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ANIMEfringe Reviews:
Sailor Moon: Archival Trading Cards
By Adam "OMEGA" Arnold


Sailor Moon is no stranger to the trading card market, but Dart FlipCards Inc.'s new Sailor Moon: Archival Trading Cards set seems like a step back when compared to the previous sets they have released. The glittery greatness of the Prismatic Trading Card set is a shining example of a great card set, but why would Dart choose to simply rehash the earlier set of Awesome Trading Cards as a slightly redesigned version calling them Archival Trading Cards? Don't get me wrong, this card set is definitely worth checking out. But, if you collected earlier Dart sets, there is very little difference.

The wrapper is eye-catching with the five inner Sailor Senshi in front of a bright circular target background. Upon opening the surprisingly easy-to-open wrapper (a plus if you like to save a wrapper or two) you will discover six trading cards of the uniform card thickness ratio that everyone knows and loves, plus a extra Sailor Moon Archive Collectible Card Game Promo card that gives info on the new CCG that joins the already swelling Anime CCG market. If you happened to buy a box of cards, or saw it at the store, then Sailor Moon and Luna appear on the top flap of the box which broods over the four columns of packed cards with a preview of five of the cards along the sides of the box.

Once you have all your cards opened and sorted (and if you're a true a collector, the cards are already in their mylar trading card sheets) you will undoubtedly notice the cards come from a number of different sources, like film books and actual episodes. Many of the cards can yield excellent scans if that is your forté, while others are worth putting up around your room (if you have extras, of course). Yet, as great as 95% of the cards are, there are a small few that fall flat. For instance, card #5 features an unfaltering picture of Mina that doesn't match with the back text that says she is a ‘happy-go-lucky girl,' while card #53, Beach Break, sports a nice screen shot but it's blurry due to the film source for the shot. Yet through the whole set, the strangest card of all is card #67 which features a shot of Sailor Uranus in Earthly Form, yet there is no sign of Sailor Neptune. Maybe I'm just being anal. What do you think?

So what's different between the Awesome set and the Archival set? Quite a few things actually.

Though the fronts feature the same scenes, the backs are completely reversed in relation to the front when compared to their predecessor set. Also, the backs feature the same card text, but the background colors the mini-scene and the copyright information has all been revised. The final difference comes from several resizings of framed cards. Card #60, Sailor Link, is probably the most recognizable example of a resizing because the picture has been shrunken to make the border more uniform.

Top off all these differences with the fact that random packs come with a playable Holographic Foil Game Chase Card. I was lucky enough to get five of these cards, but the odds are against anyone ever finding all nine chase cards in a single box, let alone a single case. The odds of finding specific cards are as follows: Cards #1,2,3 are 1:10, Cards #4,5,6 are 1:15, Cards #7,8 are 1:45, and a whopping 1:360 chance of finding Card #9. On top of that, the wrappers offer a chance to randomly buy one of the 576 printing plates used in the production of the trading card set.

Overall, this set is definitely worth picking up a few packs -- if anything, just to get a shot at getting the chase cards. Even if you don't rush out an score a whole 30 pack box, these cards feature some great scenes that no moonie should be without.

Review Info File
Title:
Sailor Moon: Archival Trading Cards
Format:
72 Trading Cards
9 Collectible Game Chase Cards
30 Packs per box
6 Cards per pack, (plus 1 CCG promo card)
Production:
Dart FlipCards Inc.
DiC Entertainment
Toei Animation
Naoko Takeuchi
Kodansha
Rating:
A-
Comments:
One of those great sets of anime trading cards that you should collect.

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