CGC-certified Pokémon Illustrator Provokes Bidding War in Rare Candy's May Premier Auction

Posted on 5/17/2024

Bidding for the CoroCoro Comics promo had already surpassed $10,000 more than two weeks before the sale is set to end.

A Pokémon Illustrator certified by CGC Cards™ is attracting attention in an upcoming Rare Candy auction. Bidding for the CoroCoro Comics promo had already exceeded $10,000 more than two weeks before Rare Candy’s May Premier Auction is set to end on May 29, 2024.

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The Pokémon Illustrator, Pokémon (1998) Japanese CoroCoro Comics Illustration Contest Promo is graded CGC 8.5 (lot 63). CGC Cards has certified 14 examples of Pokémon Illustrator, according to the CGC Cards Population Report, four of which are graded CGC 8.5.

In 1997, CoroCoro Comics partnered with The Pokémon Company to run two Pokémon-themed art contests for Japanese children. Those who sent in their Pokémon-related artwork would have a chance to win prizes, including a special promo card: Pokémon Illustrator. In all, 39 children won the contests in 1997 and 1998. Additionally, two extra copies of Pokémon Illustrator were discovered after the 1998 contest ended, bringing the grand total of these promo cards in circulation to a mere 41.

More than 25 years later, Pokémon Illustrator has become one of the most expensive and coveted Pokémon cards in existence due to its rarity and special release circumstances. Many have sold for six figures or more, including two CGC-certified examples: one Pokémon Illustrator graded CGC Gem Mint 10 sold for $495,000 in a Heritage Auctions sale in September 2023, and another CGC-certified example graded CGC 9.5 realized $672,000 in a Goldin sale in October 2022.

Other CGC-certified cards in the auction include:

  • a Miracle Diamond, Pokémon (2007) Japanese Unnumbered Battle Road Top 3 Prize Promo graded CGC 4.5 (lot 62)
  • a Latias Gold Star, Pokémon (2004) Japanese Clash of the Blue Sky Holo graded CGC 8 (lot 32)
  • a Shining Gyarados, Pokémon (2000) Japanese Awakening Legends Holo graded CGC 8.5 (lot 17)

About CGC

Since revolutionizing comic book grading in 2000, CGC has grown to include certification services for a vast variety of pop culture collectibles. These divisions include CGC CardsCGC Video Games and CGC Home Video. CGC Cards provides expert card grading for TCGs, sports cards and non-sports cards. CGC Video Games is dedicated to video game grading for the most popular consoles, including Nintendo, Sega, Atari, PlayStation and more. The newest division of CGC, CGC Home Video, provides expert VHS grading in addition to other types of home media.

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