To say that Pikachu has cemented itself as a pop culture icon would be an understatement. The most famous (and arguably the cutest) of all the Pokémon has netted itself millions of adoring fans all over the world. Here’s some of the best Pikachu Cards you can collect!
Pikachu is also one hell of a marketing tool, it’s allowed the Pokemon Company to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.
It comes as no surprise then that Pikachu cards are some of the most valuable and sought-after trading cards in the world. These ultra-rare collectibles can auction for millions of dollars per card! However, it takes a professional to sort out the duds from the real gems.
This is what I consider to be the best Pikachu cards to get your hands on:
- Birthday Pikachu
- Red Cheeks Pikachu
- Pikachu Holon Phantoms
- Trainer Promo Pikachu
- Japanese Illustrator
- Pikachu EX
- Pikachu Generations
- Ditto Pikachu
- Pikachu Expedition
- WOTC Pikachu Promo
The Best Pikachu Cards To Collect
So, let’s get into the article and take a look at a bunch of the most ludicrously priced Pikachu cards in the world. There’s some cards here that the average Joe will never be able to afford but, some of them are more reasonably priced and well worth buying to have in your collection, whether that’s for Pokemon investing or just because you like it!
Let’s start off with one of the weirder versions of the Pikachu card. This “birthday” variant of the iconic Pokémon card was a special release that was intended to be presented as a birthday gift, the whole idea of the card was that you could write anyone’s name in the blank to make it unique.
The main difference with this card, however, was that it gave an extra 50 attack points to Pikachu. While kids would have loved to show off their cool new birthday-buffed Pikachu, the card was officially banned in leagues for obvious reasons.
Regardless, some variants of this card can sell for a pretty penny. A PSA 10 version was sold for $6,750!
If you really like the artwork, a more affordable version of this card is available. It was re-released as part of the 25th Anniversary Celebrations set, it sells for around $10 for an ungraded example.
1999 Base Set 1st Edition Shadowless Red Cheeks Pikachu
The story behind this card is almost as interesting as its price. A miscommunication during the initial printing caused a small batch of them to have Pikachu’s cheeks changed from yellow to red. Since Pikachu in the image is about to attack, his cheeks should be yellow, not red! This oversight was quickly amended, but not before a few of these cards were released to the wild.
A rare Shadowless Red Cheeks Pikachu was sold for $6,900!
Shiny Pikachu Holon Phantoms
This one in my opinion is probably worth it for the artwork alone! The Shiny Pikachu Holon Phantoms was released as part of a special set from the Ruby and Sapphire era.
The star next to Pikachu’s name shows that it’s an ultra-rare card. Pokemon Star cards were first released in the EX Team Rocket Returns set, they’ve been included in most EX series sets ever since.
It’s no wonder that a single card usually sells for around $10,000. A set of sealed EX Holon Phantoms booster boxes are even on sale for an eye-watering $60,000!
No. 2 Trainer Promo Pikachu
Now we’re getting into the unobtanium levels of rarity when it comes to Pokémon cards. The No. 2 Trainer Pikachu card is so rare that you probably won’t ever own one. What’s special about this card is that it was given to the runner-up in the second official Pokémon tournament, held in Japan in 1997. This card is a special relic of Pokémon history and its price reflects that, with some records showing that it sold for upwards of $200,000!
Pikachu Japanese Illustrator
Finally, we have the cream of the crop. The holy grail of Pikachu cards: the Illustrator. Experts say that there were only around 40 of these ever made, with only 24 of them being graded by PSA. I’ll let you figure out how insanely rare that makes this card.
The card was originally given out as a prize for a Pokémon illustration competition held by CoroCoro comic, if only they knew how rare this card would be in the future. The Pikachu Japanese illustrator recently sold for an absolutely insane $5,275,000—the record for the most expensive Pokémon card ever sold privately!
The Best Affordable Pikachu Cards To Collect
So, there we have it, some of the Pikachu cards above will need you to re-mortgage your house and sell a kidney in order to afford them.
But, fear not, I’ve asked a bunch of my Pokemon friends what they’re favourite Pikachu cards that aren’t going to cost an arm and a leg, literally.
Here’s a bunch of Pikachu cards that you can collect for more reasonable sums of money, let’s take a look at these more affordable Pikachu’s. First up it’s Pikachu EX.
Pikachu EX is a black star promo card that came in the Pikachu EX box from the Generations set. I absolutely love the card.
The artwork really is stunning, I particularly like how menacing Pikachu looks, he looks like he’s about to open a whole can of whup-ass! The addition of Jolteon and Electabuzz in the background just adds to the overall look and feel of the card.
It’s price has remained fairly stable according to various price chart websites. You can pick up an ungraded one for around $32 at the time of writing. If you’re into collecting PSA 10’s expect to pay over $800 for a gem mint example.
I can only see this one going up in value. Promo cards pricing curve tends to take a while to start climbing but as availability of the card reduces, the price goes up. It’s more often than not simple supply vs demand economics with promo cards, atleast in my experience.
This radiant rare from the Generations set is a work of art! I love the grass in the foreground and then the bunch of Pikachus playing looks stunning. It’s well worth trying to find a good example of this card for a decent price as this one I can only see going up in the next few years.
The Generations set was released to celebrate 20 years of Pokemon. Key anniversaries, like the 20th Anniversary are going to become more sought after as time goes by.
You’ll be able to pick this card up for around $20, this will be an ungraded card. If you want to go the PSA 10 route, you’ll be looking at almost $200 which, actually, I don’t think is such a bad price for such a cool card.
Possibly one of my favourite purchases this year. This card is actually a Ditto, but he’s taken the form of Pikachu. This means you can use Pikachus famous Thunderbolt attack.
It’s a really decent price at the moment because I genuinley think this card flies under the radar. It’s not that well known or sought after. But, as time goes by I think that will change.
At around $10 for an ungraded example it’s a fairly inexpensive gamble. Keep hold of this card in a sleeve for a few years and it should be worth a fair bit more. I expect it to atleast 3x your initial investment. A PSA 10 will cost almost $165.
If you are buying just because you like the card, then I guess the price doesn’t matter too much, as long as it’s affordable.
Another card that flies under the radar of a lot of collectors, you can pick this up, ungraded for under $10. It’s a bit of a bargain. I really like the ‘half art’ style of this card. It almost looks like your looking for a view-port. It wasn’t done this way just for aesthetics though.
The design of these cards are slightly off center to make room for the strip around the edge, they call it a ‘Dot Code’, it’s basically a barcode that, when scanned by the Nintendo e-reader, it displays Pikachus data, unlocks attacks, or allows you to play a game or music.
With it being part of the first set that was compatible with the e-reader, it’s surely got to be worth a bit more in the future. The Charizard Card from this set is also worth buying, it’s a bit more expensive, though.
I really like the Pikachu artwork and the sky behind looks fantastic. It’s a worthy addition to any collection.
WOTC Pikachu Promo
This is classed as a vintage card these days. It was available as a Wizards Black Star Promo in the VHS and DVD releases of The Power of One from November 14, 2000.
You can pick one up for around $10, but expect the price to skyrocket as the supply dips. There are still hundreds, if not thousands available so it’ll likely take a while to see the price chart start to rise. But, if like me you buy cards because you like them then that shouldn’t worry you.
Otherwise, sit on it a a long term investment.
And there you have it, folks! These are the some of the most best Pikachu cards you can collect. The Pokémon card industry has grown to such a massive level in prestige and popularity, the value of these cards will only increase with the passage of time.
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