they’re not viewed as being totally unique. Though there is also less sales data so it’s hard to really know. A winner is less likely to part with a card that has their name printed directly on it, especially a Japanese winner, culturally. The female ones are rarer, and more desirable.

There are some rarer and one-off type Trophies within this era which we have basically not seen sell, ever. I encourage you to use the Search function here and read older threads. Lots of goodies to be discovered, if you find these cards interesting.



I guess the Japanese male trainer trophies from 2000-2003 are not valuable because they are not highly sought after. I have seen a 2001 Neo Spring Battle No. 2 Trainer trophy in PSA 9 on ebay going for $950000 US. I think it’s excessively overpriced and no collectors would spend so much on such a not-so-valuable trophy. He might be able to find a buyer if he is willing to reduce his asking price to an amount between $5000 and $10000.

Well, no.

That is one of the highest tier collectibles. Just not quite as valuable as some of the heavier hitters. It will easily sell for much higher than the number you assume.

The seller of that 2001 Neo trophy has rejected all the offers he received. Is there a way to find out the highest offer he has been given so far?

I would guess 25-30k would be a fair assessment on its price.

A friend of mine has an ebay account. I asked him to make an offer to the ebay seller that has the trophy card mentioned above. I am really curious to know the highest offer he’s got so far. So, my friend offered him $350000 US. The seller rejected the offer and said he even declined a $450000 offer.

I have two questions.

(1) Is it morally wrong of me to try to find out the highest “secret” offer he got?

(2) I kind of doubt that someone offered him almost half a million US dollars for his PSA9 trophy. Do you agree with me?

Would your friend have paid the $350k if they seller were to accept it?


No. My friend was just testing the seller because I wanted to know the highest offer. I don’t think the seller was aware of his “trick” because my friend has 1000+ positive feedback as a seller and a buyer on ebay. So, he probably thought my friend was really serious about buying the card.

I’m wondering if he did get a $450K US offer. Do you guys have any doubts?


I have no doubt you’re an egg. Stop trying to test the market with your fake offers.


Perhaps you could have accomplished the same with a well thought out and written inquiry through the messages function on eBay, instead of a fake offer?

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