Assistance needed to ID potential fakes?

Hi there, I’m hoping the general category is the appropriate place to post a question like this.

I’ve recently started purchasing some commons and uncommons from Base 1st Ed., attempting to buy through trusted sellers on TCGplayer with good feedback and high volume of sales.

Below are pictures of the Pidgey and Ponyta cards I bought from the same seller. Comparison pictures are unlimited copies I own and also a shadowless ponyta I owned separately.

On all 3 shadowless cards the energy symbols are off center. The fist in the fighting resistance symbol on 1st Ed. Pidgey is also off center. The attack font is also larger on shadowless pidgey compared to unlimited.

Everything else about these seems pretty authentic to me, bulbapedia did not have these listed as potential errors/misprints so I’m concerned I have been sold fakes. Can anyone assist here? Happy to provide more pictures.

They are authentic. PSA example that matches your cards. WOTC changed a lot of things from 1st edition to unlimited base set

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Phew!! Ok thank you. They did seem authentic otherwise, none of the typical “fake” red flags like spelling errors, weird coloration, incorrect card text, etc.

I checked E4’s article on corrected error cards as well and didn’t turn up anything so I was concerned. I wonder if anyone has ever done a compare on each card in Base 1st/Shadowless/Unlimited to catalog these sorts of differences?

The variations between the 4+ prints of the base set are actually some of the most documented differences in the hobby, this is where most vintage collectors start their journey!


Right well I’m familiar with the main aspects - the copyright line, shadowless borders, vibrant color differences, thinner font…as well as the more popular errors like red cheeks pikachu, no stage blastoise, no dmg ninetales, etc.

I had just never read about pidgey and ponyta specifically. I’ve seen pictures of fakes where the energy symbols are enlarged or off-center and font differences so that had me concerned. But the PSA slab is proof enough for me! I’ll keep comparing as I slowly collect these because now my interest is piqued.

Mhmm, indeed. On 1st/Shadowless prints the energy costs are supposed to be aligned with the attack name rather than centered to the left of the text. For me this is the thing that makes early Base Set cards look so screwy. They just look so askew this way.

Ponyta is an exception because of poor quality control and it’s way askew towards the bottom.

And even so, sometimes what they considered “aligned” can vary even between cards right next to each other. Look at 1st Edition Tangela and Starmie. The way they present three energy attack cost and how it’s aligned on the card are different.

These cards were slapped together.