All collection updates are condensed with spoiler tags and condensed images to make the thread more readable. Click the spoiler text to see the full post and open image in new tab to see higher res. pls don’t quote images ok ty
Hi E4! Just wanted to start a collection thread to record my thoughts and share some cards as I navigate through this hobby.
I started to type a diatribe about my background in the hobby but it’s pretty unremarkable - the short version is that, like so many others, I collected in '99-2000 and came back to it in 2021. I’ll save anything more than that to scatter around on collection updates where relevant.
To start, I’d like to share my first artist collection since it’s about to be un-completed with the release of Fusion Arts.
I haven’t found much info about sowsow online (unsurprising, as they’ve opted to keep their name and face private) beyond what they’ve shared on their social media and website, but there’s some beautiful work from non-tcg ventures on display there as well.
The only public commentary I’ve found from them is their part in an artist roundtable from the March 2021 Illustration magazine. I’ll leave the translation up to you, as I’m just a pleb reading through bits and pieces of google translate.
Unrelated to sowsow but I’d definitely recommend anyone interested in the TCG art pick up this issue of the magazine, as it showcases a variety of art and artists throughout the TCG history as well as some cards that never made it to release.
I’m happy to have my small sowsow set “complete” now to just keep up with new releases. I’m working on a few other artist collections but am not really rushing to complete them, as some older common cards can be difficult to find and/or prohibitively expensive to buy as singles with shipping. I’m generally just adding some here and there when shops that I’m making bigger orders with happen to have them. Looking forward to sharing more over time.
Aaand another collection goal of mine completed by someone else great accomplishment tho, awesome to see all that beautiful art together! Hopefully my binder looks like that too some day but until then i can admire yours
Sowsow is one of the best additions to the TCG roster Pokemon has ever made IMHO. I’m one of those people who dislike most overly-CGI looking illustrations as they’re just too harsh and noisy to me, but Sowsow’s work is so joyful and charming amidst most of these other cards. Great set to collect OP!
@joponnes, thanks! For some of the artists with more history, I would’ve loved to snag so many cards while they were still readily available in shop circulation. So, I’m taking that opportunity on newer cards while I can.
@aritafan, I’m with you. There are some nice CG cards out there, but the way it gets used as a template to pad out sets is a bit much sometimes.
@bk2021, thank you. The Delphox card is “real” in the sense that it is an official design, but it was never actually released.
As a kid I had a complete set of Base unlimited along with most of Jungle, Fossil, and Rocket, but the only “set” I cared about completing was the Pokédex. No consistency of sets or editions, I just slotted in whichever English card I happened to get first. The sleeves and binder have changed, but I’ve kept the cards the same (despite the urge to reorganize everything as a proper matched “rookie” set). I’ve continued the tradition since coming back with binders spanning the full National Pokédex. Not something I’m too worried about ever completing, but it has been a nice way to find value in “bulk” cards.
And then there’s a mysterious, less-than-pristine, sealed shadowless starter deck. I have absolutely no recollection of why I had a second box at all or why I never opened it…
Character Rares - click to expand
I was into all the games and general fandom over the years but somehow had almost no exposure to the cards. Pretty much the only time I saw any cards was glancing at competitive TCG alongside VGC events in the BW-XY years, so my historical knowledge base prior to this year was just: Base era → ?? → Genesect EX → ??
And then I saw a picture of Pikachu 241 from Cosmic Eclipse. Having never seen a full art card at all, my mind was blown that Pokémon cards could look like that. I immediately needed the CHR mini-set (and shortly thereafter a handful of other cards following the same theme). These cards were a major catalyst to bring me back to the hobby and sent me down the rabbit hole of learning about the 20+ years of cards that I had missed, so they’ll always have a special place in my collection.
My first PSA cards and a start to my weather trio collection. No, I’m not going after all their cards in 10s (or even in any condition - game show Rayquaza ain’t happening). They’re my favorite legendary group from my favorite region and happen to have a bunch of nice cards that go well together, so I’m just looking to make them a point of focus for my disjointed collection (including non-TCG items)
And on to something only mildly related… As much as I love all the beautiful alt arts, the Amazing Rares might be my favorite thing from the SWSH era. They’re just a great balance of combining modern and vintage styling without being *too* flashy.
Oh yea I see now. Yea the new character rares look amazing. Theyre also awesome because the cosmic eclipse ones + the lilly clefairy only make up a page and less than half a second page so it’ll be great to have a nice filled out 2 pages.
Rayquaza ☆; Hoenn Legendary Statue - click to expand
Just one card today. This card was a gateway for me in a lot of ways. Seeing this card with silver borders was the starting point for my preference for Japanese cards over English. It was my introduction to everything in between Neo and the Sun & Moon eras - I was initially all about modern full arts after finding the CHR set, but this was the card that led me to go back through every set in Pokellector and find things that I could appreciate in every era. It was my introduction to artist collecting - seeing all the Gold Stars illustrated in Fukuda’s distinct style led me to look through his entire catalog of work in the TCG, which then branched out to recognizing and collecting other artists.
HOWEVER… it’s right up there in the pantheon behind Chorizord as one of the most emblematic cards of the obnoxious hypebeast stonker “oMg SiCk FiRe BrO” culture in the hobby that I find really offputting. It also feels a bit silly to buy any set card in this price range instead of going for something more exclusive. Despite that, I’m happy to have it in my collection now as it is such a distinct marker for my path back into collecting.
tl;dr - shiny sky snake make brain go doot doot
And on to something that you haven’t seen 1000 times - I just got my first resin statue WOO. Hoenn Legendary Pokemon by Crescent Studio. The good news is that this came in a lot sooner than I expected. The bad news is that my display case for it isn’t due in until March '22, so… I guess these guys are gonna hang out on my dining room table until then.
Little update on where I’m at in the hobby so that I can someday look back on this time and think “what was I doing”. I’ve been buying a lot - between PWCC and a few other consignment blocks I’ve picked up a couple hundred graded cards as well as a pretty hefty chunk of raw cards from Japan. The bad news, however, is that most of the things I’ve been buying aren’t actually in the direction of my primary collection goals. I just keep stocking up on things that I’m loosely interested in and fall through the cracks of “market price” on overlooked auctions. From this process I’ve learned a few things:
a) There are deals happening every day. The sheer volume of cards being exchanged means there are decent items out there constantly hitting 30-50% below “fair value” and I can’t buy them all.
b) The time I spend chasing good prices isn’t worth it - I could just put that time toward other income sources to cover more than the difference.
c) When the rare items I want do pop up, I should just go for it. I haven’t really regretted “overpaying” for anything yet, but definitely regret passing on some things over a price difference that’s trivial in the bigger picture.
This is the first prize card I’ve bought. A lot of people seem to hate this card, but I really like the Pearl/Diamond/Platinum concept as such a straightforward tie-in to a specific era. The actual mid-era trophies (numbered trainers) completely blend together in my mind, while many lower-tier prize cards (DPP, scroll, key) are very distinct. It wasn’t on my top priority list, but so many hit the market at the same time that I decided to just get it while it’s readily available. Still not sure if I’ll really go for the other two, as the price tier I expect on them opens up a lot of other options…
And for something completely unrelated - a Theater Limited VS set. I picked up other copies of the Latis previously and it opened the door for me to appreciate the set as a whole - lot of great art (except you, Crobat… what did they do to you) from some of my favorite illustrators in a very concise JP exclusive set. I was thinking about going for a full set and then one happened to pop up on PWCC last month, so I went for it. Almost complete in sequential certs but not quite. I’ll definitely say that buying a complete set outright feels a little deflating compared to filling things in piece by piece over time, but I’m still really happy with this pickup.
This really resonated with me. I have a few personal grail cards I’d like to buy that are anywhere from 1k-3k and I have this mental barrier of “I can’t spend$Xk on a single card!” Then I look back at all the cheaper things I’ve gotten for a good deal that I don’t actually care that much about, and wouldn’t you know, it adds up to as much or more of some of the cards I wish I had.
For sure. Seeing the total PWCC invoice all together this month was really eye-opening for me to see so many little things added up vs the higher-end things I passed on for comparable price totals. Oh well, always learning!