Pokemon Cards: What is a First Edition + Unlimited Card

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Pokemon Cards: What is a First Edition + Unlimited Card
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Pokemon Cards: What is a "First Edition + Unlimited" Card?

A Guide Brought to You by Vilebaseball

Anything I can do to make this guide better. Please send me a message! I enjoy hearing that my guide has helped people. Please vote for the helpfulness of my article at the bottom of the page! : )


PLEASE TAKE NOTE: Many of the images in this guide were obtained myself or through special permission from a Pokemon fan website. Those images that I received special permission to use are copyrighted. The text inside and any images I produced are intellectual property. Using part/all of this article could violate copyright laws.


The Basics:

  • What does the term "First Edition/1st Ed" mean?

In terms of Pokemon cards, a First Edition card means that the card is... well, from the First Edition set of the series. Basically, when a Pokemon series was made (For example, the Team Rocket or Gym Heros series), the first printings of the card (the number varies from set to set) were given the label of "1 Edition".

  • How did people get the First Edition cards?

After printing the first batch of cards, they were all packaged into the standard "booster packs" of 11 cards and sold in stores. A label on the booster pack that reads "1 Edition" was printed on the booster pack to show that the cards inside were, in fact, 1st Edition cards.

  • What does the term "Unlimited" mean?

In terms of Pokemon cards, an unlimited card means that the card is the print following the release of the First Edition cards. This is the most common form of card because there are far more made as "Unlimited" rather than First Edition. These are the only other printing of the cards beyond the First Edition.

  • How did people get the Unlimited cards?

Just like the First Edition cards, the Unlimited cards were packaged into booster packs of 11 cards and sold in stores. The only difference between these packs and the First Edition packs was the Unlimited packs lacked the "1 Edition" label.

  • Are my Prerelease cards First Edition cards?

Although I couldn't find much infomation on it on the Pokemon card website, according the other knowledgeable sources, Prerelease cards are NOT First Edition cards. They are simply Prerelease cards. That means from those of you listing "1st Editon Prerelease Aerodactyls", you could be in for a world of hurt when the buyer claims that you sold it as First Edition when it was really just Prerelease.

Pricing and Identifying:

  • Are First Edition cards rarer / more expensive than Unlimited cards?

Yes, they are. When comparing two cards side by side from the same series, for example a First Edition Team Rocket Dark Charizard and an Unlimited Team Rocket Dark Charizard, the First Edition one would be more expensive. Why? Because there were fewer of the First Edition ones made.

  • How can I tell if my card is First Edition or Unlimited?

The only way to know if a card is First Edition or Unlimited is by looking to the left of the Pokemon information right below the picture (See image below). If it has the label "1 Edition", then it is a First Edition card. If there is nothing there, then it is Unlimited. The image was larger and of a higher quality, but what you see below is how eBay loaded it. Sorry its not more clear.

  • What sets don't have First Edition cards / Why are you using past tense terms like "was" in reference to First Edition cards being made?

Many of the newer sets (to my knowledge) have not been made with First Edition cards. Therefore, First Edition cards are a thing of the past, so I reference to them in past tense to reflect that. Aside from the newer sets, the "Base 2" series of cards did not have a First Edition.

  • Does the term "Base 1" mean the card is in the First Edition Base set?

Because I cannot put enough emphasis on it, as I see this mistake all the time... ***NO BASE 1 IS NOT A FIRST EDITION BASE CARD.*** SELLERS PLEASE DON'T LIST YOUR ITEMS CLAIMING A FIRST EDITION BASE CARD BECAUSE IT CAUSES CONFUSION! For information on First Edition Base vs. Base 1 vs. Base 2 please visit my guide here.

  • What are not characteristics of a First Edition card / There are other differences in the cards above than just the First Edition symbol! What does that mean?

Unfortunatly, I didn't think selecting the examples for my comparison. The differences between the 2 cards, such as the difference in color, difference between the appearance in HP, and other things are NOT characteristics of being a First Edition card. They are a combination of me using an image I didn't scan up personally for the First Edition Charizard and the fact that all First Edition Base cards are SHADOWLESS. THis is a condition that only occurs with the original Base set cards. An eBay guide (that is very informative) about what a shadowless Pokemon is can be found here.

  • How can I tell if my Booster Pack is First Edition or Unlimited?

Just like with the Pokemon card itself, you must look for the "1 Edition" logo on the booster pack. They are on different places of the Booster pack depending on the series, but isn't to hard to spot. It's usually on the bottom.

*Please rate my guide on whether or not it was helpful. If you don't think it was, please send me a message to tell me how I can improve it!*

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