1999 First Edition Shadowless Pokémon cards are legendary amongst Pokémon card collectors. It helped to kick off the craze around the world, which is still going strong as of 2022.
PSA 10 graded copies are where the true value lies, especially when looking at the rarer 1st Edition versions that are also Shadowless.
(Essentially, a PSA 10 copy has been judged to be a near flawless version.)
The term Shadowless is used to describe cards that are missing shadow details on the artwork, found on the bottom right corner.
Here’s what you need to know about the 1999 First Edition Shadowless Pokémon base set, along with 10 of the best cards to collect.
Identifying 1999 1st Edition Shadowless Pokémon Cards
How can you tell if a Pokémon card is 1st Edition?
Identifying 1st Edition Shadowless Pokémon cards isn’t as difficult as you might have thought. It’ll be easier if you have the card to hand, but it’s still possible to do so online.
The 1999 set had three different variants:
- 1st Edition Shadowless
1st Edition Shadowless cards are the most valuable.
Within sets, there are three types of card. They are:
- Pokémon cards
- Energy cards
- Trainer cards
Let’s start with the easy part. The first print run of the set has a special “Edition 1” logo found on the left side, underneath the artwork. Hence, 1st Edition.
Look to the right of the artwork, and see if you can spot any shadows on the border. If it’s bare, it’s a 1st Edition Shadowless card. For example, we’ve included an image of the coveted Shadowless Charizard card below:
Note the 1st Edition stamp on the left, and the lack of shadows on the right hand side next to the artwork.
The Best 1999 1st Edition Shadowless Pokémon Cards
We’ve narrowed this list down to 10 of the best 1999 First Edition Shadowless Pokémon base set cards. Which of the original 151 were able to make the cut?
10. 1999 1st Edition Shadowless Base Set Clefairy (eBay)
Clefairy isn’t the most popular Pokémon, or the most powerful. (That’s fair even when it’s pitted against other Gen 1 monsters.)
However, the white background makes it tough to locate in pristine condition, which leads to higher resale prices in the present day. The most recent price for a PSA 10 graded Clefairy card at the current time of writing is $7,300.
As we’ve noted above, you’ll be looking for a 1st Edition stamp on the left, and no shadows on the artwork.
9. 1999 1st Edition Shadowless Base Set Alakazam (eBay)
Moving on to a more powerful, evolved option, Alakazam is next on the list. The psychic Pokémon is carrying spoons to harness its abilities, while it stares into your soul. (You’ll see power radiating around it, but they don’t count as shadows.)
Gem mint copies currently sell for roughly $10,000, after hitting highs of $20,000 in 2020.
8. 1999 1st Edition Shadowless Base Set Magneton (eBay)
Magneton might not be the most exciting Pokémon to make the list, while the design is a bit lazy. After all, it’s just a trio of magnets that have been stuck together! However, it uses a different art style than many of the others from the 1999 collection.
1st Edition Shadowless copies are worth their weight in gold, hitting the $17,000 mark in 2020. The most recent PSA 10 sale was for $7,900, and there’s a population of just 64 at the current time of writing. That makes it one of the rarer releases from the 1999 base set.
7. 1999 1st Edition Shadowless Base Set Raichu (eBay)
As the evolved form of the Pokémon mascot Pikachu, Raichu was always going to be a popular option. The image shows the electric mouse as it leaps through the sky, with an image of Pikachu in the top left corner.
It has a current PSA 10 pop of 87 copies, with the most recent sale for just over $9,500. It’s another valuable Shadowless Pokémon card from the 1999 set, but it pales in comparison to some of the cards listed below.
6. 1999 1st Edition Shadowless Base Set Mewtwo (eBay)
Mewtwo is another powerful Pokémon from the first batch of 151. The psychic-type Pokémon was the main antagonist in the first movie.
One of the more powerful monsters from the original collection, it was also the first Pokémon seen in the English dub, as it appears at the very beginning of the opening scene.
The point is, Mewtwo is always going to be one of the more collectible Pokémon cards on the market. The last recorded sale for a PSA 10 copy was for just over $13,000.
5. 1999 1st Edition Shadowless Base Set Hitmonchan (eBay)
Named after Jackie Chan due to its boxing prowess, Hitmonchan features the Pokémon in a fighting stance. The humanoid Pokémon is exclusively male and has no female counterpart.
There are five protrusions on top of its head, and it has structures resembling pads over its shoulders.
Once again, values go through the roof for pristine 1st Edition copies, with $11,999 being the most recent price for a PSA 10 copy.
4. 1999 1st Edition Shadowless Base Set Venusaur (eBay)
Venusaur is another valuable Shadowless holo from the base set. One of the final evolutions from the original trio of starter Pokémon, it’s the least popular. However, it still comes with a serious price tag.
This card is probably the best at showing Venusaur’s impressive size, while the holo foil makes it susceptible to showing off any nicks and flaws.
The last recorded sale for a PSA 10 copy at the current time of writing was for $20,100.
3. 1999 1st Edition Shadowless Base Set Chansey (eBay)
Once again, Chansey isn’t the strongest Pokémon, or even the most popular. The majority of value is derived from the white card background, which is susceptible to dings and will highlight any flaws.
There are just 48 PSA 10 copies, with the last sale amounting to $27,400. If you’re looking for the rarest 1st Edition Shadowless base set cards, you’re going to struggle to find a more exclusive club than Gem Mint Chansey owners.
2. 1999 1st Edition Shadowless Base Set Blastoise (eBay)
Blastoise is definitely a fan favourite, and that’s one of the main reasons why it takes the second spot on this list. The water Pokémon has its cannons at the ready in an iconic image.
It was also used for the Pokémon Blue Game Boy box art.
There’s a round 100 Gem Mint 1st Edition versions at the current time of writing.
An eye-watering $33,334 was the last sale price for a PSA 10 copy.
Collectors are willing to pay a high premium for the best 1999 1st Edition Pokémon cards, and it’s hard to do much better than Blastoise. Of course, there’s one obvious exception to the rule.
1. 1999 1st Edition Shadowless Base Set Charizard (eBay)
The king of modern Pokémon cards, the 1999 1st Edition Shadowless Charizard is legendary. It features a classic image of the Pokémon surrounded by a fiery plume.
The ‘Zard is always going to be the most collectible card from the set, but it comes with a serious premium. The most recent sale price for a Gem Mint copy is $270,600.
Of course, that’s enough to buy a pristine collection with every other card from the set.
It’s not the rarest 1999 1st Edition Pokémon card by any means, with a total of 121 PSA 10 graded copies altogether. Regardless, demand continues to exceed supply.
1999 1st Edition Shadowless Pokémon Cards: Buyers Guide
Why are 1999 1st Edition Shadowless Pokémon cards so valuable? The original English language set has great nostalgic value with fans, while it was released over 20 years ago.
Shadowless copies are rare enough, but 1st Edition versions take it up a notch, creating a rarer tier for high end collectors to chase.
The Best Cheap 1999 1st Edition Pokémon Cards
You’ll still be able to find a few affordable Pokémon cards from the 1999 collection, but Gem Mint 1st Edition holos are likely to be out of reach for the average collector.
We’d recommend looking at lower grades, which can be relatively cheap due to the sheer number on the market.
Alternatively, you could look at Shadowless copies, or even the Unlimited versions of the Pokémon cards.
The Best 1999 1st Edition Pokémon Card Investment
What will the best 1999 Pokémon cards be worth in 20 years time?
Of course, flawless copies sell for over a quarter of a million dollars, which is going to be a significant investment for most collectors.
There’s no better card than the one that helped to kickstart the Pokémon craze over two decades ago. It was also used for the Pokémon Red box art.
The cards offer a major dose of nostalgia for anyone who was around at the time, and there aren’t as many as you might have expected.
1999 1st Edition Shadowless Pokémon Cards: Final Thoughts
1999 1st Edition Shadowless Pokémon cards are a phenomenon within the hobby, selling for high prices, especially when graded by the likes of PSS or BGS.
It’s one of the few sets in which collectors are interested in almost every card, while the rarest versions are always going to be the holo shiny copies.
Prices have fallen ever so slightly compared to the highs seen in 2021, but that does make it easier to collect some of the more valuable options to make the list.