Shadowless "Thick" vs "Thin" vs "Does It Matter?" Debate!

Hello all!

So part of the reason why I’m making this thread is because recently I realized that I’m missing a Shadowless “Thick” 1st. Edition Gyarados, which tend to look like the other bold-faced 1st Ed. stamps.

For those who are unaware or new to this, here’s an example of a “Thick” stamp on the left, and a “Thin” stamp on the right:

Now I’ve read debates on why or why it doesn’t matter on different threads, but wanted to get a collective idea from some serious fellow collectors.

Personally? I’m slightly torn because personally I’m involved in this debate in my head coming from all sides. I want to say it doesn’t matter, but then feel the pressure of being seen as a “serious collector” to get the Thick version. But I find it hard to justify without any difference in rarity (a few forums said there was very little difference in distribution numbers of the variants). On the other side, I look at the price tags for some current “Thick” Stamps and kind of cringe. I got my “Thin” Stamp for a wicked good price. So yeah, I’m torn.

So I leave you up to answer these questions and give your personal views and opinions.

Does it matter if it’s Thick or Thin for you to collect? Do you prefer both versions? Or is one enough for you to “complete” a collection? ARE there actual differences in rarity? If so, please feel free to explain!

So let the debate commence!

Ever since I started my Voltorb collection, I had always thought to include the thin version of the stamp. I read different opinions on the stamp variants, but I came to the conclusion that it didn’t fit my criteria for collecting. The differences between my cards must all be officially recognized, with the exception of the code varaints (those are obviously different, but I don’t think the community sees them as such yet) and I exclude any one off mistakes, or miscuts. The amount of ink applied to the 1st edition stamp, while consistent, does not cut it for me. I choose not to include them until someone like PSA decides there is a legitimate difference. At the moment, to me, I think it’s reaching a bit to call them different cards.

Also, 1st edition only had one print run I believe, so that is another reason why I only need one of the versions to call my collection complete.

I would like to have both sets, only because it would mean having two 1st edition base sets instead of one. Personally though, I have no preference. A good majority of the PSA 10 buyers I have came across on ebay definitely do prefer the thick version over the thin. A few have asked for both versions though. Serious collecting in no way requires you to have a uniform thick/thin set or even both. If you have a true mint and complete 1st edition base set, no matter what the stamp version, you are already the envy of most English Pokemon collectors.


@tonysandlin Good point. I can see why people might choose the thick stamp for recognition purposes of collecting. When I first realized my card was a Thin stamp, I could tell the difference quickly when paired with a Thick stamp, but only if comparing it. Otherwise I had no idea. I also wanted to ask you about the code variants you talked about. I’ve seen you describe codes variants before but have no knowledge of it. How come you seek out code variants? And HOW do you seek them out?

@thecharizardauthorty It makes sense to go with the thick versions as they do match with the rest of the stamps from other sets. And although I know I don’t have a true mint set, I do know my collection of Base Gyarados set is completed. I do hope, however, to get a mint set, but that will be far into the future when I’m actually able to afford such things. Being a college student makes that dream short of impossible currently. Hahaha. I’m mostly just happy collecting what looks nice and settle for Near Mint and sometimes “Excellent” if I want the card badly enough for the right price.

As for what both of you said, basically, in my case, I think I should just settle for my “Thin” version and maybe pay for a “Thick” version only when I think the quality and price tag are a good enough deal to make me throw the extra cash out. XD

Any other thoughts?

It is entirely up to the individual. WOTC did not intentionally make them different in appearance. If anything, the Base set has a ton of errors and inconsistencies as it was essentially their test run for pokemon. This is partly what makes the set so alluring.

The picture you posted is one of the only two uncommon cards with a thin stamp we have seen. I tried digging up information on how they were printed as the uncommon and common cards were only printed with the thicker variant. Since you collect one species of cards, I would probably recommend going after both variants. Also, since Gyarados is a Holo Rare, you can find both variants pretty easily!

Oh yeah, I remember that thread:

Good point in terms of collecting one species of card. I guess that’s why I asked Tony why he collects variants and how since the possibility of getting more variants does intrigue me. :dizzy_face:

I just have to wait for the right price. Currently all the Thick variants are offered at what I would assume to be inflated prices or are currently PSA graded. I’d just like to buy an Ex/NM or Mint condition card for a good price and be done with it. >_>

Any offers?! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

A thick or thin set is more valuable because generally they’re more dificult to put together.
If anybody is trying to put a PSA thick or thin set of any grade together and need to swap out thicks for thins or thins for thicks let me know. I may be able to help.

I personally don’t really mind which ones I get. Pretty funny how my 1st Base holo’s are all the Thin version.