Source of over 2.9 percent of human disappointment, Logan Paul, may have spent $3.5 million on a pile of fake Pokémon cards. After suspicions were raised by PokéBeach, the former YouTuber has announced he’s off to Chicago to get the case of first edition base set boosters properly verified.
On December 20 last year, Not-Jake announced he’d “dropped” the $3.5 million on what he described as “sealed & authenticated” boxes of first-edition Pokémon cards. The six containers, if real, could of course contain cards worth far more than the purchase price. The question is, could there really be this many pristine, sealed base set Pokémon cards still in the wild?
PokéBeach certainly didn’t think so, and started compiling evidence regarding the boxes, with the help of YouTuber Rattle.
Tracing the origins of the box backward, the earliest sighting was on Canada’s eBay, where an unknown seller with no feedback was offering the collection to a very skeptical audience. Riddled with errors, and without any reason to trust the seller, the listing was widely avoided by serious collectors. It eventually sold in March 2021 for CAD $91,300 (USD$71,900), vastly lower than should have been paid for a “Pokemon Base Set 1st Edition Factory Sealed Case.” Just one of the six boxes alone would usually sell for around $430,000.
Capitalism, but fun
This has all of the joys of Monopoly, but with Animal Crossing inspired board pieces, tiles, and the ability to buy decorations and hunt for bugs and fish too.
The case photographed in the listing was described by Rattle as not looking like known cases for such cards, and the seller then refused to let the buyer fly to them in person to buy the box. In response to this, the original buyer backed out. Added to that, the seller told at least three different origin stories for the cards to three different people.
It eventually sold for an undisclosed amount, to a buyer who made a video showing its arrival, and declaring its verification by a company called Baseball Card Exchange (BBCE), who PokéBeach report as having little experience in verifying Pokémon boxes. This verification was not filmed, and the Pokémon community questioned it.
This buyer then sold the item on to a sports card collector for $2.7m, who then sold it on to Paul for the $3.5m. Impressive profits for selling a sealed cardboard box that no one had looked inside. But hey, maybe that’s the price of Schrödinger’s first-edition Charizards.
PokéBeach go into far more granular detail about why the cardboard container is so suspect, from oddities in the barcode, to the font and spacing on the sealing tape. They also detail why the BBCE might not be qualified to have made the verification. But to sum it up: it looks very suss.
As a result of all this, last night Logan Paul announced he’s on his way to Chicago this weekend, to visit the Baseball Card Exchange, to “verify the case.” It’s not entirely clear what he means by this, given that it was the company to have given the previous and questioned verification. It would seem to make more sense to take them to a more experienced authenticator, unless his purpose is either a filmed confrontation, or an attempt to ambiguously assert the value so he can sell it on.
An unkind person might desperately hope that the famous-for-being-famous personality has wasted three-and-a-half million of his limp-earned fortune on a bunch of faked cardboard. Indeed, they might ask why he’d be willing to throw around such ludicrous sums without apparently doing any due diligence. Although, even if the case does prove to be fake, it’d still be a better value purchase than his spending $2.6 million on NFT scams in 2021.