What is the Pokémon Card game?
The Pokémon Trading Card Game, shortened to Pokémon TCG or PTCG, is a collectible card game, founded on Nintendo’s Pokémon franchise of anime and video games. The game first published in October 1996 by Media Factory in Japan. In the US, it was initially published by Wizards of the Coast.
The Pokémon Company ultimately took over publishing the card game in June 2003. In the year 2016, it was the year’s top-selling toy in the strategic card game subclass. In the following year, it enjoyed an 82% share holding of Europe’s strategic card game market. As of September 2019, the game has sold over 28.8 billion cards nationwide.
It is hard to pin down a final list of the most valuable Pokémon cards, because of the volatile nature of a resale-based market. The following is a list of the most expensive cards ever sold.
The list of Pokémon cards and figures mentioned below has been compiled from various sources.
The list of Top 30 Most Expensive Pokemon Cards – 2020
1. Prerelease Raichu
The prerelease Raichu was lent by Wizards of the Coast only to employees and other close friends of the company. Less than ten of these cards exist, and they were only a tradition until 2006 when a picture of one such card was posted online.
There are many fakes of this card, and an official record of any sale of a Prerelease Raichu does not exist. The price is a dilemma. It is possible that at an auction, it could beat the record for the most valuable card ever sold. As of July 2019, no owners of such a card have attempted to sell it.
2. Black Star Movie Promotional
One of the rarest Pokemon cards learned. Only 120 made but 90 where caught in production the rest of them where accidentally discharged to the public making it the hardest Pokemon card to find black Star Movie Promos #2-4 Inverse Gold Stamp Error:- Newly substantiated 1/21/13!
Testimony has been earned that there were 3, probably 4 sheets accidentally issued with this error. Each of these sheets had 121 cards; 30 Pikachu, 30 Dragonite, 30 Mewtwo, 30 Electabuzz, and 1 blank inverted card. All of the sheets were discarded but 1, leaving 120 of these cards in truth. So there were 30 of each card ever printed!
3. Trophy Pikachu Trainer Card
The Trophy Pikachu Trainer Card is a Pokémon card so unusual, it’s practically priceless. As far as we learn, nobody has ever tried to sell one, and why would you? The only people to acquire one of these cards are those Trading Card Game players who’ve spotted highly at an official competition.
The rarest of the cards are the ones from the 1990s tournaments and are usually in Japanese. Since inhabiting a Trophy Pikachu card is nearly a status symbol, we doubt anyone will be beating one on eBay any time soon!
4. No. 2 Trainer Promo Card
These Trainer cards are given to champions of the Pokémon World Championships. The importance of the cards boosts dramatically the older they are. The 1997 vintage is the most sought-after, in general.
They come with a variety of examples, including the original illustration with Pikachu holding a gold trophy. The No.2 Trainer card costs more than double the price of the No.1 card. If someone is ready to pay $200,000 for it, however, it could sit on the market for many months and dramatically reduce in price if know one id willing to pay that much.
5. Kangaskhan – Parent/Child Promo Card
Price- (As little as $133,000, but ones have been known to sell for thousands more)
The Kangaskhan- Parent/Child Tournament card was a promo prize card given out in 1998 at the Parent/Child Tag Team Mega Battle. The Tag Team Battle consisted of a tournament where each an adult and their child had to on the same team and fighting another parent/child team.
This card is considered to be one of the rarest Pokemon cards in existence, having only two games with an unknown number of copies in existence.
6. Pikachu Illustrator
Price- Up to $100,000
The sixth most expencive pokemon carsd is the Pikachu Illustrator. In January 1998 this card was provided only to champions of the CoroCoro Comic Illustration Contest. Only 20 to 39 of these cards prevail in the nation and only 10 are in mint condition. As of October 2019, these festivities of Pokémon are the most costly Pokémon card ever sold.
7. No.1 Trainer Promo Card
It’s so rare you can’t find it on eBay. The price is largely unknown, but it’s sure to be exorbitant.
No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 trainer cards are always rare. They’re only handed out to champions at official Trading Card Game world championships. This delightful, holographic Pikachu card was only provided to four champions of the very first Japanese Pokémon Card Game Official Tournament; thus it’s the rarest.
8. Tropical Mega Battle No. 2 Trainer Card
As a prize derived from a series of tropical Mega Battles, which consisted of 7 tournaments depending on player ability, the top three players were given a trainer card with an Executor on the front.
They were then capable to present these cards to gain world-class dealing at any Tropical Mega Battle. The cards are now incredibly hard to find, and it’s thought that the gold card is worth more than $100,000.
9. No. 3 Trainer Promo Card
The Pokémon Trainer #1, #2, and #3 cards are so rare that their fortunate owners are very unlikely to put them up for sale. Thus, we don’t know precisely how much they would retail for.
Each year at the Pokémon Trading Card Game World Championships, one of these cards was handed out to a lucky player, ensuring them entry at the next year’s competition. Only the greatly prestigious of TCG players could ever hope to own one!
10. Tropical Wind Card
The English Tropical Wind was rewarded to players of the 2004 World Mega Battle tournament and doesn’t cost a lot of money to purchase if you wanted your own.
However, the 1999 edition, which was handed out to prize winners of another Tropical Mega Battle Tournament, is worth a tremendous deal more! Because it’s been awarded to some of the nation’s best players, it now charges $10,000.
11. Promotional Kangaskhan
The Promotional Kangaskhan card’s hefty price tag of $10,000 has a lot to do with its sheer rarity. The card was produced in 1998 and distributed at a Japanese Parent-And-Child TGC event, in which, as you’d expect, parent-child teams competed against each other.
Only the best of the best teams at the tournament got to take home Promotional Kangaskhan! It was the perfect choice of Pokémon for the event considering Kangaskhan carries its child around with it at all times
12. Articuno-Tropical Mega Battle Card
Next on our list of the most expensive Pokémon cards in the world is the 1999 Articuno. This card was allotted as a prize during the 1999 Tropical Mega Battle event.
There are standard versions which you can purchase, however because of their rarity and association with some of the world’s top players, $9,999 is the bare minimum of what you’re going to have to pay to get your hands on one!
13. Computer Error – Kamex Mega Battle Card
Originally distributed with a monthly issue of the CoroCoro comic, the Computer Error – Kamex Mega Battle card was then awarded to prize winners competing in the 1998 Kamex Mega Battles.
The card did earn some later reprints, but the original Japanese versions are worth far more than any of the English ones, hence the $9,999 price tag.
14. A Full Set Of Crystal Cards
In the early 2000s, the Aquapolis set of Pokémon cards brought a new kind of creature into the mix: Crystal Pokémon. Only nine Pokémon were ever given the Crystal status, and the cards were—and still are—very rare indeed.
Crystal Pokémon varied from normal Pokémon due to their “Crystal Typing”. A Poké-Body that permitted the thing to change type based on the Energy Card used with it. Collecting a full set of Crystal Cards is seen as a major achievement to this day: hence, a complete collection sells online for almost $10,000.
15. Master Key Prize Card
The master key Prize card is only one of 34 cards to have ever been produced. The cards were awarded to players in a 2010 trading card tournament in Japan, therefore creating exclusivity and value.
If you want to get your hands on one, you’re going to have to do a lot of digging around online, as these cards a rarely available for sale!
16. Black Triangle Error Booster Box Card
As well as singular cards, you can also spend a lot of money on booster packs like this one. The beauty with these is that you don’t know what type of rare cards you’re going to get.
The triangle booster pack is the most valuable, and a box will set you back a few quid. They were printed as a mistake when factories were supposed to stop printing any more “first edition” packs. The price comes from them being sealed in a booster box, instead of just a booster pack.
17. Pokémon Snap Cards
Back in 1999, Nintendo allowed players to end their best Pokémon Snap photos to the company. The dearests would then be made into substantial cards, which certainly was sick. However, due to the rarity of these cards, it has been noted that certain ones have sold for $8,000.
18. Holographic Shadowless First Edition Venusaur Card
As many Pokémon fans will know, Venusaur was a difficult card to come by, let alone a holographic one.
If you did manage to get your hands on a first edition one and held on to it, today, it could be worth a good amount of money! If you have the one without a shadow around the image box, then you’d be able to fetch even more.
19. Pikachu – Expedition Card
Next on our list of the most expensive Pokémon cards in the world is this Pikachu Expedition. Everyone loves Pikachu, so it’s no surprise that these loveable electrical rats’ cards are always in demand and command high prices.
If you’re a mega-fan of Pikachu, then you might be fortunate enough to pick one of these up on eBay.
20. Tropical Mega Battle Cards
A common theme that we have seen is that if a card comes from an event, it ends up being worth a lot of money. This goes on to be the case with the tropical mega battle cards from an event in Hawaii. These cards have a fair value of $5,000, which renders it worth a wealth.
21. Misprinted Fossil Krabby
Krabby is the star of one of the rarest Pokémon cards of all. By all accounts, this crab-based Water-type isn’t exactly a battling superstar.
The fact that one version of its Pokémon card is so rare is a bit of a fluke. Part of the fossil symbol on some of the original Krabby cards is missing. This seemingly minor difference has driven up the price of these cards immensely. Even though it’s a mistake, it’s still a rare “unique feature!”
22. Magikarp Tamamushi University Promo Card
At the special Pokémon event in Japan, the Magikarp Tamamushi University card was released. It was only given to the winners of the event, so naturally, there are not many in the world today. With that being stated, one can get this silly fish’s card for roughly $4,000. That is quite expensive.
23. Shining Charizard Card
Shining Charizard marks the first time a “shiny” Pokémon was found in the card game.
The Pokémon itself is holographic, instead of the background, and it’s worth even more if it has a first edition marking on the bottom left-hand side of the image.
24. Gold Star Espeon Card
First introduced in the EX line of play, Gold Star cards are the ones with the Shiny version of the Pokémon. They were easy to identify in the game as they were slightly different coloring than any of their adversaries.
Espeon is the most valuable of all the Gold Star cards as it was awarded to players that met certain criteria and were distributed to them by the Pokémon Players Club.
25. First Edition Shadowless Holographic Blastoise Card
Everyone loves Blastoise, right? Blastoise was a super rare card in 1999 and has only become more sort after as time went on. If you’re able to find a PSA 9 card for less than $1,500 you’ll have done well.Cards like this are very difficult to come by.
26. Holographic Shadlowless First Edition Mewtwo Card
Mewtwo was always one of the most elusive and rarest Pokémon in the game, so that also made his card worth an entire lot more than other posh Pokémon cards on the roll.
The base set shadowless first edition holographic card is exceedingly rare today, despite it being massively coveted in 1999. So if you have one in your collection or lurking around in the basement, dig it out, it’s worth around $1,500!
27. Japanese Shiny Espeon
If you’ve got a soft spot for the neon-green shiny version of the Psychic-type Pokémon Espeon, then be aware that you’re not the only one. The Japanese version of the Shining Espeon Pokémon card is pretty highly desired, to say the least!
However, that’s down to more than just its popularity. The Shining Espeon card only saw an extremely limited furlough through the Pokémon Players’ Club, making it one of the special cards out there. For this reason, it can sell for over $1000 on a good day!
28. Holographic Shadowless First Edition Chansey
These particular first edition cards are clearly highly sought after in the Pokémon Trading Card Game community! The edition of this card type that depicts Chansey, a pretty unusual Normal-type Pokémon, is worth up to $1000 in the current market. In the Pokémon games, Chansey is recognized for its ability to heal itself and other Pokémon. However, even it can’t cure your bank balance after you’ve splurged on one of these cards.
29. Gastly – Expedition Card
Gastly is not the most exciting Pokémon that springs to mind when you’re planning your next match. He’s never been a particularly popular Pokémon either; however his card has managed to break the four-digit mark.
Most pro Pokémon players would not even consider using Gastly in a match, let alone playing him. However, that should give you some indication into the fact the card’s value has no direct correlation to its competitive significance.
30. Holographic Shadowless Machamp
Machamp is quite an intimidating Pokémon. This brought in him a favorite throughout the Pokémon community. The specific card that is listed above is worth about $850, which is very solid. This is because of the truth that it is moderately unusual to find today, especially when it is the shadowless version.