Base Set Collecting Reccomendations

Hi Guys,

I have recently got back into the hobby and would like to collect a full set of PSA graded base set holos. There is no way I can afford anything crazy like 1st edition PSA 10! However I think I may be able to afford to collect a unlimited PSA 9 set or shadowless PSA 8 looking around at UK sold listings.

If you guys where going to collect a full set and you had a limited budget would you go for the best condition unlimited set you can afford or would you go for the a lower grade shadowless set as its rarer.

If I follow smpratte older, rarer, minter mantra its means I should go shadowless but a lower grade.

Any opinions would be appreciated. I’m not purely motivated by investment here I am cetianly colecting these things because I loved them so much as a kid! However as I am spending a lot of money (for me that is) I would like the idea that they may at least hold there value for many years to come.

I think shadowless is the way to go (look at my name - but not at the tag! :blush:) as there is more potential in rarity over condition in this scenario in my opinion. I doubt that either PSA 9 nor shadowless PSA 8 will see astronomical increases in the near future, as the most potential investment wise is in 10s. There is much less shadowless than unlimited out there though, sealed product is approx. 3x the value of unlimited. I think both will easily hold their value with some minor ups and downs but I´d personally go for the rarer option (even though it´s much more niche - that is also something you should take into account. Somebody completely “new” to the hobby will not recognize/go for shadowless but for unlimited most of the time as that´s what they played with. It´s therefore also more easy to sell if you´d like to do so.) Differences in grading, e.g. between 8-9s can be minor whereas rarity is just what it is.


I don’t think the “older, rarer, minter, better” really fits here because this is just for your personal collection and not really high value. But I don’t think a PSA 9 unlimited or PSA 8 Shadowless has good investment potential either (but either set is amazing to have for a collection)

I would compare the artworks and judge whether you would prefer unlimited or shadowless. Prices for both sets should be somewhat close to each other

It’s honestly whichever you’d prefer for your collection. I wouldn’t think much about where the values could be long term


you don’t have to compare yourself or your collection to smpratte, collect what you think you would like the best. (although I do, and everyday I stare at my weak collection in contempt :unamused: )

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I’d probably recommend either a PSA 10 unlimited set (if really value condition) or a PSA 8 shadowless set if you want something a bit more special at the cost of condition (a lot of the 8s are really affordable)

Whatever you pick just remember these 3 things:

  1. buy what you like
  2. make sure you can afford the charizard
  3. dont be overly concerned about future value

PSA 10 1st edition has outpaced unlimited 9 and shadowless 8 growth by a lot. It will most likely continue to do so.

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Flip a coin, if heads go with shadowless, tails go with unlimited. Pay attention to how you feel about the outcome and if you don’t like the outcome do the opposite.


Coin flipped. shadowless PSA 8 it is! Thanks for the responses guys this feels like an engaging community.


Consider an Unlimited set with a PSA 9 Charizard, and PSA 10s for the rest.


Base 2000 is another way to go - as there are - speculatively - less of them than shadowless; depending on which continent one lives in too ~

That might be true, but it´s even more niche than shadowless - I wouldn´t really recommended that to someone who is not already interested in it by themselves.

I’d go with what you loved in your youth. If you were surrounded by shadowless, do those. If you were closer to the newer artwork, do those.

Always remember, in the future you can always get the other:)


It was all about the base set, fossil and jungle for me. At that time I had no idea of the differences in the base set and wouldn’t have cared if I did! However now I’m older the collector in me loves understanding the history of these historic sets and I want something as historic as I can afford to keep around as a piece of my history and the history of so many others like me!

If you go with psa 9 unlimited you can probably complete that in a couple of days :blush: the set is silly cheap in 9

But like others have said, buy what you like or feels nostalgic to you and the prices won’t matter in the future all that much

Shadowless holos in PSA 9 are pretty affordable outside Zard.

I’d either buy 9s or raw cards, not PSA 8. You’re not paying that much more for the higher grade.

I would say just go fro extremely low graded base set 1st edition if you want that history to go with it if not go for the psa 9 unlimited set as that will hold more value to you as that was one you collected as a kid :blush:

I know it wasn’t an option that you stated but what about a nice NM binder set. I’ve seen a few people jump into the hobby a little too quick and then life happens or they lose interest and end up losing a good amount of money. A binder set is going to be a lot cheaper and will give you something to work on while you build up a basic knowledge of the hobby and current market values before you spend the big bucks. Just a thought.


Exactly; I’m just waiting for @smpratte to mention them in a video, or simply PSA to acknowledge them and then: the game is on ~

Are you guys on about the UK 4th print? I live in the UK and wonder if I should try to grab these as I am located well!

However they just don’t feel that special only having the 1999-2000 text difference. Or are there more differences than that?

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My personal opinion is Base 2000 is a niche inside a niche inside another. I’d stick with a 1st Edition Base PSA 5 Set.