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A Holographic History Of The Pokémon TCG: "Baby" Shiny Pokémon

Over the years, the Pokémon TCG has featured many different patterns used on their holographic cards. Some patterns lasted for years, while others had short stays, making them markers for their short time in the franchise. In this next installment of A Holographic History of the Pokémon TCG, let's take a look back at a style of card that was introduced in the modern classic series, Hidden Fates: the style that has come to be called "Baby" Shinies.

Hidden Fates Shiny Eevee. Credit: Pokémon TCG
Hidden Fates Shiny Eevee. Credit: Pokémon TCG

First, what is a "baby" Shiny? It's not a Baby Pokémon like Togepi or Azurill, but rather a non-Full Art Shiny Pokémon card. Hidden Fates introduced the concept of the Shiny Vault to the Pokémon TCG. Shiny Pokémon had been in many sets before and even had their own subset in sets like Call of Legends, but Hidden Fates introduced the term Shiny Vault, which took the form of a large subset that eclipsed the standard set in its numbers. A Shiny Vault includes a selection of standard Shiny Pokémon cards (the "Baby" Shinies) and Full Art Shiny cards.

A Baby Shiny depicts the Pokémon over textured, silver foil with a burst of sparkles that recreates the in-game animation of encountering a Shiny. Unlike the Full Art Shinies, these have the standard borders you see on a normal Pokémon card. However, even the border area of the card has a tactile difference to a smooth common card. These cards feel premium throughout and are considered highly desirable pulls. While it's rarer to pull a Full Art Shiny, a Baby Shiny depicting a popular Pokémon like Charmeleon, Charmander, Eevee, or Suicune will often eclipse in value a Full Art depicting a less popular species.

Shining Fates Shiny Ponyta. Credit: Pokémon TCG
Shining Fates Shiny Ponyta. Credit: Pokémon TCG

Hidden Fates introduced this style of card, but 2021's Shining Fates updated the style. Compare the Shiny Eevee from Hidden Fates to the Shiny Galarian Ponyta from Shining Fates. I find both to be beautiful indeed. While similar, there are marked differences in style. It mostly comes down to the foil, which depicts much brighter, yellow sparkles for the Shining Fates Baby Shinies. The older Hidden Fates cards feature more subtle, paler sparkles. Shining Fates also adds a reddish-purple streak effect surrounding the Pokémon to enhance the burst of sparkles. This is present on the set's Full Arts as well.

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Theo DwyerAbout Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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