'Holy Grail' of Pokemon cards selling for $100,000 on eBay

The 'Pikachu Illustrator' is one of the game's rarest cards

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The Independent US

The "Holy Grail" of Pokemon cards has gone on sale online for $100,000 (£64,000).

Its seller says the Pikachu "illustrator card" is the rarest memorabilia on the market for the Japanese cartoon/ video game/ trading card franchise which swept the Western world in the late nineties.

Pikachu was one of the main characters in the cartoon series, a companion to the protagonist, Ash Ketchum. The Japanese-language card was awarded to the winners of an official illustration contest, and has a picture of a pen-wielding Pikachu.

Only six copies of the card are known to exist.

The owner, Scott Pratte, of Edwardsville, Illinois, has collected Pokemon and sports cards professionally for six years claims to have "the most extensive collection of the rarest Pokemon cards in the world."

In his description for online browsers, he writes: "This card is the Holy Grail of Pokemon.  It is the 'Honus Wagner T206' of Pokemon (a reference to a rare baseball card, of the Pittsburgh Pirates legend of that name). The Illustrator is the most valuable card in the entire hobby.

"This is literally the Most Valuable card with the Highest available grade!"

The price is set at $100,000, though Mr Pratte is listening to offers of less than that. He has so far received 431 offers, none of which he accepted.

The cards became a schoolyard phenomenon after their launch in the mid-nineties. Each Pokemon (or pocket monster) had their own powers and strengths, which each card's owner could use in a Top Trumps-style game.