After Certification by CGC Trading Cards, Pokémon Test Print Blastoise Blasts to $360,000 at Auction

Posted on 1/15/2021

The intriguing blank-back presentation card now ties for the highest price ever paid at auction for any English Pokémon card.

An extremely rare Pokémon card certified by CGC Trading Cards realized $360,000 at a Heritage Auctions sale on January 14, 2021, making it one of the most expensive Pokémon cards ever sold. The Blastoise Commissioned Presentation Galaxy Star Hologram graded CGC 8.5 is now tied for the highest price ever paid at auction for any English Pokémon card. The first record was only established last month, demonstrating just how hot the trading cards market is becoming, with CGC Trading Cards adding fuel to the fire through its expert certification services.

Blastoise Commissioned Presentation Galaxy Star Hologram graded CGC 8.5. Realized: $360,000
Click image to enlarge.

This CGC-certified Blastoise card is a test print that was created in 1998 as Wizards of the Coast (WotC) prepared to create English Pokémon cards. CGC Trading Cards certified four of these rare Blastoise test prints, which are among the hobby's most intriguing cards. This is the only one with a blank back; the other three have Magic: The Gathering backs. One of the Magic-backed cards was offered on eBay for $15,000 before being certified by CGC Trading Cards, but went unsold.

CGC Trading Cards thoroughly researched and analyzed these four test prints as part of its authentication process. It was discovered that the blank-backed card was owned by a past member of the WotC public relations team.

According to the former employee, the card was created for media use to demonstrate what an English Pokémon card would look like. Due to the reason behind its creation, CGC Trading Cards included a notation of “Commissioned Presentation” on the card’s label. One other similar example was created for international use, and its whereabouts are unknown.

To learn more about how CGC Cards certified these test prints, click here.

Watch the live feed of the sale below.

Pokémon cards represent a rapidly growing segment of the collectibles market. To meet collector demand for expert and impartial authentication and grading services, CGC Trading Cards was established in mid-2020 by Certified Guaranty Company® (CGC®), the world-leading comic book certification service.

The Blastoise card was sold as part of Heritage Auctions' Comics & Comic Art Signature Auction. The trust that collectors place in CGC's expertise was on display elsewhere at this auction, as a Batman #1 graded GCG 9.4 realized $2.22 million, one of the highest prices ever paid for any comic book.

In addition, a Pokémon First Edition Base Set Sealed Booster Box (the cards of which are uncertifiable until the box is opened) realized $408,000. The next two top items in the sale were also certified by CGC: a Captain America Comics #1 graded CGC 8.5 that realized $384,000 and the Blastoise test card graded CGC 8.5.

CGC Trading Cards also certifies Magic: The Gathering cards. In just six months, CGC Trading Cards has already graded many impressive collections and numerous rarities, including exciting errors, variants and more.

CGC-graded cards are also featured in a Heritage Auctions sale in March as well as at a variety of other dealers, auction houses and online marketplaces.

To learn more about CGC Trading Cards, click here.

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