EDICOLA NEWS: THE REVIEWS nr. 270
album: Super Mario TCG (Panini)
cards: 252 (1-252)
starter pack: binder + 3 packets + 2 cards limited edition 9,90€
box: 18 packets (8 cards per packet) 2,99€ each
value pack: 24 cards 8,50€
Mario forever! Maybe the most loved videogame of all time, certainly one of the few that has been able to renew itself and always involve new and old fans. Not to mention that it has become cartoons, toys and much more merchandising.
Many years have passed since the legendary Panini album, almost 30 years. Back in 1993 they were classic stickers, now they have become card. Mario, Luigi and all the other characters are always them, not aged at all.
We are preparing an article that you will find in the coming days on our site, where we ask ourselves what future lies ahead, from our point of view, for our beloved stickers. Starting from the consideration of the settings of the new collections and the increasingly high cost of the packets. An important cost also in the case of Super Mario but an argument must be made. Staying at Panini and taking the World Cup Qatar 2022 album as an example, 5 ultra-light low-quality stickers at a cost of 1 euro. Here we find 8 good quality cards, also beautiful to look at, at a cost of 3 euros. If we have to “scream scandal”, the main problem is not the cost of this collection.
Another important consideration is the graphics work which in this case seems very good to us. What often makes us angry with Panini is when .. he doesn’t make Panini. There are important details that must be emphasized and appreciated. We refer to the insert attached to the binder where the collection is presented in an attractive and comprehensive way. This also helps to encourage you to continue shopping, other publishers limit themselves to a trivial check-list of the cards, wrongly.
In the insert we find the first pages dedicated to all the characters of the videogame, large images with brief characteristics of the good and the bad. Do you remember them all? There are the super classics and also the most recent ones: Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Peach, Daisy, Toad, Birdo, Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Bowser and Bowser jr, Wario, Waluigi. Good and bad, monsters and princesses, all together!
The series consists of 252 cards, an important but not overflowing number, which allows you not to leave the possibility of completing the collection only to the dream. After the disasters of Fortnite (first series with practically 1/3 of the unobtainable cards), after the impossibility of ordering the missing Fantasy Riders, after the senseless series of Captain Tsubasa by Tomy, here it seems we can go back to the classic. Back when in Modena they boasted the famous phrase “a Panini collection is always completed”. Maybe not the limited editions, maybe not special or out-of-number variants, but, as you read in the insert, the great hope is that later you will be able to buy the missing cards on the Panini website.
We use once again the well-made insert to present the collection, consisting of 180 basic and 72 special cards. From 1 to 36 rundown on the characters, first in their image that we know well, then with a close-up as if they had fun taking selfies with the phone.
We hope you like Yoshi, Toad and Toadette or you will have problems with cards from 37 to 54, here you really find all the colors. The graphics are cartoonish, like modern video games. Following a real invasion of enemy cards, if you know the game an invitation to recognize and remember them all. There are 54 cards, from Birdo to Stordino. Shy Type our favorite.
The collection continues with 18 group cards (with the characters put together, both the good ones and the bad ones), as much object and to follow the gold and silver ones. Nice gold cards where our heroes (or anti-heroes ..) come out of a porthole, or try (Donkey Kong would hardly pass with his head!), The silver cards instead must be observed with care, do not settle for the image printed on the guide, the silver wall shows brick by brick many different familiar faces of the Mario Bros universe.
Over the years Mario has become a protagonist in the world of video games, including sports, making him play football, tennis, drive racing cars and much more. Could they be missing from this collection? Obviously not, from the large number of sports represented in the 36 cards, let’s say we are at the Nintendo Olympic Games.
From cartoon to comic, the 27 cards from 217 to 243 are drawings, a parallel but equally functional way for the world of Super Mario. The graphic layout, apparently simpler, actually allows you to give life to the characters in a really effective way.
Grand finale with the puzzle page where, after completing the 9 cards, we can enjoy a nice overall picture with Mario, Luigi and many others who almost seem to want to greet us, until the next opportunity at least. This solution is always welcome, in the Frozen album we had several puzzles and if you wanted you could also make the same choice here to create more than one, perhaps limiting some other parts of the collection.
Indeed, we dare to think that one day it would be cool to have a whole collection of just puzzles. Maybe double, to be enjoyed both on the front and on the back. About the back of the cards, mention for the choice to characterize them based on the type. We like the details and we like to point them out, it is a single strip of different color (silver card, sport card, enemy card, etc.) but it is functional, as well as having the card number on the back. The 9 puzzle cards on the back instead reveal the complete image, more than an improvised spoiler it seems to us an even stronger push to find them all.
Less than two months from our annual ranking of the best albums by category released between December 2021 and the end of November 2022, at the moment we can already anticipate what the card album of the year will be, except for sensational and unexpected news. A deliberate choice, it is not linked to the fear that otherwise Donkey Kong may come knocking on our door!