$100,000 to “catch ’em all”

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Pokemon Illustrator

By Elliot Ross | Beckett Card Gamer

Could this card be the rarest and most expensive Pokemon card in existence?

Absolutely! And it can be yours right now for only $100,000!

What you’re looking at is the promotional Pokemon Illustrator trainer card. It was given as a prize for a winning entry into the 1997 Pokemon Card Game Illustration Contest in Japan. For those of you that don’t speak Japanese, the card text translates to:

“We certify that your illustration is an excellent entry in the Pokémon Card Game Illustration Contest. Therefore, we state that you are an Officially Authorized Pokémon Card Illustrator and admire your skill.”

The card itself has some pretty unique features:

  • Only six copies of this card were printed and only five of those were given out as prizes.
  • It is the only trainer card to have the word “Illustrator” where “Trainer” should be.
  • It is the only Pokemon card with the pen symbol in the lower right corner.
  • It is one of the very few Japanese promo cards with a double star rarity.

This particular copy has been professionally graded as a 9 (Mint), which means that it is in pretty great shape.

So, is it worth the $100,000 asking price?

Maybe, but probably not. In the past this card has sold for roughly $20,000. The seller’s asking price is set at $100,000 but he has indicated that he is accepting offers and expects to sell the card for roughly $50,000. If you happen to have that kind of extra cash lying around then you could pick up one of the rarest and most expensive gaming cards out there!

Elliot Ross is editor of Beckett Card Gamer. You can email him here with questions, comments, or funny pictures. Follow Beckett Media on Facebook and Twitter.


  1. Charles Burrell
    Posted September 12, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    That’s incredible! That’s a lot of Bacon Junior Cheeseburgers!

  2. David Brewer
    Posted September 12, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    If someone spent 20k on that card, they should seek medical attention right away.

  3. Kristi
    Posted September 12, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Amazing how much people will pay. Wish I was the seller!

  4. Richard
    Posted September 12, 2013 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    I have my doubts that only 6 were printed.
    In any case, if someone can sell his “extra” card (he says he has 2 of them) for a ton of money, more
    power to him. This is a world where you have rich people that have paid big bucks to spend a few
    minutes around a celebrity. *shrug*
    I’ve paid good money for autographed cards, so who am I to judge.

  5. joe
    Posted September 12, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Thats some moolah! WOW

  6. Jakob
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Nonsense shadowless charizard is rarest

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