It is rare that you see high-level collectors actually participate in the trading portion of a trading card game like Pokémon with expensive cards, but Pokémon publication PokéBeach managed to capture a massive deal reportedly worth nearly $900,000.
According to the report, a record-shattering deal was just made between an Italian and Japanese collector where one side traded a package of nine different Charizard cards and three drawings from Mitsuhiro Arita, an illustrator who designed a lot of early Pokémon cards, that were made at an event in 2017.
In return, a Japanese collector that preferred to remain anonymous traded away a single card—a Pikachu Illustrator. The Pikachu Illustrator cards were only awarded through illustration contests held in CoroCoro, a Japanese magazine, back in 1998, making them extremely rare and highly sought after.
As of now, only an estimated 39 cards were ever awarded, and according to PokéBeach, only 19 have ever been confirmed to exists through the PSA grading process.
Still, each of the Charizard cards sent in the trade were rated PSA grade nine or higher. Three of the included Charizard were from the base set and one was even a special 1998 promo art Charizard signed by director of Game Freak and generation one character designer Ken Sugimori.
Along with those nine Charizard, the buyer, who simply identified himself as Marco to PokéBeach, also sent out three drawings from Arita. These sketches resemble some of the older Pokémon prize cards given out to players who place highly at the Pokémon World Championship tournaments.
According to PokéBeach’s estimates based on recent sales for each of the Charizard cards, Marco’s side of the trade was worth anywhere between $850,000 and $900,000 depending on the value of the Arita art. In return, he is receiving a Pikachu Illustrator card that is valued at a minimum of $340,000 ungraded depending on the condition.
Marco spoke to PokéBeach about his recent trade, which was completed through a middleman for the Japanese seller roughly two weeks ago, saying that the trade was more than worth it to him because he got a Pikachu card.
“Charizard is fantastic and I had the best Charizards ever made, but it’s nothing compared to the iconic Pikachu,” Marco said. “It’s the Honus Wagner of Pokemon. I consider the card not only nostalgic, beautiful, and historical, but also a fantastic investment.”
You can read the full interview with Marco and view the entire collection of cards he traded away on PokéBeach.