Pikachu illustrator card - Prices


As most of you are aware of the recent sale of the PSA 9 Pikachu illustrator card that made history by selling for a record $195,000 (excluding 15% buyers premium).

It looks like my dream and also of most collectors are rapidly fading away of owning this illustrious card :slightly_frowning_face:

I did make it my goal to own this card one day and i have had several opportunities in the past 4 to 5 years to own one, which I regretfully passed on.

I am looking for either a raw copy, authentic copy or a lower graded PSA copy.

I know its hard to give an accurate price for this particular card, but a rough estimate would be sufficient to give me an idea of the price that i would expect to pay for one, if a copy did appear for sale.



The Authentic on Yahoo Japan in Aug? sold for $60k~ it wasn’t super beat up looked like a well presenting copy so if you don’t care about condition maybe can score one lower but easier said than done.

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Thanks for the reply :blush: That authentic copy on YJ looked good in the photos and in the scans. I emailed the seller before he relisted the card again and i asked why was the card graded AUTHENTIC . He told me that he told PSA to grade the card AUTHENTIC, if the card graded less than PSA 6.

Yes thats true. Its one thing having the money to purchase one and another to find someone who is willing to sell!


The only answer to the question is: more. Each time the card sells it breaks a record, because it’s “the dream card”.

The authentic copy on yahoo had bidders who sold their best cards just for a maybe. People sold their top items just to place a bid, and lost.


There were two times I almost got an Illustrator.

But now that the cost of acquiring one is over $200k? Yeah, I’m out.

At least I got the amazing cards I already own before they jumped out of my price range as well.

Good luck in your search @149montblanc


How many of these cards were ever printed and who was the seller?

Was @smpratte not the seller?

Imo just stick to 1st ed and shadowless base set, nostalgia drives the hobby


I’ve heard there were 39 printed once, but not sure how accurate that is, how many survived, and how many additional copies there might have been printed.

No idea who the seller was.


I spoke to ebirdman and he said none of us were involved in the sale. He wouldn’t say who though.

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Thanks :blush: One day i will own this card :blush:

My first opportunity was at $11,000, second was at $12,500, third was at around $24,000, 4th was at $50,000. I declined all these offers/buy it nows because i kept saying to myself that the price was too high! This year i finally decided to go for one on YJ and bidded $60,000 but got outbidded :slightly_frowning_face:

I hope you can acquire one in the future as well! Dont give up! :blush:


My advice would be to pay whatever the seller wants. It will be hard enough to find a seller, let alone have any negotiating power.

For certain cards, overpaying (or being too expensive) doesn’t really exist. The next sale will almost always be higher than the last.

Unfortunately, I think many more of us will get priced out of certain items as pokemon continues to grow over the coming years.


@149montblanc, To add more motivation, I’ve done the same thing with mtg. I was around when an Alpha Black lotus was 1k, 5k, 10k, 20k, and chose not to buy the card. I ended up buying a played copy last month for $26,500.


There’ll always be another opportunity.


No one can predict the future I would say it is dangerous to say the Illustrator is destined to always go up nothing is that secure. For all we know this 200k+ price could become the ceiling for the next 10 years etc. Or next year one could sell for $1m. At the end of the day Pokemon is deemed an exotic investment at those levels.



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I would absolutely love if illustrators dropped so I could buy more, its just so unrealistic. There are too many variables pushing it the other direction. Not saying its going to increase indefinitely, but there is no consistent availability, and I don’t know how that will change. As mentioned earlier, you have people selling their best cards for just a chance to win an Illustrator. There will never be enough supply to satisfy the demand.

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The Illustrator is an investable card.

We would all love for the price to drop so that we could buy it. That’s the “problem”.

At no point was the Illustrator ever achievable for the average collector, and that’s because its price wasn’t artificially set through hype. It has, for the longest time, been the ultimate card for even the most dedicated in the hobby. Anyone who thinks otherwise is being completely disingenuous or just straight up ignorant. For the past 20 years it has set the price cap for all pokemon cards, and yet it still continues to break records.

It’s honestly not worth the effort to argue with people like fivestarpokemon. They are so out of touch with how much effort people go through to even get the chance to bid for these trophy cards, yet they still act like this is a recent phenomenon exclusive to pokemon, or that the average collector would have bought this card for 100k, 50k, or even 10k, (insert X) years ago.


To be perfectly honest, I am in a good enough financial position that I *could* buy an Illustrator even at $200K. And I think the PSA 9 Illustrators will probably sell for even more than that a number of years from now. But it’s gotten to the point where it would be a major financial decision for me, which isn’t a position I would feel comfortable with. Although Pokemon ended up being a great financial investment for me in my life (I spent a total of maybe $25K for a collection that is now worth approximately $175K), I never entered the hobby to be an investor, only a collector. So if I were to buy the Illustrator at current prices, I would start to look at it as more of a financial asset than an incredible collectible, which is not a position I want to be in.

So, I’m rooting for people like you to be able to get the next Illustrator, the true collectors who will truly cherish the card… rather than the investment firms that would only buy the card for the purpose of selling it for a higher price years down the road.