Before we begin, know that I’m something of a Digimon mat collector. I think the situation with mats in Digimon is slightly different from that of other TCGs. This is in large part due to the memory gauge. But mostly, I think mats can be a fun way to express yourself when playing TCGs. That said, the Floral Fun set was my first time getting a mat that was made by Bandai. All of my others were made by various artists online. I’d heard whispers along the lines of “stick with artist-made mats, they’re better!” But I also believe in supporting the official release, and the Floral Fun set was cute enough.
My first tip when buying anything from Premium Bandai is that you need the patience of an Angemon. I ordered the set in March. It did not get to my mailbox until very late in September. The site, at least, warns you that it will take a while, but as September wore on, I was nervous that it would never get to my house.
But it came, and it was beautiful. How beautiful? Let’s take a look!
The Promos –
I’m going to talk about the cards first. If I don’t, I will spend too much time waxing poetic about mats in this game and why Bandai needs to make more of them. There’s a slight difference from the Japanese release off the bat: in Japan, the promo cards came in a mini-binder.
I’m not going to lie: I thought these cards would be shinier. Like regular rares in the TCG, these cards are printed on plain silver foil. But also, I thought more of the picture would be foil. There are some interesting effects brought out by the minimalist foil, but it may have been better to go with rainbow foil (so, like SRs) for these to make the foil effects really pop. As far as I can tell (I don’t know every card in every deck) the two main “meta” cards in this set would be the Gomamon (P-004) and Patamon (ST3). TCGPlayer supports my thoughts, so let’s talk a little bit about why they outprice Agumon and Gabumon.
The Promo Gomamon was once considered the best Gomamon for anyone who wanted to run a Gomamon deck; the inheritable ability that lets you gain memory when trashing your opponent’s evo materials is really good. If you’re running that kind of Blue deck, get Gomamon while it’s cheap. But this Gomamon is only the second-priciest card in the set.
Floral Fun’s ST3 Patamon can easily go for 20 bucks by itself on the secondary market. Again, you may be wondering why. The answer is probably a trifecta of Patamon’s popularity as a character, the card’s useability in Yellow decks (especially Sakuyamon), and ST3 Heaven’s Yellow being hard to find in the States (this may not be the case in other parts of the world). All of these factors combined make it worthy of its price tag.
Overall, if you look at the secondary market, the promos more than make up for the price of the mat—Gomamon and Patamon alone cover most of what you paid. But what about the mat itself?
The Mat –
Now that I’ve talked about the cards, what do I think of the mat? Well…
For starters, the art is fine. It’s cute. It’s got all the Adventure partners with Crest-themed jewellery and Sanrio-esque animals. I think having no zones and a minimal memory bar helps because it doesn’t obscure the art at all. I accept this mad tea party for what it is.
But I’d been warned that Bandai mats were smaller than most DTCG mats on the market. But for those of you who want a visual comparison, expect Bandai mats to be approximately 2 inches shorter than any other mat at your game shop. Part of me gets it; everything in Japan has to fit into a smaller space. I don’t want people to be too shocked by the size difference.
One weird thing I noticed is that the mat did not want to stay rolled. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve had my fanmade mats longer or if there’s a very slight difference in materials, but I thought it was odd. You will definitely want to get a tube for this mat. Also, the mat doesn’t come with stitched edging. I don’t think I’ve seen any official mats with stitched edging, but it’s always nice to see. If you aren’t a stickler for official merchandise and have the money, you might be better off with a fanmade mat. (But please, please check your source; make sure you are supporting the artist and not someone who slapped DTCG zones on someone else’s art.) However, I can respect Bandai for giving us the exact mat that they got in Japan, and it’s a perfectly understandable choice.
The Floral Fun set is a little underwhelming, but if you want a cute and/or official game mat with a memory gauge, it’s a good choice. People will mostly be after it for the promos; you may be able to find the mat at a discount. I give this product a solid 3.5/ 4.0 out of 5 stars, with the fluctuation coming from the wait. If you have the patience, it’s easily worth it.
If Floral Fun was a product on store shelves, it’d be an amazing deal and I would recommend that every fan of Digimon Adventure go out and buy it. As-is, it’s not bad for $35, but the wait really chafes and I wish the promos were just a little shinier. They could release the cards with rainbow foil, the mini-binder, and the mat for $45 in a store and it would be an instant buy.
Cereza – Ludkins Media Guest Writer