When the Dragon Ball Carddass Premium Edition was announced on the DBS CG social media account, many people were left confused about what it actually was. The cards in this collection look completely different to the TCG we all know and love, having a retro design and diamond foiling. What many may not know is that the Carddass cards not only pre-date all other Dragon Ball trading cards but likely started production before you were even born.
What is Carddass?
Carddass are vending machines distributed by Bandai throughout Japan that dispensed collectable cards. They first appeared in 1988 and focused on the popular anime series of the time, such as Saint Seiya and Dragon Ball, the latter of which became their most popular product. In fact, it did so well that in just ten years, Bandai had sold 2 billion Dragon Ball Hondan cards.
Bandai continued to release these cards through their vending machines for years. Each set was broken up into ‘Parts’ that ended with Part 30 in 1997, which focused on the Dragon Ball GT Super 17 saga. In 2015, Bandai released a special binder that included two limited edition parts with unique cards based on the God of Destruction Beerus Saga. A number of reprints have been released over the years, most notably the Premium sets, which focused on particular Dragon Ball Carddass Parts. Now, Bandai is adding to the catalogue by following up with the Premium Edition DX Set, which will be a celebration of the entire Dragon Ball franchise.
What does the set include?
The Carddass Premium Edition DX Set consists of 42 cards, original to the Carddass game, spread out between 7 folders that slot into a larger storage box. Each folder is themed after specific series or sagas, such as Dragon Ball GT, the Tournament of Power arc and the Broly Movie.
The Set, released in February 2022, will cost $ 79.99 on the Premium Bandai website and are currently taking pre-orders until August 31st. The Bandai Premium website will only ship to the US for western countries, which means that those in Europe and the UK will have to use third-party companies to get their sets from Japan.
Is there a market for retro cards?
It’s no secret that nostalgia plays a massive part in the success of the DBS CG, with many of us who grew up with the anime series now investing in our childhoods. When it comes to Carddass Hondan, it is the same for those living in Japan. Over the past few years, western collectors have begun collecting the Carddass cards as some of them, especially the early ones, have become incredibly valuable. This is probably the reason why Bandai decided to advertise the Premium Edition Set on their social media account, as well as introduce it to DBS CG fans that were not aware of the original retro cards.
Older products, like the Dragon Ball Z Collectible Card Game that began in 2000, and the Dragon Ball Collectible Card Game from 2008, have had revived interest in the last couple of years due to DBS CG collectors also branching out into other Dragon Ball CGs. Due to the Dragon Ball Super series sparking nostalgia in fans of the franchise, some people may be collecting the older games because they had some as kids but now have the disposable income to complete sets or chase the rarest cards.
Sealed booster boxes for the Dragon Ball Z Collectible Card Game, in particular, have seen a huge increase in value, with the Frieza Saga Booster selling for $1450 and Cell Saga packs selling for $45 each.
Will the Carddass Premium Edition sell well?
Carddass machines being primarily in Japan does put the Premium Set at a disadvantage in western countries, as interest will be limited to those who discovered the cards previously or those who like the look of the collection. In Japan, however, these cards are still incredibly popular and collectable, which will make this collection sought after by many people. The fact that these cards have been designed and developed since 1988 shows that there is still a huge buyer market for them. The choice to promote the set on the DBS CG social media account may have made sense in terms of it being a Dragon Ball card game product, but it really doesn’t have anything to do with the DBS CG and was solely a decision made by Bandai to maximise marketing for the set worldwide.
To learn more about the first Dragon Ball Carddass cards and the history of the series, head over to our article here. If you would like to learn more about other collector binders from Bandai, check out our article – The DBS CG Collector’s Selection Vol. 1.
Mathew Parkes – Ludkins Media
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