Pokémon card draws $175,000 to lead Heritage's $1.8 million Trading Card Games Auction

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Pokémon card draws $175,000 to lead Heritage's $1.8 million Trading Card Games Auction
Pokémon Family Event Kangaskhan Trophy Card Promo 115 Parent/Child Mega Battle PSA Trading Card Game GEM MT 10 (The Pokémon Company, 1998).

DALLAS, TX.- More than two dozen bidders drove a Pokémon Family Event Kangaskhan Trophy Card Promo 115 Parent/Child Mega Battle PSA Trading Card Game GEM MT 10 (The Pokémon Company, 1998) to $175,000 — a public auction record for the card — to lead Heritage Auctions' Trading Card Games Signature® Auction to $1,794,314 July 7-8.

More than 1,200 global visitors swarmed to the event, resulting in sell-through rates of 100% by value and 99.6% by lots sold.

"This card is one of the rarest cards in the history of the Pokémon game, awarded during a 1998 tournament to teams on which parents partnered with their children and then won a certain number of battles," says Jesus Garcia, Trading Card Games Consignment Director at Heritage Auctions. "To find any example of this card is exceptionally difficult, but to find a GEM MT 10 example immediately changes the scope of any collection."

A Pokémon Toshiyuki Yamaguchi No. 2 Trainer 1/1 World Summer Challenge Secret Super Battle-Best In Japan CGC Trading Card Game NM/Mint 8 (The Pokémon Company, 2000) Holo became the second lot to reach six figures when it climbed all the way to $137,500. This prize from a 2000 Japanese tournament is so rare — the card sold in this auction is the only copy ever made — that many collectors are unware that it even exists, in large part because no images of it ever surfaced before it was consigned at Heritage Auctions. The card in this auction is features the No. 2 Trainer, Toshiyuki Yamaguchi, giving two thumbs up while surrounded by Chansey, Growlithe, Dudou and franchise mascot Pikachu.

Two dozen bids poured in for a Pokémon Charizard 006 Japanese Base Set CGC Trading Card Game Gem Mint 9.5 (Media Factory, 1996) No Rarity Symbol, Holo until it ended at $93,750. This beauty is from the first print run of the initial set — a status validated by the absence of a rarity symbol in the lower right corner — of the world's most popular trading card game after Pokémon partnered with Media Factory in 1996; rarity symbols shortly after the first release.

Another Charizard enjoyed similar popularity when a Pokémon Charizard 4 1st Edition Base Set CGC Trading Card Game Gem Mint 9.5 (The Pokémon Company, 1999) Rare, Holo closed at $87,500. Arguably the hottest card in the hobby, the Charizard features the artwork of Mitsuhiro Arita.

Reaching the same $87,500 result was the only CGC-graded copy of a Pokémon Gyarados Unnumbered Promo 64 Mario Stadium Best Photo Contest CGC Trading Card Game Gem Mint 9.5 (1999) that comes from the photo contest in which contestants competed to take the best puctures they could in the N64 classic, Pokémon Snap!, with just 15 copies of the top five winning photos printed on reprint cards from the Japanese Pokémon TCG Expansion Pack.

Pokémon produced the auction's top five results, but was not the only game with cards that captured the attention of eager bidders.

Magic: The Gathering

Dan Frazier's Swamp Illustration Original Art (1993) drew nearly three dozen bids and more than doubled its pre-auction estimate when it sold for $75,000. This piece is the original artwork for the "Swamp" Alpha Edition card. The work was signed by Frazier, one of the 25 original MTG artists.

Among the hottest lots in the entire auction was Daniel Gelon's Magic: The Gathering Lich Illustration Original Art (1993), which sparked 57 bids before it sold for $68,750. Signed by the artist with more than 50 cards among his credits in the lower margin, the work is the artwork from a rare Alpha Edition card.

Jesper Myrfors' Phantom Monster Illustration Original Art (1993) brought a winning bid of $42,500. Created for the Alpha Edition debut of the "Phantom Monster" card, it is signed and dated with the card title written underneath the artwork in pencil.


A First Edition "Strike of Neos" Opened Distributors Case (Konami, 2007) kept climbing until it reached $25,000 — more than 12 times its pre-auction estimate. Each of the 12 sealed boxes in the case includes 24 booster packs, each of which holds nine cards. The "Strike of Neos" Set contained 60 cards, so there is a legitimate chance of a complete set in the case.

As a First Edition Tactical Evolution Opened Distributors Case (Konami, 2007) also soared past all expectations when it sold for $20,000 — 10 times its pre-auction estimate. It includes 12 sealed boxes, each with 24 nine-card booster packs.

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