Base Set Unlimited Pokémon cards are the most common form of cards found in older Pokémon collections. These cards are identifiable by the drop-shadow to the right of each main card image, in addition to the absence of a “1st Edition” stamp on the left-hand side. We analyzed the values of 1st Edition shadowless cards here. These Base Set Unlimited cards are not as valuable as their 1st Edition shadowless counterparts. However, they can still garner a lot of money if graded as a PSA/CGC 10. It is important to keep in mind that lower-grade cards are more affordable for entry-level collectors. However, it is the gem mint PSA/CGC 10s that are most valuable.
No surprise here, Charizard is the most valuable and sought-after card out of all forms of Base Set Pokémon cards. Whether shadowless or shadow-bordered, Charizard surpasses all other cards of the same set in value. On Valentines Day 2021, one auction for a PSA 10 Charizard ended at $15,000. This sale was a slight drop off from a November 2020 sale of $16,000.
Blastoise is easily Pokémon fan’s second favorite card of the Base Set. Like many other cards we have analyzed in these articles, November of 2020 appears to be the highest price point for many Pokémon cards, including Blastoise. Though Blastoise sold in November of 2020 for approximately $4,500, its price has dipped since then with the last sale of a PSA/CGC 10 at $3,150.
Venusaur is the final card of the Big-3 Pokémon that appear in this set. Though Venusaur is the least valuable, it appears to be increasing in value, unlike the Charizard and Blastoise. In late January of 2021, one PSA 10 sold for $1,999. A few days later, another PSA 10 sold for $2,225.
Despite not being as popular as Pikachu or Pichu, Raichu is one of the most valuable Base Set Unlimited cards. With over 1,100 graded at a PSA 9, Raichu only has an overall population of 200 graded at a PSA 10. This large of a discrepancy tends to indicate the difficulty of acquiring this card in a high grade. In mid-January of 2021, a PSA 10 sold for $1,800. Meanwhile, a PSA 9 of Raichu floats around $200 due to how many exist at that grade.
Similar to the Venusaur, Chansey is one of few cards on this list that is still slightly increasing in value this early in 2021. In November of 2020, a PSA 10 Chansey sold for approximately $1,600. In mid-January of 2021, a PSA 10 Chansey slightly increased with a sale of $1,700. In comparison, prior to these sales, Chansey was selling around $1,000. Though the increases in value are slight, they may be due to scarcity in the market as only 133 exist in a PSA 10.
If you take a look at your old Pokémon collection and find that they are not shadowless cards, don’t fret! Your cards still have value, but perhaps not as much as one would think. Shadow-bordered Base Set Unlimited cards are the most common form of vintage Pokémon cards one can find. Though they are by no means cheap, they are far more affordable to acquire in high grade than their shadowless counterparts. Outside of the Big-3 Pokémon of this set, few cards garner as much value. However, it’s never too late to send in your old collection to PSA or CGC to see if gem mint copies exist in your collection.