Limited Funds - What to prioritize?

Hi E4,

Just want to pick the brains of you guys (the finest minds in the hobby) - If you had enough funds (5 to 6k) to afford one only, would you go for 1st Edition Shadowless Charizard in PSA 9 or Unlimited Base Set Booster Box?

What’s your intention?
Are you buying to collect or buying to invest? If you’re buying to collect, just buy what you’d feel happiest with. If you’re buying to invest, I’d say neither. You can probably pick yourself up a great quality modern trophy card or 3 for that money and I’m pretty sure they’d go up in value a lot quicker than a booster box or PSA 9 Charizard.


Both are proven collectibles and I don’t think you can go wrong with either one.

I went the 1st Edition Zard route.

Buy whichever you hate the most.


Buy what you like! Between those two I much prefer 1st ed base PSA 9 Zard, but thats me.

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Do you know what the higher end modern trophy cards are today? I have been gaining interest in trophy cards and still trying to learn. Are you referring to some of the tropical cards? Or the finalist versions of the SM Trophy cards?

Black Label BGS 10 Shiny Charizard Gx

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Id go with the 1st edition base shadowless Charizard myself, however thats what I would want (and I stress that “I” heavily) which doesn’t make it a valid answer in terms of yourself.

If youve searched around the forum in recent days theres been tons and tons of talk on “what should I buy” which youll see will promp a multitude of responses, amny which might be abrupt because this question is becoming quite tiresome to hear. But ultimately, what you can take from this is that if coming into a position of decision making regarding collecting, begin to ask yourself loads of questions and then with the answers to those you should find your true answer. Typically the “what should I buy with xxxx dollars” is only the tip of the iceberg. If you keep going into things like “why am i collecting”, “what am I collecting”, “what are my most favored and desired cards”, “am I trying to see growth in value in my purchases”, “can I afford to live beyond this amount purchase”, “would i buy x over y”, “how do I picture my collections growth in 5 years?”, “what do I hope to achieve in entering the hobby”, 'what would make me the happiest" etc etc, youll end up seeing that the answer is already within yourself, so long as you take the time out to seek these things without going in blindly.

Again, all of us here could tell you what to do and youll come up with tons of different responses, but at the end of the day youll see that if you look deep enough youll already have your true working answer.


Base box

For your collection: the one you like the most, so you can enjoy it more.

As an investment: the one you hate the most, so it’s easier to let go of it.



First off, what’s YOUR first choice?
Then ask yourself, “Am I a lucky investor?” If your answer is yes, then go with your first choice. If everything you do as an investor struggles then go for your second choice.

For me, I’m extremely lucky so I put a lot of weight on my initial feelings.

If none of that helps, put a few bucks into Smpratte’s Patreon. It’ll give you a fresh and thoughtful point of view.


If both were sitting in front of you which one would you grab if the other was to be destroyed? I feel like I’d be more happy with the Zard. If there is any urge to open the box I would steer away from it!

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If you have to decided between two options, you haven’t prioritized collecting enough yet.

It depends if you’re collecting and/or investing as others have said. From an investment standpoint, I would personally go with the PSA 9 1st edition base Charizard. That’s THE English holy grail card.


The best card in the hobby: Master Scroll

Look at the reflection of yourself in the Master Scroll and ask what you should buy.


I would generally prioritize setting my collection priorities based upon my own personal interest, not some else’s. I would also have a high priority in determining whether my goals in the hobby were primarily self fulfillment (collecting) or monetary gain (investment).

I would also generally advise one to prioritize making one’s funds less limited.