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Press Release - October 29, 2016

The Honus Wagner of Pokémon Cards Featured in Upcoming Comics Auction at Heritage

Pokémon "Pikachu Illustrator" Trainer Promo Hologram Trading Card expected to sell for $50,000+ Nov. 17-19 in Beverly Hills

Pokemon Pikachu Illustrator card
BEVERLY HILLS — A mint condition example of the elusive Pokémon "Pikachu Illustrator" trading card — the Honus Wagner of Pokémon cards — is expected to sell for between $50,000+ or more when it is offered by Heritage Auctions in Beverly Hills, California and online (, November 17 - 29, 2016.

In the wake of Pokémon Go, new found love (and value) has been instilled in the hearts of young collectors. Heritage Auctions first reported this trend in a press release from late July, commenting on the rapid rise in Pokémon Card values.

While our recent research shows a drop in eBay Pokémon Card sales, the sell through rate remains roughly the same. Interestingly, the decline in sales is almost exclusive to prominent high end cards. It is important to note that while sales of cards are on the decline, prices are not. For example, on September 9, 2014 a PSA 10 Charizard sold for $3,350, later sold again this September for $11,999.

Current trends indicate that collectors are holding onto their valuable cards with an anticipation of appreciation. Among cards of value, no card is more coveted than Pokémon's "Pikachu Illustrator" Trainer Card.

According to a leading Pokémon Card specialist, "the lot has always been a five figure card. The Pikachu Illustrator first sold in the early 2000s for around $23,000. No card has as many unique nuances, peaking the interest of anyone who discovers it's rare existence."

Since its first sale, the card, graded PSA MT 9, has appreciated greatly with a near quadruple rise in value. Its most recent sale on May 8th, 2014, the card sold for an astounding $90,000.

The Pikachu Illustrator Card was gifted in January of 1998 to winners of the CoroCoro Comic Illustration Contest. Between 20-39 copies of this card were released, 10 of which are PSA graded, it is unknown how many still remain.

The illustration was designed by Atsuko Nishida, one of the chief Pokémon graphic illustrators. The card depicts the fan-favorite Pikachu, holding what seems to be drawing utensils.

The Pikachu Illustrator Card is the most valuable and iconic Pokémon Card for any diehard Pokémon collector. With the overwhelming appreciation of cards, it is fair to analogize Pokémon cards with baseball cards. With that being said, the Pikachu illustrator truly is the "Honus Wagner of Pokémon". For more information on the rise in Pokemon card value and popularity check out Heritage Auctions' initial Press Release or go to

By the way, if you are interested in a T206 Honus Wagner card as well, then Heritage is offering an example estimated at $800,000+ in the current Sports auction set to close on November 17th.

Heritage Auctions is the largest auction house founded in the United States and the world's third largest, with annual sales of more than $800 million, and over one million online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and receive access to a complete record of prices realized, with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit

Hi-Res images available:
Eric Bradley, Public Relations Director

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