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I’ve spent most of the summer at my parents’ house. Due to a complete lack of other things to do and due to the fact that my parents refused to throw away any part of my childhood accumulation, I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning. I rediscovered my old trading card collections. The value of my Yu-Gi-Oh! cards ended up being unexciting–along the lines of what we paid for them irrespective of inflation. The value of the Pokemon cards is another story that I’ll write about when the time comes.

Aside from the mainstream “this will be worth a lot of money one day” items, I’ve found small caches of other toys and collectibles that are surprisingly well-made. Way too nice to throw away, but of dubious value on the open market. I hate that I am wired to pit childhood nostalgia against modern capitalistic thinking. But here I am, and I hope I can at least try to bridge some of the gaps where the items are probably worth collecting but the (early) internet has failed to capture any relevant details.

 

I preserved 13 of these miniature figures. They seem to be fabricated out of some plastic polymer (likely PVC) which provides slight flexibility in some places and rigidity in others. They’re surprisingly well-made for small toys and have nicely detailed textures. The packages included the figurine as well as a textured black plastic “holo-tile” stand with the monster’s name and picture. Unfortunately, I’ve preserved very few of those. They were sold in packages like these (still available on ToyWiz for $40):

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My collection

  1. Summoned Skull
  2. Celtic Guardian
  3. Exodia the Forbidden One
  4. Two-Headed King Rex
  5. Time Wizard
  6. Baby Dragon
  7. Thousand Dragon
  8. Gaia the Fierce Knight
  9. Curse of the Dragon
  10. Sword Arm of Dragon
  11. Sabersaurus
  12. Fiend Kraken
  13. Saggi the Dark Clown

Complete Catalog

It seems likely that each of the figures released also made an appearance in the anime. The stated release dates, ranging from 2002 to 2003, would have been just a few months after each monster was first introduced in the English anime.

Each set had 10 different figures. Some figures could appear with metallic coloration. Most were sold individually, but there were a few themed sets that included 3 figures which may have spanned across different series.

My impression is that, after Series 15, they switched to a different type of action figure with the release of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. To help sales of these, they started to include promotional cards, but interest waned and Mattel eventually stopped publishing these entirely.

Below is my attempt to catalog the figures, since I can’t find a complete listing anywhere else on the internet.

  1. Series 1 (no order)
    1. Yugi (set E) (set F)
    2. Kaiba (set E)
    3. Pegasus (set F)
    4. Joey
    5. Celtic Guardian
    6. Exodia the Forbidden One
    7. Summoned Skull
    8. Blue-Eyes White Dragon (set E) (metallic or colored, set F)
    9. Tristan
    10. Dark Magician
  2. Series 2
    1. Yugi (56542)
    2. Mai Valentine (56543)
    3. Gaia the Fierce Knight (colored, metallic) (56544) (set B)
    4. Pegasus (56545)
    5. Curse of Dragon (56546) (set B)
    6. Rude Kaiser (56547) (set B)
    7. Red-Eyes Black Dragon (colored, metallic) (56548)
    8. Kuriboh (56549)
    9. Time Wizard (56550) (set C)
    10. Flame Swordsman (colored, metallic) (56551) (set D)
  3. Series 3 (packaging varies, some sets list #/10 on reverse)
    1. Grandpa (56687)
    2. Saggi the Dark Clown (56688)
    3. Winged Dragon Guardian of the Fortress (56689) (set G)
    4. Giant Soldier of Stone (56690)
    5. Baby Dragon (56691) (set C)
    6. Pendulum Machine (56692)
    7. Catapult Turtle (56693)
    8. Mammoth Graveyard (56694) (set G)
    9. Basic Insect (56695)
    10. Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon (56696)
    11. ?? set only ?? Grandpa’s Spirit (set G)
  4. Series 4
    1. Beaver Warrior (B1080)
    2. Harpie’s Pet Dragon (B1081) (set A)
    3. Shadow Ghoul (B1082)
    4. Black Luster Soldier (B1083)
    5. Thousand Dragon (B1084)
    6. Magician of Black Chaos (B1085)
    7. Toon Summoned Skull (B1086)
    8. Reaper of the Cards (B1087)
    9. Sword Arm of Dragon (B1088)
    10. Slot Machine (B1089)
  5. Series 5
    1. Marik (B2078)
    2. Black Skull Dragon (B2079) (set A)
    3. Swordstalker (B2080)
    4. Gate Guardian (B2081)
    5. Blue-Eyes Toon Dragon (B2082) (set A)
    6. Launcher Spider (B2083)
    7. Dragon Piper (B2084)
    8. Relinquished (B2085)
    9. Dark Chimera (B2086)
    10. La Jinn the Mystical Genie of the Lamp (B2087)
  6. Series 6
    1. Yugi (B4216)
    2. Two-Headed King Rex (B4218) (available in 3-pack only)
    3. Crass Clown (B4219) (set H)
    4. Red-Eyes Black Metal Dragon (B4220)
    5. Great Moth (B4221)
    6. Judge man (B4222)
    7. Rabid Horseman (B4223)
    8. Garoozis (B4224)
    9. Hercules Beetle (B4225)
    10. Mega Zowler (B4226)
  7. Series 7
    1. Dark Sage (B4217)
    2. Grappler (B4228)
    3. Kaiba (B4229)
    4. Armored Zombie (B4230) (set H)
    5. Barox (B4231)
    6. Killer Needle (B4232)
    7. Feral Imp (B4233)
    8. Metal Guardian (B4234)
    9. Mystic Horseman (B4236)
    10. Pumpking, King of Ghosts (B4237) (set H–set exclusive)
  8. Series 8 (in order)
    1. Clown Zombie
    2. Dark Rabbit
    3. Obelisk the Tormentor
    4. [Unknown]
    5. Hitotsu-Me Giant
    6. Kairyn-shin
    7. King Of Yamimakai
    8. Horn Imp
    9. Fiend Kraken
  9. Series 9 (essentially, a reprint)
    1. Exodia the Forbidden One (B5166) (set F (B5180))
    2. Blue-Eyes White Dragon (B5167)
    3. Summoned Skull (B5168)
    4. Flame Swordsman (B5169)
    5. Dark Magician (B5170) (set F–set exclusive)
    6. Winged Dragon, Guardian of the Fortress (B5171)
    7. Kuriboh (B5172) (set F)
    8. Basic Insert (B5173)
    9. Harpie Lady (B5174)
    10. Battle Warrior (B5175)
  10. Series 10 (no order)
    1. Buster Blader (set K)
    2. Beta the Magnet Warrior (set K)
    3. Gazelle, Kind of Mythical Beasts (metallic) (set K)
    4. Legendary Fisherman
    5. Dark Magician Girl (set J)
    6. Dark Magician (set J)
    7. Magical Hats (metallic) (set J)
    8. Doll of Demise (set I)
    9. Dark Magic Curtain (set I)
    10. Dark Magician of Arkana (metallic) (set I)
  11. Series 11
    1. [Unknown]
    2. [Unknown]
    3. Amphibian Beast
    4. [Unknown]
    5. Rocket Warrior
    6. [Unknown]
    7. [Unknown]
    8. Alligator’s Sword
    9. [Unknown]
    10. [Unknown]
  12. Series 12 (in order–from packaging)
    1. Masked Beast of Guardius (B9972)
    2. The Earl of Demise (B9973)
    3. Vorse Raider (B9974)
    4. Humanoid slime (B9975)
    5. Graceful Dice (B9976)
    6. Lord of D. (B9977)
    7. Berfomet (B9978)
    8. Swordsman of Landstar (B9979)
    9. Reflect Bounder (B9980)
    10. Ninja Ikusa (B9981)
  13. Series 13
    1. Slifer the Sky Dragon (B9982)
    2. The Winged Dragon of Ra (B9983)
    3. Obelisk the Tormentor (B9984)
    4. Gear Golem the Moving Fortress (B9985)
    5. Jack’s Knight  (B9986) (set L)
    6. Big Shield Gardna (B9987)
    7. King’s Knight (B9988) (set L)
    8. Gamma the Magnet Warrior (B9989)
    9. Headless Knight (B9990)
    10. Little Winguard (B9991)
    11. ?? set exclusive ?? Queen’s Knight (set L)
  14. Series 14
    1. [Entirely Unknown]
  15. Series 15
    1. Blue-Eyes White Dragon (H2841)
    2. Yugi (H2841)
    3. Kaiba (H2842)
    4. Joey (H2843)
    5. Red-Eyes Black Dragon (H2844)
    6. Dark Magician (H2845)
    7. Exodia the Forbidden One (H2846)
    8. Slifer the Sky Dragon (H2847)
    9. Obelisk the Tormentor (H2848)
    10. The Winged Dragon of Ra (H2849)

So, Are They Worth Any Money?

Scouring eBay sales and even some dead stock on Toywiz, these figurines aren’t particularly valuable and it doesn’t seem that there is an active market or community of collectors. All things considered, there are somewhere between 150 and 155 total figurines, so collecting them all could be a fun project.

These were probably originally priced around $6 each in the early 2000s, and now the sealed packages seem to be going for 3-5 times that, where loose singles seem to be listed for 1.5 – 2.5x that amount. There are a few listings with prices around 10x what they originally would have been, but the market is so illiquid that it’s hard to form an idea of what the fair value actually is.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Mattel Action Figures (Full Catalog)