Are Pokémon cards with hands fake?

Are Pokémon cards with hands fake?

Are Pokémon Cards with Hands Fake?

Pokémon cards have been a popular collectible item for decades, captivating both children and adults alike. With the rise of online marketplaces and the increasing value of rare cards, it’s important for collectors to be aware of potential counterfeit cards. One common question that arises is whether Pokémon cards with hands are fake or genuine. In this article, we will delve into this topic and provide valuable insights to help collectors distinguish between authentic and counterfeit Pokémon cards.

The Rarity of Pokémon Cards with Hands

Pokémon cards with hands, also known as “shadowless” cards, are highly sought after by collectors due to their rarity. These cards were part of the first print run of the Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG) released in 1999. The shadowless cards lack the shadow effect on the right side of the artwork, making them distinct from later print runs.

Due to their limited production, shadowless cards are considered more valuable than their shadowed counterparts. The absence of the shadow effect adds to their appeal and uniqueness, making them a prized possession for collectors.

Identifying Fake Pokémon Cards with Hands

Counterfeit Pokémon cards have become increasingly prevalent in recent years, with scammers attempting to deceive unsuspecting collectors. To ensure the authenticity of Pokémon cards with hands, collectors should be aware of the following indicators:

  • Printing Quality: Genuine shadowless cards have a high-quality printing with vibrant colors and sharp details. Counterfeit cards often exhibit poor printing quality, including blurry images, faded colors, and pixelated artwork.
  • Card Thickness: Authentic shadowless cards have a specific thickness that can be measured using a micrometer. Counterfeit cards may have a different thickness, indicating a potential fake.
  • Holographic Foil: Shadowless cards feature a holographic foil on the Pokémon’s image. Genuine cards have a distinct shine and reflect light in a specific pattern. Counterfeit cards may have a dull or inconsistent holographic foil.
  • Card Back: The back of a genuine shadowless card should have a consistent pattern and texture. Counterfeit cards may have noticeable differences in the design, such as incorrect logos or altered colors.

It’s important to note that counterfeiters are constantly improving their techniques, making it more challenging to spot fake Pokémon cards. Therefore, collectors should stay updated on the latest counterfeit trends and consult reputable sources for guidance.

Case Study: Fake Pokémon Cards with Hands

A notable case involving counterfeit Pokémon cards with hands occurred in 2019. A collector purchased what appeared to be a shadowless Charizard card, one of the most valuable and sought-after cards in the Pokémon TCG. However, upon closer inspection, it was discovered that the card was a convincing counterfeit.

The fake card had several telltale signs of being counterfeit, including inconsistent printing quality, a slightly different card thickness, and a holographic foil that lacked the distinct shine of a genuine shadowless card. This case highlighted the importance of thorough examination and verification when purchasing rare Pokémon cards.

Protecting Your Pokémon Card Collection

As a collector, it’s crucial to take proactive measures to protect your Pokémon card collection from counterfeit cards. Here are some tips to safeguard your collection:

  • Buy from Reputable Sellers: Purchase cards from trusted sources, such as reputable online marketplaces, certified Pokémon card dealers, or established collectors. Research the seller’s reputation and read reviews before making a purchase.
  • Verify Authenticity: Familiarize yourself with the characteristics of genuine shadowless cards and regularly compare them to your collection. Use reliable resources, such as official Pokémon TCG guides or online communities, to learn about the latest counterfeit detection techniques.
  • Consider Professional Grading: Professional grading services, such as the Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA), can authenticate and grade the condition of your Pokémon cards. Graded cards are sealed in tamper-proof cases, providing an added layer of protection against counterfeits.
  • Store Cards Properly: Protect your Pokémon cards from damage and deterioration by storing them in acid-free sleeves or top loaders. Keep them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.


Pokémon cards with hands, or shadowless cards, are highly sought after by collectors due to their rarity and unique characteristics. However, counterfeit Pokémon cards have become increasingly prevalent, making it essential for collectors to be able to distinguish between genuine and fake cards.

By paying attention to indicators such as printing quality, card thickness, holographic foil, and card back design, collectors can increase their chances of identifying counterfeit Pokémon cards. Staying informed about the latest counterfeit trends and purchasing from reputable sellers are also crucial steps in protecting your Pokémon card collection.

Remember, the joy of collecting Pokémon cards lies in the authenticity and rarity of the cards. By being vigilant and knowledgeable, collectors can ensure that their collection remains genuine and valuable for years to come.

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