On December 20, controversial YouTuber and boxer Logan Paul revealed on Twitter that he had purchased an “authenticated” box of first-edition Pokemon cards for a staggering $3.5 million. The purchase was reported as one of, if not the largest Pokemon TCG acquisitions ever made. The rarity of unopened first-edition Pokemon TCG booster boxes, let alone a packaged box of six of them, was undeniable. At least, its value and rarity were undeniable before evidence grew that the Pokemon cards box was fake.
A report regarding the authenticity of Logan Paul’s $3.5 million Pokemon TCG purchase has cast doubt on whether the box and its contents are an elaborate fake. The report goes explores all aspects of the box and its sale. It starts with the seller, touches on Baseball Card Exchange’s authentication of the box, and red flags stemming from the production of the box itself.
To start with the box of Pokemon cards itself, the report points to issues in two areas. First is the label, which features a product code, bar code, and details regarding the box’s contents. The report claims that not only is the font different than any other, but the ink of the label appears to be new whereas labels from similar boxes has aged and faded. Even more important, the product code doesn’t match other boxes of the era, adding a “1E” to the code that Wizards of the Coast has only started doing more recently. Further, the bar code doesn’t match the product code, leaving off the “1E.” The second issue with the box is the tape, which doesn’t match the tape uses on authentic boxes.
The next area of concern is the initial seller of the box. The Canadian eBay account that first sold Logan Paul’s box had very little feedback and renamed their account ahead of the sale, perhaps to obfuscate the account’s history. The eBay listing was also rife with grammatical errors, leading many Pokemon TCG collectors to assume it was a scam from the start. In fact, it initially sold for just $72,500, well under the value of what such a box should cost. However, the sale was canceled when the buyer wasn’t allowed to fly to the seller to inspect the box.
Here’s where things get murky. The box was then resold to another buyer in the United States, who acquired it without insurance. At this point, the buyer already had their money and if it turned out to be fake, that money would be lost. Regardless, the buyer hired a company named Baseball Card Exchange with little Pokemon card experience to authenticate the box. It did, though it didn’t open the box to do so. It also did not publically share its authentication process, a norm in the industry. The box was then sold for $2.7 million to another collector, and then to Logan Paul for $3.5 million.
The report into Logan Paul’s Pokemon TCG box is certainly persuasive. And judging from the evidence provided at hand, it’s difficult to imagine this box being authenticated without it being opened first to confirm its contents. Regardless, Logan Paul did pay $3.5 million for it, does believe it’s authentic, and has yet to open the box. The truth of the matter may never be shared publicly, leaving Pokemon fans to decide on their own whether this box of first-edition Pokemon cards is the biggest scam to hit the Pokemon TCG community.