The rarest Yu-Gi-Oh! card in the world will finally be sold this April. Only one copy was ever printed, and it’s been in the hands of one owner since 2005. Now, the owner is finally ready to part ways with it after 18 years.
Tyler the Great Warrior was originally created as a part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization that helps fulfill the wishes of children with “critical illnesses.” Tyler Gressle had been battling a rare liver cancer that only had 200 cases in the entire country. “I wanted a Porsche, but I wasn’t old enough,” he told Yu-Gi-Oh! content creator Alex Cimo in a YouTube video. “[They said] that if you were 16, yeah sure we’d make it happen. But because you can’t drive, you can’t have one.”
Gressle got the next best thing: A custom Yu-Gi-Oh! card based on Dragon Ball Z. He was flown out to New York to meet series creator Kazuki Takahashi and the voice actors for the anime. Takahashi created two sketches based on Gressle’s favorite character Future Trunks, and he was able to choose his favorite. He watched the card printers stamp out his card, which was immediately put into a glass case and never removed until it was recently taken out to be graded.
Tyler the Great Warrior scored a near-mint because of some creases that occurred while it was sitting in its original storage case. But it’s signed by the Yu-Gi-Oh! creator (who passed away last year while trying to save people from drowning) and is the only one that exists in the entire world. “As far as I know, nobody’s touched it with their bare hands,” said Gressle. He never considered selling the card, since getting it was a cherished memory. It was only recently that he changed his mind.
“I want to part with the card now after so much time, one, because I think the anticipation has really been killing some really avid collectors,” he told Cimo. “I’m not getting any younger, I want to start a family, I want to own and operate my own business and also help my community as well as travel and see my brother in Switzerland.”
The auction organizers don’t have a starting bid in mind, according to a representative of Cimo’s channel, and they don’t have any idea about how much the card will sell for either. “We are in uncharted territory here as there has never been a 1/1 Yu-Gi-Oh! card publicly sold,” Cimo’s representative told Kotaku over an email.
The interview has some incredibly wholesome supporters for a YouTube comments section. Many fans heard rumors about Gressle and his card, and they were happy to learn that he beat cancer. “Bless him for letting it go, I understand the idea of releasing yourself to pursue your future,” said one commenter. “It’s so great seeing Tyler looking forward in life to more, and the fact that he’s willing to part with the card to bring someone else joy is just such a beautiful full circle,” said another. “Regardless of if he’s in possession of the card or not, he will always be Tyler the Great Warrior.”
The card will be auctioned on eBay on April 19.