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FANTASY RIDERS TCG – The giant invasion (Panini)


ialbum: Fantasy Riders TCG The giant invasion (Panini)

Cards: 396 (1-396) + 14 Limited Edition
Starter pack: binder + 4 packets + 6 cards limited 8,00€
Box: 24 packets (6 cards per packet) 1,50€ each
Tin box: 3 packets + 3 limited edition 5,90€
(made in 6 different colors but with the same content)
Ecoblister: 3 packets + 1 limited edition 4,50€

Fantasy Riders returns to Italy 2 years after the publication of the first series, perhaps a break of
reflection on the potential of a collection which, at the moment, has not made much of a breakthrough in the hearts of enthusiasts, although it has achieved good sales figures.

If with the first edition we were spared from the need to chase the limited editions, this time fans of the series will have to bend over backwards to get them all. The series, despite being born as a Trading Card Game or a card game in all respects, is mostly collected by lovers of card collections to complete.

The reasons for the lack of success of the game can be many: it is always very difficult to get into
TCG world without being banal and without having a consolidated brand behind it, even if not even this, see Disney Lorcana, is a guarantee of success. The game is quite basic, with attack and defense values and objects that slightly change the flow of the games.

The cards are presented with rounded edges like any self-respecting trading card game. The quality of the paper, however, does not seem to be the best: the cards are ruined even just by opening the packets, they are extremely thin and have a smooth surface. A useful tip is certainly to put them inside protective sleeves if you intend to use them for the game that Panini offers, but also if you plan to carry the album around to exchange doubles with other collectors.

The basic cards have some very fine raised features, especially noticeable against the light and the character or object featured on the card is shiny and slightly in relief compared to the rest of the card, as is the box containing the text. The silver, bronze and gold cards have a shiny holography in their respective colors while the platinum, titanium, steel and legendary have a different one.

The limited editions are those with the best quality in terms of effects on paper: they are very embossed and pleasant to the touch. The impression is that compared to other TCG cards such as Pokemon, they are more delicate and tend to bend or get damaged at the edges, despite the fact that they almost seem plasticized to the touch. It’s a shame, however, that they aren’t strong enough to protect the cards from at least the lightest impacts, a rather inexplicable choice. The last two limited editions can be found by purchasing at least one Fantasy Riders product on the Panini website and by purchasing the starter pack + tin box in comic shops. An appreciable detail because this time, emphasis is equally given to both the direct sales of the Modena company and the more (or less…) traditional retail ones. Obviously a solution less appreciated by the wallets of parents and collectors.

The space dedicated to the artwork is adequate, on each card there is the name, the game values and a brief description of the character as well as the effect that the card possibly has on the game. Precisely for this reason, more captivating artwork could have made the difference for some more demanding collectors, however in terms of graphics Panini proves that it has not put much effort into it: all the images are in CGI, with a single style, without the designer’s name on the paper.

The cards are divided into tribes and each tribe has a personalized back: the backs are very beautiful and detailed, with many references to the tribe to which they belong, often the back of the cards is preferable to the front. Compared to the previous collection, 5 new tribes have been added. Despite this the
variety of cards is a bit disappointing, although logical: each tribe includes 18 cards with 4 repeating subjects: two riders and two creatures in micro, medius and mega versions, which follow the characters throughout their growth and rider with his creature always in the three previously mentioned versions.

The addition of the wanderers allows for more variety given that there are 18 creatures, each present with the 3 versions mentioned previously, while for the new tribes there are 6 subjects. On a gaming level it can be interesting given that this new series can go to integrate the first, forming mixed game decks, but from a collecting point of view it could be monotonous.

Ultimately, Fantasy Riders is a product suitable for those who want to play or collect a card game
collectibles affordable on an economic level, this is certainly a merit given the price difference for example with Pokemon (€1.50 versus €6.00 per packet) without the pretense of having among the
artwork hands of who knows which designers.

In the end it’s a bit like having a board game with the added pleasure and fun of opening the packets to form the game deck and collect all the cards. In defiance of the Holy Grail of the Panini Brothers (the real ones who wrote “a Panini collection is always completed”) it is not possible to request missing cards, including cards of different rarities such as TCGs.

Considering that the only basis that this fantastic world has is the guide associated with the starter pack, of around fifty pages, it is difficult to have many expectations.


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