A high grade copy of what is arguably the most sought after Pokémon card and three rare NES sealed games will cross the auction block in Heritage’s Comics & Comic Art Auction on July 9-12, 2020, in Dallas, Texas.
The Pokémon Super Secret Battle “No. 1 Trainer” Trainer Promo Hologram trading card PSA Gem MT 10 is one of just seven copies known to exist. It features art by Hideki Kazama.
“This unique card can easily be the centerpiece of any serious Pokémon card collection,” said Jesus Garcia, Assistant Comics & Comic Art Operations Supervisor at Heritage. “These cards were given to the winners of regional Pokémon tournaments, of which there were only seven, making this an exceedingly rare prize among collectors. The perfect grade is important, of course, but the sheer rarity of the card is the main reason why it is an inarguable must-have for serious Pokémon collectors.”
The card reads “The Pokémon Card Game Official Tournament’s champion is recognized here, and this honor is praised. By presenting this card, you may gain preferential entry into the Secret Super Battle.” The tournament was so secretive that the competitors only found out the location of the final round after winning a regional tournament. The finals took place August 22, 1999, in Tokyo.
The Pikachu Illustrator is widely regarded as the most expensive Pokémon card; according to psacard.com, there are 19 Pikachu Illustrator cards certified. That means that with just seven copies known, this Super Secret Battle No. 1 Trainer card is even rarer.
The video game portion levels up with high grade copies of Super Mario Bros., Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!, and Super Mario Bros. 3.
“Each of these lots appeals to collectors due to its relevance to pop culture, exceptional grade, packaging variant rarity, or all of the above,” Heritage Video Games Director Valarie McLeckie said. “It will certainly be interesting to see which lots really resonate with our clients. This collectible field is still in its nascent stage, so we are still learning what aspects of the hobby collectors put the largest premium on.”
The Super Mario Bros. WATA 9.4 A+ sealed (hangtab, 3 code, mid-production), NES Nintendo 1985 USA is the highest selling game on the console, and marks the first game in the Super Mario Bros. video game series. What really sets this copy of this Nintendo Entertainment System launch title apart is the packaging itself. This copy is from one of the short production runs of this title whose box had a cardboard hangtab underneath the plastic, signifying it was one of the first variants produced after Nintendo started using shrink-wrap to seal the games rather than stickers, and it has never been opened.
Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! WATA 9.2 B sealed (Rev-A, round SOQ, mid-production), NES Nintendo 1987 USA is the highest graded copy that Heritage has offered so far, and it’s even said that this copy is one of the highest graded of the title with a round, Nintendo seal of quality. With the relatively recent sale of a WATA 8.5 sealed copy of the same variant selling for $45,600, there’s no telling what a copy of this caliber may bring.
Super Mario Bros. 3 WATA 9.0 A sealed (Left Bros., first production), NES Nintendo 1990 USA is the first sealed example of the prized “Left Bros.” variant ever offered at public auction. This variant’s nickname refers to the formatting of “Bros.” on the front of the box, which confirms that this copy is from the earliest production run of the title, effectively equal to a “first printing.” Sealed copies of this variant are almost unheard of, with a projected population estimated at being in the low single digits. One could even say “Left Bros.” is to Super Mario Bros. 3 as “Dr. Wright” is to Mega Man.