One of many ultimately entertaining worlds coming from the amazing planet of Japan, the world of Pokémon does not fall short in any department — especially the trading card game. It's the game that got us all to invest our time, money, and effort into collecting all the cards that we can find while washing away our boredom. At least we increased our dopamine level every time we came across a new and exciting card. But there is a bit of a challenge to it! Some cards aren’t so easy to find, and those are the most precious ones to grab; they're the ones we're most proud of collecting. We might even show them off, adding value to our collection.
So, here are the 10 rarest Pokémon cards. Let the seeking games begin!
10. Pikachu Illustrator
It might be a miracle come true if somehow you have acquired the Pikachu Illustrator in your deck. You might even have to join a club; a club of 39 members to be exact. Yes, it’s right! There are only 39 cards of these in the world, as they were only given to Japanese Pokémon art competition winners.
Although it’s unsure how many of them are left in the world, few can be found being sold on a super rare occasion. The last one witnessed for sale was priced an estimated 100,000 US Dollars. And trust me, there are many people willing to pay the price.
9. Raichu (Pre-Release)
This is actually a really funny story as it is said that this card was actually not supposed to exist. It's viewed to be a mistake by the company in charge of producing Pokémon cards at the time, which was called Wizards of the Coast. After realizing their error, they decided to hand out these cards to their employees and what a lucky mistake that was because this card is a valuable one, selling up to 10,000 US Dollars! This story allegedly comes from one of the lucky company’s employees that have acquired the precious card.
8. Japanese Espeon
This is one of the rarest Pokémon cards of all time as it only witnessed a super limited release among the Pokémon Players Club. It is a Japanese version of the incredibly lovable Espeon, which is one of the obscure characters of Pokémon that not a lot of people know about. Different from the regular Espeon, it is much shinier in neon green color. Adding a flair to the little adorable psychic creatures.
This card might be worth about 1,000 US Dollars or more.
7. Trophy Pikachu Trainer
This is almost impossible to find! It's a card that no one has ever witnessed being sold on any market, whether it was online or offline. If you are asking how to get one of them, then, of course, you are not one of the two players that have placed very highly at an official Trading Card Game tournament. They are the only ones that are in possession of such a card.
This card is found only in Japanese, and it is highly recommended that you don’t waste time looking for them as no one will probably sell them.
6. Tropical Mega Battle
Once upon a time (1999 to be exact), 12 Tropical Mega Battle cards were given out to a number of players attending the Trading Card Game tournament in Honolulu, Hawaii. The card was made especially for the event featuring a Psyduck taking what seems like a relaxing nap on a hammock at a gorgeous tropical island.
It is a Trainer Card as well and is one of the most expensive Pokémon cards ever. That is, of course, due to its high rarity and great demand.
5. Holographic Shadowless First Edition Charizard
You might ask, what makes this card so rare and wanted? Well, the Holographic Shadowless First Edition Charizard is a Kanto starter Pokémon in its first edition, which in itself, means great value. Aside from that, it is a holographic card meaning even more value to any card.
Some people don’t know what shadowless cards mean. Shadowless cards are basically error cards that miss a shadow at the right of the image in the box. There is a small selection of such cards, making it a bounty for all players!
4. Monster Key Prize Card
The Master Key is another prize card that's solemnly sought after in Pokémon card collector circles. There are only 34 cards in the whole world that exist and it can only be found in Japan. That is, of course, due to its substantially limited release. The Master Key card was awarded to Trading Card Game players who managed to win a certain Japanese national tournament.
This card is so rare that it is worth more than 10,000 US Dollars. Making it one of the most expensive Pokémon cards ever made. But if you want to sell it as a part of a limited set, you can even price it for 80,000 US Dollars.
3. Pokémon Snap Cards
Let’s take it back to Nintendo 64! If you were a hardcore fan during that time, then you can probably recollect (no pun intended) Pokémon Snap, the classic game from the Nintendo 64 console. The whole purpose of the game was to take ingenious photos of the many creatures inside the game, which then led to the creation of the amazingly scarce Pokémon Snap cards.
Believe it or not, the Snap Cards actually feature the real pictures of all the creatures taken by players of the game. How cool is that! However, not many of them have been produced, feeding its current high price.
2. Tamamushi University Magikarp
This is one of the weirdest cards ever as it features one of the worst Pokémon creatures you will ever see. Despite the unpopularity, it is priced at a whopping 15,000 US Dollars.
I can see you’re confused... So let me tell you the story; University Magikarp was a promo card that saw (like many rare cards) limited release and distribution among the public. It was only released at a Japanese tournament back in the 1990s.
A thousand of these cards were produced but very few are found today, adding more sense to its expensive price.
1. Full Art Ex Cards
These are the cheapest cards you will find compared to the much more expensive ones on this list. However, this means in no way that it is not a rare card. It is so rare that rarely does anybody own it. Why are they so special? Well, the cards feature Pokémon art that stretches out the whole card, unlike the rest where the Pokémon is only in a box with a description underneath. The only way you will find them is through expansion packs, but I bet you will even find one that is real. And if you do, then you are maxed out of luck.