Mint Pokemon Illustrator card achieves $55,000

A mint condition Pokemon Illustrator card made $54,970 at Heritage Auctions on November 17.

It last sold for an undisclosed sum in excess of $47,000 in a private sale in 2013.

Pokemon Illustrator card
The Pokemon Illustrator card was awarded as a prize to winners of a drawing competition

The Illustrator card was given out as a prize to entrants of a drawing competition held by Japanese manga comic CoroCoro in 1998.

Around 39 were given out. Of these only 10 PSA-graded specimens are known. The present lot carries a grade of Mint 9, the joint highest known.

The market for trading cards is on the up, as we saw with the record sale of a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle over the weekend.

This latest result highlights the emergence of Pokemon cards as a growth sector in this market.

This looks to be down to the increasing buying power of millennials and the built in rarity of the cards themselves.

Other more attainable Pokemon cards, such as the rare first edition Charizard from the 1999-2000 English language set, are now selling for several hundred dollars online.

As Heritage puts it: "Like an open bottle of soda, the Pokemon cards fizzled out of popularity in the mid-late 2000s.

"Well, parents, break into your child's old room, because there is a chance that these collectible critters were actually an investment."

The sale also saw a new auction record set for an unrestored copy of Superman #1.

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