TheTrading Card Game has had a devoted fanbase ever since it was introduced to the world in 1996, so it'll come as no surprise that rare cards can sell for lots of dollars. For instance, one player in New York last year purchased a Pokemon card for $60,000. That was almost a year ago but he still hasn't received it.
The card was lost in the mail.
"Recently one of the most valuable cards in the hobby was lost or stolen in the mail," explains YouTuber smpratte, a trading card aficionado, in a video Tuesday. "Both buyer and seller, I know both of them very well, they did everything they could to make this as above board and legitimate as possible."
The card in question is Trainer No. 3. It was given out to the third-place finalist at Super Secret Battle, a Japanese Pokemon card game tournament in 1999 -- around the time Pokemon Gold and Silver were hitting Game Boys. The card is valuable because you can't get it by buying a million Pokemon card booster packs. The only way to get it is to place third in 1999's Super Secret Battle. Or pay $60,000 for it on eBay.
The card was sold in August 2018 and insured for $50,000. According to smpratte, it was then shipped to New York -- and then what happens next is anyone else's guess. The YouTuber theorizes that someone at the US Postal Service, seeing how much the package was insured for, swiped it.
"Either you have absolute negligence and incompetence of the packages lost, or you have the other side [an] absolute lowlife scumbag who decided to steal this package."
The US Postal Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The buyer is offering $1,000 to anyone who can help locate the card, and has opened up an investigation into the matter.
Pokemon cards selling for such a princely sum is rare, but not unheard of. An Illustrator Pikachu card was bought for $54,970 and, according to smpratte, a first-edition box set of cards sold for $78,000. It's not just a Pokemon thing: A Yu-Gi-Oh! card was put on sale in Japan last year for $400,000.