If you have been on the internet long enough, chances are you are aware of Logan Paul. The crass, rich, reckless, and brazenly transgressive content creator that has leapt back and forth from reckless stunts to provocative events all done in bad taste to curry engagement. In many ways, he is effectively a wrestling heel for the social media age. So it's no surprise that Paul made a major appearance during this year's Wrestlemania event, all while wearing a Pokemon card around his neck. And it just so happens that owning this piece of cardboard has helped Paul set a world record for most expensive Pokemon card purchase.
First, a bit of history as to why this particular collectible became the most expensive Pokemon card purchase. The card in question is a "Pikachu Illustrator" card which were originally awards from a card illustration contest held in CoroCoro magazine.back in 1998. Winners would receive the card in addition to another card featuring their artwork. There are only about 24 of these cards accounted for courtesy of PSA grading, and the artwork was penned by the creator of Pikachu himself, Atsuko Nishida. This particular card also received a grading of 10, marking it as essentially mint condition.
In short, it was a limited printing of a unique artwork of one of Pokemon's most iconic creatures drawn by the original creator and kept pristine.
Now for the exchanges of money leading to the most expensive Pokemon card purchase ever. In addition to the pageantry that comes with WWE's Wrestlemania, the confirmation of the purchase came from Guinness World Record holders. On their social media pages, Guinness confirmed that Paul purchased the Pokemon card at a private sale in Dubai back in July for a grand total of $5,275,000. This is a massive increase compared to the last record holder, which sat at $900,000. The purchase comprised a combination of $4,000,000 out of Paul's pocket followed by an identical Pikachu Illustrator card with a PSA rating of 9, setting its value at $1,275,000 to pay for the difference.
Given Paul's past history regarding this series, it's clear that this most expensive Pokemon card purchase was a blatant case of cross promotion. The showcasing of Pokemon on the mainstream stage of WWE's core audience, the popularity of Paul's presence, and the authenticity contributed by Guinness World Records all paint a picture of marketing synergy as well as a flaunting of excess. Considering that Paul once lost a ton of money on Pokemon cards in the past, this seems meant more to promote his inclusion as DLC in the latest WWE2K game more than anything else.