Every trading card game has those “rare cards” that exist in the realm of legend. For Magic: The Gathering, it is the Black Lotus. For Pokemon, it is the infamous first edition shadowless Charizard. Yu-Gi-Oh! is no exception to this, and although there have been many extremely rare and valuable cards throughout the game’s 22 year history, one clearly stands above the rest. One so rare, most didn’t even think it existed, until now. This is the story of the MF03 Cyber Dragon promo.
Way back in 2006, the first follow up to the original Yu-Gi-Oh! anime, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, was in full swing. During this time Mattel, who had the license to make Yu-Gi-Oh! toys at the time, planned on releasing a set of action figures that would come packed with an exclusive promo card. This wasn’t an uncommon practice at the time. Yu-Gi-Oh! frequently put promo cards in Shonen Jump magazine, manga volumes, and even had a promotion with McDonald’s that gave out cards in their Happy Meals. However, there was one extra element that made these specific promos quite bizarre. These action figures were supposed to be exclusive to Sears, which is the now defunct department store chain.
However, as the story goes, before these products reached shelves on a mass scale, Upper Deck decided to pull the promo cards from the packages. Prior to 2008, Upper Deck actually handled distribution for the game to all territories outside of Asia. Now some of these products slipped through the cracks, and although they are still extremely rare, all of the promos for this set dubbed “Mattel Action Figure Promos: Series 3” have been accounted for and documented. Some of these cards go for thousands of dollars for the few that are still in circulation.
This is like one of my Japanese anime!
However, one of these promos never saw the light of day. In fact, despite being listed as being in this set of promos from the beginning, the Cyber Dragon promo has never even been photographed. The trump card of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX character Zane Truesdale, Cyber Dragon was one of the few cards at the time that was just as powerful in the anime as it was in real life. First debuting in the booster set Cybernetic Revolution, Cyber Dragon was a meta defining card at the time and was one of the most valuable cards in the set. The rumor among fan circles has been that, as to not tank the value of one of their most valuable cards, Upper Deck pulled the promos from the action figure set entirely. After all, who would pay $50 dollars or more for a Cyber Dragon when they can just go to Sears and pick up a toy for $15?
This led many to believe that, despite the other Mattel promos surfacing over time, Cyber Dragon may never have even been printed at all, which would lend credence to the lack of photographic evidence that it even existed. That is until two weeks ago.
A Reddit user named loserchris on December 22, 2020 posted on the Yu-Gi-Oh! Reddit page asking about the value of some old cards he found in his closet. He listed the cards he had and one of them was the mythical MF03 Cyber Dragon. This is like something out of an anime, like those stories you hear about some guy finding an Amazing Fantasy #15 in his attic. It was unbelievable and many immediately questioned the card’s legitimacy. LoserChris, real name Kevin Lee, says he got the cards in a lot from a friend for his birthday when he was younger, but does not remember that friend’s name. Fs in the chat for that guy.
Since making the post, Kevin has had the card certified and graded by PSA, one of the two major collectible grading companies. The card has been certified by PSA, and although PSA has graded fake cards before in the past, if this card is fake it might be the greatest fake of anything ever seen in the trading card game world. Four of the six cards are currently up for sale on eBay, but not the Cyber Dragon. Bids in groups like the Yu-Gi-Oh! Misprint Collectors on Facebook have gone as high as $80,000, but it is unknown if Kevin intends to sell the card or not. If any further developments arise, we will be sure to let you know. If you have an itch to play some Yu-Gi-Oh! now yourself, you can play Duel Links on Steam and Mobile.