Question about first edition US base set

Hi, I was wondering if anyone here could verify in any way that First Edition booster pack boxes for the US base set were in some way “pre-sold out” before the release date…and if WOTC started printing unlimited sets and some retailers got Unlimited Booster Pack boxes on the release date.

Is there any way to confirm or verify this?

First of all welcome to this awesome community full of the greatest people who ever lived. Second… Some one will come on here soon with an answer to your question, because I have no Idea.

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I find this quite a confusingly worded question, are you asking if on release date in the US did some retailers receive unlimited base set rather than the fist edition print?

Yes I think they mean that because the demand for the Boxes was higher than the supply of 1st edition Boxes, some retailers received Unlimited Boxes instead.

Just a hunch I am going to say this is not true.

@garyis2000 may be able to shed some light on this.

This is also complete guess work but I agree with milhouse, I think that if this was the case it would have been shadowless non 1ed cards that were also distributed because as far as I am aware these were printed before regular unlimited base cards.

Yes I pretty much know.
I’m curious though, why?

Think OP was directed here from:

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WOTC, like all companies in similar new product situations, guesstimated the total demand for the 1st (base) series. They produced the typical 10% of that number in 1st edition. Unfortunately when the orders came in they FAR EXCEEDED their estimates. So what they did was supply some of their biggest MTG accounts in order from the Pacific Northwest then south and finally east. Knowing pretty quickly that the initial run would be exhausted well before the Mississippi, and the updated artwork wasn’t completed, they simply ran more sheets with the old artwork and didn’t stamp them. Those became known as Shadowless.
Some bigger accounts and chains back east were shipped cases in the initial release and were 1st Edition but most were released out west.

To simplify, the preorders exceeded the initial print run.

I read somewhere that the OP said the Home Shopping Network sold English Pokemon sets at some point. I believe this is eroneous information. Back then HSN was already aired nationally and I was involved with the only Pokemon cards they ran. They were PSA graded Japanese cd promos. We sold THOUSANDS of the sets in both PSA 10 and 9.

Hope this info helps. If you have any other questions just pm me and I’ll try to help.


So first edition base set never got a release in Europe at all? I did think that this was why shadowless cards existed but wasn’t sure, glad my guess was sort of correct :blush:

We’re lucky to have such knowledgeable members here, it’s always so interesting to get insights from people who have been involved in the hobby since the first days and not just as collectors. More stories please!


Yeah that was a great response to a question I have wondered as well, thanks.


From my own personal experience there has to be a pretty small amount of 1st Edition packs/boxes printed to begin with. Even finding singles on many of the cards is rather difficult…

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Thanks to @garyis2000
You really cleared things up for me too brotha.