A RARE box of Pokémon cards is set to go under the hammer in Rayleigh... and could fetch as much as £18,000. 

The sealed box of Pokémon cards, which were released in 2000, are expected to be snapped up by a collector. 

They will be sold at a special toy sale at Stacey's Auctioneers, in Rayleigh, on Monday, January 15. 

The cards include 36 booster packs, each with 11 cards inside. This totals 396 cards. 

The cards have never been touched and the auctioneer description says, “they are likely Gem Mint”.

Stacey’s Auctioneers currently have a guide price of £15,000 to £18,000 for the lot.

Carl Stacey, a toy specialist at Stacey’s Auctioneers, said: “It is really exciting to have this up for auction.

“These boxes rarely come up in auction.

“But we were fortunate to sell a similar lot in our sale last year that made £19,500.

“We have already had enquiries from enthusiastic buyers.

“There are many ways for potential buyers to bid. Buyers are able to attend the auction which will be held at our Great Baddow premises, at Baddow Antiques Centre, The Bringey Church Street.

“Buyers can also leave commission bids or organise telephone buds directly with us. They can bid live online too during the auction via the-saleroom.com or eastliveauction.com.”

The auction will be on January 15, as part of Stacey’s Auctioneers’ specialist toy sale.

Another lot includes seven binders containing a collection of vintage Pokémon cards which have an estimate of £7,000 to £8,000. 

The auctioneers say they are in "very good condition" and include cards from various booster packs. 

In 1998 an illustrated Pikachu card was sold for almost £5 million, and that currently holds the record.

Last year a rare Pokémon card, won by one of the world’s “greatest Pokémon players of all time” sold for £70,000. 

The 'No.2 Trainer Card' is a unique item from the world-famous series, based on the Japanese comics.

It was owned by Pokémon 'Top Trainer' Tord Reklev, from Norway, and was sold at auction by Baldwins' Auctioneers in October.

The top end estimate had been £250,000 which would have made the card one of the most expensive of all time.