Hunt for The Pokémon Holy Grail: PSA 8 Pikachu Illustrator Set To Go On Auction Today

National Pokémon Day is just around the corner, and long-time Pokémon enthusiast and eBay seller, Tomoya Ohno, is determined to give fans worldwide a reason to celebrate.

Tomoya Ohno is as big a Pokémon fan as they come. He has loved the series since he was a kid and has collected more cards than he can even count. Today, Ohno loves sharing his passion with collectors around the world with the help of eBay. And he is just about to up his game.

Pikachu Illustrator PSA 8 Goes on Auction

Ahead of February 27th, i.e., National Pokémon Day, Ohno is putting his PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator) Grade 8 1998 Pokémon Illustrator Card up for auction. The auction will go live on February 24th, 5 PM PST exclusively on eBay. The auction will run for ten days and close on March 6th.

The starting bid is a whopping $480k. Veteran collectors and long-term fans, of course, will not be amazed by this. After all, they know what an incredibly rare gem of a card this is. 

Untitled design 6
Image Credit: eBay.

Often called the “Holy Grail” among card collectors, the Pikachu Illustrator Card is currently the rarest and the most expensive card on this planet. The card was initially given to the winners of an art contest held by CoroCoro in 1997. 

Fewer than 40 of these cards were handed out in the contest. In October 2022, PSA Gem Mint 10 Grade 1 was sold at an auction for a mind-boggling $6,000,000. Roughly only 24 of these cards have been verified by PSA to date. 

The last time a 1998 Pikachu Illustrator was auctioned on eBay was in February 2021. It was a PSA Grade 7 and sold for $375000, making it the most expensive card ever sold on the platform.

This card is the wonder of wonders — enough to send any collector worth their salt into ecstasy. 

eBay — A Haven for Card Collectors

This is, of course, not the first time eBay has hosted an auction of this kind. For over 26 years, it has served as a haven for alternative collectible enthusiasts. Veteran and newbie card collectors usually keep tabs on what's on the market in the hopes of landing across a rare gem like this one. 

While Pokémon is the most sought-after trading card category on the platform, eBay offers a host of other collectible merch. Toys, video games, movies, and other merch from across fandoms make up their mind-bogglingly extensive inventory. 

As Tomoya Ohno pointed out, the best part is that eBay makes it possible for collectors worldwide to enjoy getting their hands on exclusive alternative collectibles. And people tend to take full advantage of that. 

With new characters and editions constantly being added to the repertoire, the interest surrounding Pokémon cards never really dies down. An eBay spokesperson revealed that Pokémon cards were searched more than 3,000 times an hour on the marketplace in 2022. That said, the top 5 most popular Pokémon character cards sold on eBay from 2021-2022 are:

  • Pikachu
  • Charizard
  • Eevee
  • Mewtwo
  • Mew

The Most Expensive Pokémon Cards Sold on eBay

eBay has featured and auctioned off quite a few rarities through the years, making it one of the best places to buy and sell Pokémon cards. The most popular and expensive among these include:

1998 Pokémon Japanese Promo Holo Illustrator Pikachu PSA 7 

Sold in February 2021 for $375000, this card is this story's crown jewel and hero. Unlike Ohno's PSA Grade 8, this was a PSA Grade 7. The Illustrator card is a Holo or holographic, making it a rarity among rarities. 

It was initially given away as part of CoroCoro's promo event and art content in Japan. It features the image of a happy Pikachu painting other Pokémon s with a paintbrush.

1998 Pokémon Japanese Promo Holo Kangaskhan #115 PSA 10

 This 1998 Kangaskhan card sold in October 2020 for $150,100. This card is a holographic one and is a PSA Grade 10. It is a trophy card and an Unnumbered Promotional Card.

It was released in May 1998 in Japan as part of a Parent/Child Mera Battle tournament. The card was given to teams with a particular number of victories. This is one of the rare promo cards featuring the OG Pocket Monsters Trading Card Game logo. The logo is usually featured on the rarest of cards.

2000 Pokémon Neo Genesis 1st Edition Holo Lugia #9 BGS 10 

Sold in May 2021 for $144,300, this is a holo card released in Neo Genesis in 2000. this is the first Lugia card in the Pokémon TCG. It is the first Lugia card in the TCG. Lugia is a Diving Pokémon and the mascot of the Pokémon Silver game. 

There's no telling how high Tomoya Ohno's card could go – but it's rarity and value has the whole world watching. 

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Ananyaa Bhowmik is a neurodivergent and queer pop-culture journalist with the Wealth of Geeks. She has previously worked with brands like Sterling Holidays, Myntra, Bajaj, and the Loud Interactive. She is an independent scholar, cat parent, and performance poet. Her areas of research and interest focus on and around digital marketing, Canadian indigenous history, queerness in media, and pop-culture and fandom studies.