PSA has announced that it will begin acknowledging previously unrecognized Yu-Gi-Oh! error cards. This long-awaited change comes after an assessment of the Yu-Gi-Oh! collecting community, in which these cards have been widely accepted for years. While PSA may have already been grading some of these error variations, the unique errors themselves are now being properly identified on their respective labels.
Among these newly recognized errors are reverse foil cards. The term “reverse foil” refers to Secret Rare Yu-Gi-Oh! cards whose diagonal line foil treatment is incorrectly angled from the top left of the card to the bottom right, as opposed to the normal direction of the top right of the card to the bottom left. This is caused by an error during the printing process, and while it might fly under the radar for many, there are countless collectors around the world who specifically seek out these misprinted cards for their rarity and subtle uniqueness.
PSA also began recognizing Ultra Rare name errors. This error refers to Secret Rare cards that are misprinted with their card name in gold foil, which is typically only reserved for Ultra Rares. One of the most notable examples of this can be found on the 2002 Legend of Blue-Eyes White Dragon Gaia, the Dragon Champion card, which can actually display the Ultra Rare name and reverse foil errors simultaneously. Tri-Horned Dragon, found in the same set, can also exhibit both errors at once.
Yu-Gi-Oh! cards exhibiting incorrect name errors have been graded for some time, but are now receiving revised descriptions on their PSA labels. Incorrect name errors occur when a card’s printed name does not match the card for which it was intended. A notable example of this can be found on the 2007 Gladiator’s Assault Elemental Hero Chaos Neos card. This card famously depicts the correct card artwork and card description, but is falsely printed with the name “Rainbow Dragon.” As an error that can only appear on the 1st Edition Ghost Rare print of the card, it boasts a large price tag on the secondary market. Originally, PSA-graded examples of this card were identified as “Rainbow Dragon Misprint” on their labels, but now that PSA is opening its doors to a wider spectrum of errors, the wording has been changed to the more inclusive “Incorrect Name,” which encompasses all cards that might exhibit this error.
Just as names can be printed incorrectly, so too can card artwork. In 2007’s Tactical Evolution set, the unlimited Ghost Rare Rainbow Dragon card displays the correct card name and card description, but incorrectly features artwork from the Elemental Hero Chaos Neos card. This particular error — now marked as “Incorrect Art Error” on PSA labels — had been unrecognized by PSA for years due to a lack of information from the manufacturer. In the past, Upper Deck has publicly recognized certain errors within their sets, but without an official statement regarding this one specifically, PSA could not confidently recognize it without further investigation. The Rainbow Dragon card exhibiting the error was exclusively found in Wave 2 of the 2007 Collectible Tins, which was released one day after the Gladiator’s Assault 1st Edition set. Given the proximity of both releases it’s plausible to deduce that the two products were printed simultaneously in the same factory, not to mention that both Elemental Hero Chaos Neos and Rainbow Dragon are featured in some way on different error cards in both sets. It is also fair to assume Upper Deck considered the low ratio for pulling a Ghost Rare Rainbow Dragon (1:288 packs) and felt it may not warrant an announcement given its scarcity. With all of this considered, PSA was able to build a case for this variation’s legitimacy.
In the collecting world, printing errors have been historically linked to counterfeits. Given the rarity of many Yu-Gi-Oh! misprints — coupled with a lack of information about them — PSA made every effort to research and confirm the validity of them before officially recognizing them with specific label callouts. While manufacturer confirmation is useful, it cannot be exclusively relied upon. Because of this, PSA’s criteria for deciding which errors can be acknowledged has changed, pivoting favorably toward the opinions of the actual Yu-Gi-Oh! community instead. As PSA reexamines its process, there will likely be many more variations across all TCGs being called out on PSA labels in the future. In recognizing more variations over time, PSA Product Integrity Manager Roxanne Ghezzi states, “We take another step towards building a more mature TCG collecting community hand-in-hand with the collectors we serve.”