Trying to decide.. Trainer Deck vs FPO

I’m looking to make a larger investment purchase ($3000-5000) this month and I’ve narrowed my search to trainer deck B Blastoise or A machamp in high grade or one of the For Position Only cards. I’ve been searching for a manhole FPO for a while but never see them come up.

Trainer Deck has the more interesting history and more integral overall to the TCG. But FPO seems to have more mainstream demand and can see it being more liquid.

Thoughts on these options? Im trying to pick something (as we all do) that I may not get the opportunity to if I don’t pick up now. I tend to collect the super niche ‘too rare’ cards.

Thank you⭐️

You just missed one this week. :pensive:

Although maybe you could talk this wishful thinker down: BGS 8,5 manhole match Print FPO "For Position Only" Expedition Test-Holy Grail | eBay

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Neither. For investments get something less niche.

Otherwise Trainer deck B is my answer.


Weirder, nicher, stranger, better(???). :+1:

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If you’ve already narrowed it down to those two, I would choose the Trainer Deck A or B cards. Obviously your preference/price range will play a part, but I personally enjoy the history of the Trainer Deck cards more, as well as the rarity of finding a card that was intentionally sent out before the first distribution of trading cards, not to be resold but to be played, in great condition, with the red back (not to mention exclusive cards for those two Pokemon specifically, i.e. no holo for Blastoise and no 1st Edition stamp for Machamp). Tests prints don’t mean as much to me personally, but totally your call on what you enjoy more.

If your choice is more investment based, the only real way to give an informed answer would be to see sales prices over the years and how they have fluctuated as well as the number of existing sales, and then compare the two. I’m not convinced niche is bad, however. Niche markets exist because there are niche buyers and sellers, and thus supply/demand created. That might mean “less liquidity” in the short term while searching for the right audience, but if you’re actually using it as an investment you shouldn’t be looking at the short term anyways in my estimation.

Lots of general feedback :laughing: but good luck! (and get the trainer deck cards!)


I agree with @cosrob and @camrok37 .

Collectible investments should be easy to liquidate and should have very little downside risk in terms of price erosion. Both Trainer Deck and FPO cards are quite niche to the average collector, and may bounce around in value as a result. I would not recommend either as an investment piece.

If you have already made up your mind, I would recommend the Trainer Deck B Blastoise. Hope this helps!

I’d go Trainer Decks. The Trainer Deck A Machamp cracks me up because the most common WOTC 1st edition card and the rarest unlimited card are the same card.


Umbreon vmax alt art

I would go for FPO, always liked those more than Trainer Decks

The funny thing about the “n” word (niche) is there can be a ton of opportunity. You can read threads years ago where people thought trophy cards were too niche. Now they are pretty much the only category with little to no retrace from 2020.

Not implying either of these will have and identical trajectory, but you would be surprised what a little bit of exposure can do to a rare niche item.

Ultimately I think trainer decks edge out fpo. Trainer decks are older, more documented and have base set art.


Thank you for confirming that my FPO Ampharos will allow me to retire at 45 in a mansion.


I don’t own either of these but the Trainer decks are much more interesting in my opinion. The historical significance is really cool.


I’d take the FPO personally but both are solid!

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Personally I enjoy collecting singles/slabs over sealed product so I would go for the FPO cards but if it’s for InVesTmEnT/lore then definitely trainer deck B.

Awesome insight - thanks friends! I’ll let you know what I choose. I have a tendency to collect super niche stuff so these are right up my alley. I should diversify more probably…

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Remember, like people always say about set cards, “there’s always another copy.”

But with niche cards? They say “I do not know what this is. Please stop talking to me about it.”

You do the math.


Not the only time this has happened lol.

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Haha I think I get it but can you elaborate for my sleepy brain?

I’m just joking. People were saying niche cards are a riskier investment because they’re not always as easy to sell, but they also have the potential to retain their value more strongly.

With set cards, “there’s always another copy.” You’ll never have the only one on the market. But with something super fringe like a Game & Watch FPO card? There’s a good chance you’ll have the market to yourself when you want to sell. The downside is that a card like that is virtually unknown to the majority of collectors and it’s more difficult to sell as a result, even if its value may be more stable.

With a set card, they’re widely known and very recognizable and popular. Even if the price is less consistent, you’ll always be able to sell it. Very niche cards like the ones you and I like could take months, even years to sell again.


Thanks for elaborating. Makes good sense. Yeah an FPO or even trainer deck, I could see something like a collect a con being a place if I ever wanted to sell. I go to those every year.

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