Back in 1997 right after Pokemon was introduced in Japan, a little known drawing contest took place. This contest was held a total of 3 times during 1997 in Japan. Each time, two of the best drawings were selected and the prize was a rare Japanese Pokemon card. This card came to be known as “the Illustrator” or the “Pikachu Illustrator” as it is sometimes called.
Is this card truly the rarest Pokemon card of all time?
The answer I believe is a definite “Yes”. It is by far the rarest Japanese Pokemon card of all time and I would say that it is the rarest Pokemon card the world has ever seen. There was a total of only six of these cards ever produced. But to make it even more rare, most of the cards were given out to very young children. The only one I have ever seen was given out to a 6 year old boy. So, of the 6 cards that were given out 13 years ago, how many exist today? And in what condition? Nobody knows for sure, but there have only been 1 or 2 of these cards to surface in the 13 years that I have been following Pokemon. The one that is currently for sale is priced at a whopping $32.500.00 A small fortune for most of us, but the card has been steadily increasing in value ever since its creation in 1997. This particular one is in mint or very near mint condition which is very rare considering the card was mainly given to very small children.
The card is a beautiful holofoil that says “Illustrator” instead of “Trainer” on the top of the card. It shows Pikachu holding a paintbrush and has two stars at the bottom of the card indicating its rarity. In addition, it also has a paintbrush logo on the bottom of the card instead of a series mark.
Other people argue that some of the other rare Japanese Pokemon cards are just as rare. For example, the Pikachu trophy trainer no. 1 card, the Super Secret Battle Mewtwo 1st place gold trophy card, or the Tropical Mega Battle no. 1 trainer with Exeggutor on it come to mind. These are all very rare Japanese promo cards and each were also produced in extremely low quantity, but I would still have to say the Pikachu Illustrator would have to be the rarest Pokemon card of all time, simply because of the fact that the card seems to be almost impossible to find. The other cards surface once in a great while and are all valued at about $4000-7000 per card, but the Illustrator is the king of them all in my book.