It’s become clear that every EX set for the Digimon TCG is getting its own gift box. I’m all for that, especially if Bandai makes that box awesome! But has the Digimon “Adventure Box” improved on its predecessor? I got one and found out for myself.
Fans of Digimon as a franchise may be confused by this being called an “Adventure Box.” For those of you who don’t understand this confusion, the original Digimon animated series was called Digimon Adventure (01) in Japan. The sequel was called Digimon Adventure 02 and featured Veemon, Imperialdramon, and Armor evolutions. Finally, the Digimon series that EX02 Digital Hazard was based on was Digimon Tamers. (Some people call it “Season 3,” but it’s so loosely tied to Adventure that it should be considered another series in the same franchise.) And I think a lot of fans wanted a Digimon Tamers-themed box. I can’t blame them. But I also understand that including Adventure 01/02 stuff might rope in the fans that checked out at Tamers. Still, it’s a shame Bandai didn’t put in merch from, say, the pop-up shop event in Japan. Acrylic standees/keychains still would have sold.
But that’s not what we got. I’m here to look at what we did get, right?
So What About the Actual Box?
The box contains all of the following:
● 4 packs of EX02 Digital Hazard (hereafter EX2)
● A Mastemon or Imperialdramon promo card
● 1 of 8 Digimon Adventure Narabundesu figures
First, I like how compact this box is compared to the EX1 Gift Box. Taking up less shelf space and being able to fit in a bag more easily is good. Less wasted plastic overall! Originally, Bandai’s site advertised only two packs in the box. I am pleasantly surprised that this got bumped back up to four. With packs retailing around 4–5 bucks by themselves, this isn’t a bad price by any means. The Narabundesu figure is more like icing now…but it may be the best reason to buy the box.
What’s a “Narabundesu” Figure?
“Narabundesu” (roughly “Line Up”) is a figure line from Bandai that covers multiple franchises. They’re usually posed with their hands outstretched. From what I can tell, this is so that the figures can form a sort of “conga line” with each other. Many, many other franchises, such as Demon Slayer and Peanuts (yes, Charlie Brown and Snoopy) also have these figures. They were originally released in gashapon machines in Japan for 500 yen (so, roughly 5 bucks) a pull.
That means, yes, they were also in circulation on the internet before these boxes were released. Due to the randomized nature of these figures, people were selling them for 10-11 USD before considering international shipping. I am okay with Bandai releasing these figures in a bundle like this. It’s not a bad way to get these stateside at all.
But do they work as memory counters like the website suggests? Kind of; they weren’t originally designed to be memory counters, but they do fit on the official counter’s circles. Due to the “line up” design, they may tip over, but that can be worked around. There are better things to use as memory counters, but if you want the figures, this is how you get them.
Please No More Box Toppers!
I can’t say it any better than I said it in the header: Bandai, please stop putting your box topper promos in gift boxes. With EX1, there was only one choice: WarGreymon. This time, there are two promos that people might spring for. It’s better, but not by much, and here’s why.
Let’s say I have the budget for both a box of EX2 and three-four of the Adventure Boxes (for roughly equal value). I buy one box and get most of what I need for, say, a Terriermon deck. Maybe I need to spend a little more to get those few cards I missed, but that’s it.
Here’s where the Digimon Adventure Box starts diminishing in value. If I got another booster box instead of the Adventure Box(es), could I not also have a shot at the alt art promo and those rares I’m missing for less money overall? Could I not get both my favourite figure and the promo I was missing in one Digimon Adventure Box, then spend my remaining money on whatever else I need? It’s not worth it to go beyond that.
Now, let’s change this situation just a little bit: what if, instead of the box topper promos, Bandai put in the Tamer’s Card Set 1 alt art reprints of BT3 Terriermon, BT5 Renamon, and BT2 Guilmon?
BT3 Terriermon is a good card. It’s not busted, but it’s a “floodgate” that limits what your opponent can do to gain memory. It would help my theoretical Terriermon deck, as well as other Green decks! Suddenly, I have a reason to get those Adventure Boxes. This problem won’t be solved by buying more EX2 booster boxes.
This is how you sell these boxes: think about what people buying your set might want. It helps that Guilmon is cool and Terriermon is cute as a button. Throw in some Tamers merch and you would be good!
This isn’t a bad product. If anything, it’s probably the best “gift box” we’ll get (EX3’s box looks like a step backward.) I think releasing the Narabundesu figures this way was fine; I prefer it to the “blind box”/gashapon strategy. 20 bucks for 4 packs is a fair deal and nowhere near as bad as the earlier announcement of just 2 packs. Reusing the box-topper promos was a waste. It’s a shame that the whole package wasn’t more Tamers-themed.
Most players will be able to pass on this box, but if you’re a collector, or if EX2 is hard to get in your area, it might be worth getting. If you want those cute little Narabundesu figures, this is your best shot. If you’re buying boxes already, this’ll do nothing for you, but it’s not a bad deal, so 4 stars out of 5.
Cereza – Ludkins Media Guest Writer