CGC Trading Cards Identifies New Base Set Ninetales Variant

Posted on 2/9/2021

The variant is likely from an early Unlimited print run based on its similarity to the 1st Edition and “Shadowless” Ninetales cards.

CGC Trading Cards has identified an interesting new variant of Base Set Ninetales after a collector submitted an example of two different versions of the card. Most Pokémon collectors are familiar with Ninetales’ most famous variant — the “No Damage” error on the “Shadowless” issue. This new variant is found on Unlimited issues and features “Black Flames” around Ninetales as opposed to the normal blue ones found on most examples of the same card.

Due to their similarity with the art on the 1st Edition and Shadowless Ninetales cards, which were of course printed first, it is likely that these Ninetales with the “Black Flames” are from an early Unlimited print run.

"Black Flame" Ninetales variant (left) and a normal example (right).
Click images to enlarge.

The photos above show how the “Black Flame” variant has black in the artwork around the Pokémon. It is similar to what is seen on both 1st Edition and Shadowless English examples as well as on the Japanese Base Set card. Also of note is the fact that the shadow to the right of the art box is much heavier on the “Black Flame” example.

The black design elements can be seen on Shadowless English and Japanese Base Set Ninetales as well.
Click images to enlarge.

A closer look better shows the differences.
Click images to enlarge.

When submitting your Base Set Unlimited Ninetales with the “Black Flame” variant using the CGC Trading Cards online form, be sure to choose a Variant 1 of “Black Flame” and a Variant 2 of “Holo.” For a regular example, simply choose a Variant 1 of “Holo.”

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