In December, YouTuber and boxer Logan Paul spent $3,500,000 on an extremely rare item in the Pokémon card collecting world: an unopened case of six First Edition Base Set Pokémon card booster boxes.
According to Paul and a collectible card expert, those boxes were fake.
It is, at first glance, a monumental schadenfreude spectacle. Paul is a huge celebrity but part of the reason people can’t look away, whether it’s his hugely popular videos or his boxing matches, is that he’s kind of a troll with some legendary fuckups under his belt. You want to see him get punched in the face, and you want to see him blow his fortune because he’s not as smart as he thinks.
Collectors and Pokemon fans have suspected that the cards are fake ever since Paul first announced that he’d bought them. Paul met with the owner of the card authentication shop called Baseball Card Exchange in Chicago, and recorded the interaction. In the video, you can see Paul, the man who sold him the cards, and Baseball Card Exchange owner Steve Hart open the case and quickly realize that what other collectors have been saying online is true, and that the cards are fake. The card boxes bend in a way that an authentic box wouldn’t, and the colors of the print are too light. When he finally opens one of the boxes, they are filled with GI Joe cards. They’re not even Pokémon cards!
Hart, an expert on this stuff who previously vouched for the authenticity of the boxes, appears very uncomfortable and disheartened, licking his lips as his eyes dart around the item for details. Paul is also pantomiming shock, but he’s hamming it up for the camera, and can’t help but smile. After all, this is great content. And by god he’s right.
At the time of writing, the video has 2.2 million views and is the number one trending video on YouTube. The story is viral across the internet.
The same video opens with Paul promoting Prime, a sports drink he recently launched with another YouTuber, KSI.
“Make sure you go get some Prime because every dollar you spend on it goes back into my pocket,” he said.
The viral YouTuber and masterful promoter can’t lose.