The Most Expensive Pokémon Cards of All Time!

Charizard first edition

Charizard first edition

It has become a more common trend to check the attic and see if you have any incredibly expensive Pokémon cards from the days of yore. Lucky collectors could literally stumble on a binder that could be exchanged for a house! While this is the dream of every person who grew up with Pokémon cards, it’s easy to be misled about how much your cards are actually worth. For that reason, not only will we reveal what the most expensive Pokémon cards are, but we will also unveil how to identify if you have those cards lying around in your attic.

Here are the most expensive Pokémon cards in the world, and how to find them.

#5 Presentation Blastoise Price: $360,000.

Presentation Blastoise
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Credit: Pokémon Company

Like many of the cards on this list, you cannot find the Presentation Blastoise through normal means. Only two of these cards even exist, and they were created for an interesting reason. The backing on this particular Blastoise is different, simply being blank. Apparently, there’s another copy of this card with the Magic: the Gathering back on it. Commissioned by Wizards of the Coast, owner of Magic: The Gathering, these cards were used as a sample to introduce Pokémon cards to the English-speaking market.

This particular Blastoise is the blank-backed one. The card was sold for $360,000 in January 2021.

#4 First Edition Shadowless Holographic Charizard Price: $420,000

Charizard First Edition Shadowless PSA 10
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When you ask most people ‘What’s the most expensive Pokémon card?’, this is likely the answer you’ll get most of the time. This Charizard originates from the first official Pokémon TCG set ever released, but this particular Charizard is a bit more special than that. Any old Charizard with the same artwork will not go for $420,000 like this one. Here’s how to tell if you’ve struck gold.

Firstly, having your card be a first edition or not is a big deal. This means that your Charizard is among the first ones ever released - they are a lot rarer. You can find the first edition symbol at the bottom left of the card art image.

Secondly, this is a Shadowless Charizard. Shadowless refers to a very specific artistic element that appears on old Pokémon cards. More common variants of older Pokémon cards have a shadow behind the window that showcases the card art. Rarer iterations of these cards have no shadow behind the window.

So, this has all the rarer elements that an older Pokémon card can have. On top of this, the card has been graded a PSA 10, making it a one-of-a-kind of the Black Lotus of Pokemon.

#3 Trophy No.2 Pikachu, Silver 2nd Place, Price: $440,000

2nd Place Pikachu Gem Mint 10 awarded at the second Pokemon tournament ever.
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This particular card, like many on the list, is rather exclusive. You will not find this 2nd place Pikachu trophy card in a Pokémon pack. This was instead awarded as a prize in the second Pokémon tournament ever to second-place finishers in the various events hosted.

For this reason, very few of these cards exist. It is rumored that only 14 were ever handed out. Only four have been graded by PSA specifically. This particular sale for $440,000 was a PSA 10.

#2 Japanese Topsun Charizard Blue Black, Price: $493,230

Topsun Charizard with Blue Back
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Is this actually a Pokémon card? Not really, but the Pokémon card-esque collectible is still worth a lot of money. With a value of just south of $500,000, this takes second place in terms of the most expensive Pokémon card-esque things out there. Like our #1 pick, this specific value refers to an instance of a Gem Mint 10 copy of the card. To our knowledge, it is the only copy currently in existence.

Once again, you cannot find this Charizard in the wild. These were only sold as part of… apple-flavored gum!? These were literally a card you would find in a gum packet, and now it's worth $493,000 in mint condition. Imagine buying one of these back in the day!

There’s a lot more going on than what’s on the surface with this particular card, however. The Topsun series, from which this card originates, represents one of the first-ever Pokémon card-esque items in history, but some official Pokémon cards were released before this card was. This particular item also has a dating error on it. While PSA dated the card in 1995, these Topsun Charizards were actually printed in 1997.

#1 1998 Pikachu Illustrator, Price: $5,275,000

Logan Paul's Gem Mint 10 Pokemon Illustrator card.
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Credit: Pokémon Company, IGN

This infamously expensive Pokémon card is indeed the most expensive one in the entire world. Its value dwarfs the most valuable cards in other games, like the Black Lotus from Magic: The Gathering.

This is a special card that was not distributed through normal means. Only 20 of the 32 copies of this card that were originally created were actually distributed. These were created to award three different Pokémon illustrator contests hosted by CoroCoro.

The particular copy of 1998 Pikachu Illustrator is a Gem Mint 10 one, the only one in existence. It is owned by Logan Paul, a massive influencer personality, who traded another Pikachu Illustrator card for it while paying an additional $4 million dollars. He famously wore the card on a diamond-encrusted chain in his Wrestlemania fight against Ray Mysterio.

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