One of the key cards in YuGiOh’s second North American TCG set, Metal Raiders (MRD), Thousand Dragon is a secret rare still highly sought after by collectors because of its nostalgic value. It has been reprinted at common several times, including Starter Deck Joey, Dark Beginnings 2, Legendary Collection 4, and the Speed Duel Starter Deck: Duelists of Tomorrow, and once at rare in Millenium Pack 1. Still, as one of Joey’s favorite cards from the early Yu-Gi-Oh anime and one of the more powerful cards in the first couple of sets, Thousand Dragon gets a ton of collector love.
Thousand Dragon is a basic Fusion monster, who lists Time Wizard and Baby Dragon as his fusion materials. He has 2400 ATK and 2000 DEF, solid numbers for a fusion monster from those materials. Having these two monsters and a Polymerization could mean big trouble for opponents in the early days of casual Yu-Gi-Oh play. Of course, someone could answer him with a Dark Magician, Blue-Eyes White Dragon, or Serpent Night Dragon. But, removal was at a premium in those days, with Fissure and Dark Hole the most common answers, and Raigeki was tough to come by. He was never a very competitive card when it came to top level tournament play, but he was fun and quite rare to pull.
Even unlimited edition copies can still fetch a number of dollars if they are graded and authenticated by PSA. On eBay, the PSA 9 Mint copies can fetch between $75 and $100 USD. If you happen to have one graded a Gem Mint PSA 10, you may expect prices as high as $250 online (such as one sale in December 2020!) These are great numbers, but 1st edition is where the long-term value of this card lies. First edition PSA 9 examples have sold for $170 in 2020. and PSA 10 can sell for a whopping $1100. One sold in October 2020 for nearly $1700!
As of 12/28/2020, here is where the population of these graded cards stands:
Unlimited – 57 PSA 9, 39 PSA 10
First Edition – 44 PSA 9, 69 PSA 10
Interestingly, there are many more 1st edition PSA 10 examples in existence, but it’s easily the more desirable card to find. If you’re purely a collector, a PSA 9 or PSA 10 unlimited edition example is fine to acquire. If you’re looking for the best Return-On-Investment, definitely hunt for the 1st edition PSA 10. It’s a nice card to own just to have a piece of Yu-Gi-Oh trading card game history in your possession.