I started working at Heritage Auctions on June 2, 2011, and through the years, I’ve seen countless “holy grail” level items come through auctions. Whether it’s comics, video games, action figures, sneakers, fine art, or trading card games, each auction is curated to contain at least one of these items that can go into any collection and instantly become the centerpiece of it. As a consignment director for the Trading Card Games Department, I’m constantly asked what that “holy grail” item is.
The current Trading Card Games Signature Auction features several candidates for the title, but to me, there’s one that is above the rest: the Trophy Pikachu No. 3 Trainer. As someone who remembers rushing to get home from school to watch a new episode of the Pokémon anime series, playing the Pokémon video games, and collecting cards from the TCG, working with such a card is a true gift.
The Trophy Pikachu No. 3 Trainer is easily among the most desirable cards in the entire Pokémon TCG. The card was awarded to one of the third-place winners of the first Official Pocket Monsters in Chiba, Japan, on June 14-15, 1997. A total of four copies were awarded at the historic tournament. The trainers that received a copy of the card were also given preferential entry into the Lizardon Mega Battle Tournament, a tournament considered the first Official Pokémon TCG National Championships. As a bonus, the card features the adorable chunky Pikachu holding the trophy, one of the cutest artworks ever.
At Heritage Auctions, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing, in person, a copy of Detective Comics #27 (the first appearance of Batman), the prototype cartridge to Super Mario Bros. 3, the Nike SB Dunk Low Paris, and numerous other items where I could go on for hours. But this Trophy Pikachu card brings back too many memories for it not to be at the top of my list.