Once, Pokemon was all the rage. There were television shows, plush toys and the crown jewel of the empire: the trading card game. Those who grew up playing Pokemon cards probably remember the incredible awe one felt when looking at a super rare card—maybe a Mewtwo or a holographic Charizard. But those have nothing on the card that’s up for auction on Ebay right now.
A few days ago, a seller listed a card with the asking asking price of $100,000. The seller writes:
This card is the Holy Grail of Pokemon. It is the “Honus Wagner T206″ of Pokemon. The Illustrator is the most valuable card in the entire hobby. An ungraded copy of this card can earn over $20,000. This Illustrator is the first graded copy to ever hit the market! It is the highest graded example that exists! This is literally the Most Valuable card with the Highest available grade!
This is by far the most anyone has asked for a trading card like this. According to Mike Smith at Yahoo Games, any one of the four “Illustrator” cards is probably worth $20,000:
The rarest find in the game — the belle of the Pokeball, you might say — is this Pikachu Illustrator card. Never officially sold, never released in English, and worth somewhere around $20,000, the cards were given away as prizes in a Japanese drawing contest and only four are thought to exist. Good luck finding one — and good luck paying it off.
There are only six of these Pikachu Illustrator cards, and one of them belongs to the official Pokemon TCG Blog and is basically out of circulation. But this one is particularly special—which may be why the seller thinks it’s worth so much. James Plafke explains:
This particular Pikachu Illustrator is the first graded one of its kind, making it the most rare Pikachu Illustrator among the other five. At the time of writing, this auction already has 83 offers. However, it is not known how many of those offers are gags. If you’ve got the cash, by all means, buy the thing and become a Pokémon legend and also loan us a few thousand dollars.
Geek.com says that while the Buy it Now price is set at $100,000, the seller can probably expect to walk away with $50,000. There are still nine days left on the sale on Ebay, and 2,009 people are “watching” the auction, including us.
More from Smithsonian.com: