Why is modern performing better than vintage?

Interesting times. I just spent some time reading giant english market thread and 1st edition base thread from mid-late 2020 and it’s giving me a little deja vu.

But none of my balls are crystal so who knows.


Umbreon VMAX is bitcoin and everything else is an altcoin


In a nutshell, nostalgia doesn’t necessarily (1) have the pull vintage collectors think it does and (2) translate into wanting vintage cards.

I have a childhood binder from when I collected in the early 2000s. Nostalgia only applies to those exact cards in my childhood binder, and I don’t really have any interest in getting other copies of those cards.

For the upcoming 151 set, this appeals to my nostalgia in that they’re all Pokémon from when I started collecting, but I’m glad they’re not all reimagined version of or homages to Base/Jungle/Fossil - that’d be so dull. The new art direction is definitely better.


Maybe this should be a spin-off thread but I’ve taken some screenshots of random sets from Gen 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.

Now, to each their own, art is subjective etc. but IMO, and maybe controversially, there aren’t actually that many ‘collectable’ cards. I’ve focused mostly only on ultra rare cards since the rest are mostly cheaper or have the same basic format and layout.

Most eras follow some sort of overarching pattern/style/artist so each set is not that different and if you don’t like a particular style or artist etc. then it’s easy to pass on many cards.

In the example, most/all cards can be grouped into 2000s CGI, Fukuda, Supporters, Full Art Pokemon portraits, Megas, Rainbows, Secret Items, “Alt Arts”, “Trainer Gallery” with some overlap between each.

Putting aside nostalgia, if you came into the TCG with a certain expectation or preference of style, for example modern ‘alt arts’ then there’s really not that much to collect. You most likely are not going to go back and pick up full art cards or supporters - those are still around anyway.

People may expand their niche, they may not, but if it comes down to just art, even if it’s subjective, I think modern “alt arts” or “illustration rares” covers a wider spectrum of tastes.

I’m not sure I’m making my point that well but a set like Forbidden Light coming out today would not interest me and it probably never will.

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XY was quite an interesting era with quite a lot going against it in hindsight. The “new” EX cards were essentially BW 2.0. Nearly no shiny cards within sets (not Steam Siege! :muscle: ), Mega Gold EX cards being overlooked due to how similar they were to non Gold Megas., Megas being quite divisive in art style. Break cards :nauseated_face:. Half the era being overprinted. Even today, many of the full art EX cards are dirt cheap (dont tell anyone though). Despite all this, XY EX full arts remain some of my favorite cards to collect in the hobby.

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If only they had solidified their idea of Megas (cards) from the beginning.

I have a couple FA Megas and don’t mind collecting them all, but it’s still annoying that some never got any (Pinsir, Latias etc) and that they started out with the gold bordered/words instead of FAs for the first 3/4 sets.

I guess it actually reinforces how they (TPC) never really focused on the collectors which I think they have generally improved on now. It makes it less collectable when you only have Sceptile and Latios as FAs and the other 2 starters as half art/normal promos. Many examples of 2 of the 3 legendaries getting cards also throughout the years like Zapdos/Articuno and Raikou/Entei.

edit: Also wanted to add, what a dumb set Generations was when Evolutions was coming anyway.

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It’s wild to me how something with a pop 10 in the thousands can sell for this much

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wtf, I sold this same card in a 10 for 1,500 a MONTH ago – what is happening to the Japanese market?!


Is sightseer not just a generic trainer aswell ? That waifu nonsense is hard to work out


Only got released in Japanese which played a big part in its stonkability. But yes as always the Japanese waifu hunters won’t be stopped. I bought it raw with the sole intention of grading and flipping it. EZ 2x, but if I had waited literally 30 days to sell it it would have been a 4x, which is crazy to me.



I think they have always prioritized players over everything (as it should be imo), but it definitely took them longer than I would have thought to really lean into the collector base. One can argue when it started (Evolutions, the “alt art” EX cards from XY, tag teams, character rares, etc). I’m glad they lean more into it nowadays. It makes the older gens feel somewhat simpler, but then again that’s not always a bad thing. Its pretty neat looking at “how we got here”. Its one of the things that makes Pokemon collecting so unique. You can really see the path that the tcg has followed and find small/large pockets to collect in.

Want to know what the latest “pump” is. Go to whatnot and see what all the mega/big streamers are selling. The mega/big sellers always seem to have the same stuff at the same time. Funny stuff.

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  1. Modern is flashy and captures the current generation but is high speculation, high variability, risky long term. A ton of market activity but vast majority is flipping. Too many money-only interested people, too many immature people and not enough genuine interest in the product=bad news eventually.

  2. Vintage at this point in time primarily captures the millennial generation and older. Things are on sale, are at the lowest they’re likely to be. Less speculation, more stability, better long term outlook. People are smarter now too and are holding more instead of paper hand selling in vintage. People are opposite of modern - much more likely to actually like the product, so much so we sleep with some of our stuff (haha I know some of you do!).

IMO vintage will have a wider audience - new and old
generations in time. As pokemon continues to grow and stay relevant, “modern” buyers will seek out the older stuff - the origins of the hobby - in greater and greater numbers. Supply will be much lower, prices will rise and you’ll see the opposite you see today. As people mature and age, I think they naturally go back to the beginning of the collectible they’re into and try to own something truly scarce, sought after and one of a kind. Flashy stuff loses its appeal.

Bottom line: tortoise beats hare, and the classics never go out of style.

You word that as though it’s a guarantee to happen and I can tell you it isn’t.

If there are any kids (obviously there are) into at present, the cards they will be going back to are the cards they grew up with - not what their parents did.

You like what you like. Modern is inherently riskier, but your conclusions are assumptions based off of bias and hope.


would never touch whatnot with a foam finger attached to a ten foot pole



Have you spent any time getting acquainted with modern cards? Even for vintage collectors like ourselves, there is plenty to love about modern.

There is too much rhetoric about which is better and not enough about why both are great. And if you genuinely don’t believe that great things can be found in both sides of the hobby, the prejudice is probably due to a lack of exposure.

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Nothing is guaranteed in collectibles and I never said it was. We all know that.

It’s not that black and white. As you delve into the hobby more and become more serious, I think many people go back to the roots without any nostalgic attachment. Nostalgia is powerful but it’s not required. Most the cards I have, I never heard of or owned as a kid. The longer you’re in a hobby, I think the more likely you are to want the OGs.

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