box: 24 packets (4 stickers + 1 card per packet) 1,00€ each
blister: 5 packets 4,90€
Better late than never. Released in other countries for several months, the album of the bestseller One Piece finally arrives in Italy. What can I say, thank you! We would also like to underline a fact: in recent years we have often reported the poor quality of the album paper, in the same way it is right now to report a substantial turnaround that we are experiencing in the latest Panini releases.
All good intentions for the future, considering that at the same time the Spider-Man and Diabolik collections are on newsstands. It seems to be back to the 80s. Three different products, all of quality. Are we facing the “new wave of comics album”? Maybe, considering that Panini also has the rights to DC and Disney, can we dream of a celebratory album also for Superman or who knows for the 75 years of Uncle Scrooge? Too bad, in Italy, Panini did not believe in Asterix’s potential a few years ago.
Above all, the One Piece album makes you dream of seeing other products related to manga and Japanese animation arrive on newsstands, after only Captain Tsubasa, the eternal Dragon Ball and little else have been seen in recent years. If it is true that other collections have been a flop, by reading the titles questionable choices have been made. Maybe an album on Slam Dunk or My Hero Academy could give very different feedback and think what could be a celebratory album of robots, from Go Nagai (Grendizer, Mazinga, Jeeg Robot, etc.) to Yoshiyuki Tomino (Gundam, Daitarn 3 , Zambot, etc.) or the infinite spaces of Leiji Matsumoto (Capitan Harlock, Galaxy Express, Danguard, etc.).
As we continue to dream of future albums, let’s dedicate ourselves to this product that we think has a lot to say. The format is didactic and in some way encyclopedic, which takes its cue both from the cartoon but also from the manga. It is clearly a fan album, a story through some chapters of the long saga. There is no real introduction to the characters, as often happens, with the first pages dedicated to individual heroes and the corresponding villains.
After all, the same album does not start from the beginning but focuses on a certain period to which the sagas are connected, we are not experts in One Piece and we hope not to write inaccuracies. The choice seems optimal because it has its own logic, unlike a different product, we can say generic, which would have been suitable for newbies but less interesting for the many fans.
Given the number of readers of the manga and fans of the TV series, it is right to create a product that can be captivating for those who know the character and the story but which can also be a valid album for those who want to know One Piece better or, even just , wanted to have fun attacking stickers. Fun is guaranteed with this varied, colorful, dynamic album.
What sagas are there? Amazon Lily, Impel Down, Marineford, Luffy’s Childhood and 3D2Y. Predictable that some would have made different choices. Never mind, the message on the last page is quite clear: we are only at the beginning! (see image above)
To get to know the (many) characters of One Piece, in this case the 50 cards are useful. The album is not burdened by this presence, perhaps they could have been fewer cards, also considering the box of only 24 packets, but they are less approximate than other occasions. The not too high number of stickers is also good choice, which makes the collection even more attractive. Starting from the consideration that there is a very good chance that more sticker albums will arrive.
The cost of the packets is that of the market, but the quality of the stickers, starting from their size, should be emphasized, larger than the standard. The images, “frames” of cartoons or drawings, make a profit for this solution. Happy to find the shapes that we personally always like a lot, as well as the special glitter. Typical of One Piece are the “Wanted Dead or Alive” posters, do not worry, among the stickers you will find several, even for the central poster where the stickers from H1 to H12 find space.
The larger format of the stickers makes them the same as that of the cards, you can finally rest assured when opening the bags, no risk of tearing the stickers inside them. Thank you! Abroad it is also possible to find the hardback version, a collector’s item if Panini decides to do the limited edition as for Diabolik. More likely nothing will come out in Italy, as unfortunately happened with Spider-Man.
CAPTAIN TSUBASA card game (Panini/Tomy)
EDICOLA NEWS: THE REVIEWS nr. 228
album: Captain Tsubasa card game (Panini/Tomy)
cards: 150 (1-150)
starter pack: album + 4 packets 9,90€
box: 24 packets (8 card per packet) 2,00€ each
“Season 1“, first important detail. Captain Tsubasa, Holly & Benji for the oldest of us, is a brand that gathers many fans, it is undeniable that Panini believes in the success of the initiative, so much so that, in fact, it announces that a next one will be released. Also interesting is the choice, finally we add, to dedicate not only a sticker album but a real trading card game to this myth of Japanese cartoons.
In fact, from the insert that we find in the starter pack, we discover that the game is as important as, if not more, the cards themselves. Rather articulated and to be discovered, it also has the advantage that to play it is not necessary to have the complete collection but 46 cards are enough. Number not difficult to reach, considering that 40 cards are already in the starter pack. Of course, fans of cardboard and collectors of stickers / cards certainly cannot help but try to complete the collection.
Also for a rather interesting fact, unlike the myriad albums made so far, other players of the teams are also worthily presented here and not just the “usual suspects”. Although, returning to the initial speech, have fun discovering them and reconnecting them to the players we have known for decades with european names.
As for the rules of the game we leave you to the fun of discovering them for yourself, we can however anticipate that we have three types of cards: character, action and shot. There are no 40 different characters, but they are still quite a number.
The 150 cards contain the basic series of 64 cards, to which the more or less rare (parallel) variants must be added, the silver, the hologram, the gold, to finish at only 4 rainbow. We appreciate the choice, somehow you manage to have the complete deck of game cards without fainting, then whoever wants to can go in search of all the others. Which we sincerely recommend not to try, we bought a whole box of 24 packets and we found only 6 cards under the number 86 and a lot of double and triple cards. In practice, with a hardly appreciable numbering and choice, there are all the cards from 90 to 150 but almost none of the previous ones. Avoid buying a complete box!
The front of the cards is graphically appreciable, with some nice details such as the famous phrases and all the info on how to use the card and the technical characteristics. In short, for a good defense you must surely find Genzo Wakabayashi’s card (yes, Benji). The back of the cards shows only the logo of the series, a little bit. A lens is needed to read card numbers, but children may not have problems like adults.
Interesting collection, perhaps more for trading card enthusiasts than for classic collectors of stickers, certainly a nice sight and a nice novelty for the many fans of the cartoon, in its most modern version. Too bad for the packaging absolutely not in the standards even Panini on the number of identical cards that are inside the same box.
LUPIN III (Gazzetta dello Sport/Yamato)
EDICOLA NEWS: THE REVIEWS nr. 182
stickers: 252 (1-252) sheets of 4 stickers with the DVDs (63 issues) € 9.90 album with the first release € 2.99
The younger ones will not understand, but those who are olders will understand the pleasure of starting to write this review by looking on youtube for the legendary and unique PLANET O, the historical theme of Lupin III, nothing to do with the classic cartoon themes. , but with that female voice that all of us (without exception!) dreamed of having Fujiko in front of us watching us while she sang it and the refrain that entered our heads over 40 years ago and has never abandoned us again ..
Closed the nostalgic parenthesis, are you ready for the absolute edition of Lupin III? 50 years of Lupin III! 54 if you refer to the manga created by Monkey Punch, half a century if you take into account the first television appearance in Japan. The Gazzetta dello Sport albums, although very simple, are getting better each time. We find an abyss between those made on Tex comic (for example) and the latter. An album that retraces the path of the television series and DVDs to which it is attached. For the first time, the six TV series all together, starting from 1971 to the last one in 2018.
The difference between the previous products and this is the inside, much more refined, something valid had already been seen in the Holly & Benji album, here we are at a different level. Key captions to understand the stories but also the evolution of the character and the authors who have followed one another in the various series. The stickers are cartoon “frames”, so it is likely that some suffer from a rather limited quality, we will see with the continuation of the releases, everything has a very 80s flavor and is a blast for the writer! Although the first series is from 1971, it arrived in Italy in 1979 and was a real television earthquake, despite not having the best schedules of others such as Grendizer or Mazinger Z, on Rai Tv and at perfect times (if before it was finished doing my homework ..)
First pages therefore dedicated to the first legendary series and so on with the following ones, under each sticker we find the note to which episode it refers, a not insignificant detail that takes the product to a higher level, we do not want the younger ones but it is It is clear that the target to which the editors are aiming is that of the “boys of the past” and the world of collectors. Alongside the stickers, the aforementioned captions explain the events and the stylistic path of the series. Another nice detail are the famous phrases of the various characters, reported in quotation marks.
In addition to presenting the various series in chronological order, we find specific pages on Lupin, Jigen, Goemon, Fujiko and the legendary Inspector Zenigata. Not only that, the pages on all Lupin’s cars and jackets are amazing, if we were meticulous we would also have seen a page with all Fujiko’s clothes, which in Italy we knew as Margot. Speaking of Italy, Jamato Video also does an excellent job of characterizing the album with respect to the television history in our country. It should be noted that the Fourth Series (actually the Fifth, taking into account the separate series called Fujiko) is set in Italy, Lupin and friends around the beautiful country!
If interested in the sticker album alone, the expense is really high, if interested in the product as a whole, a double pleasure. Also taking into account that in reality in Italy, in terms of stickers, Lupin did not have much luck, only an album in 1996 by Merlin (now Topps), very little for one of the cult characters of Japanese cartoons, always present on television with the various series that have followed over the years.
As mentioned, the stickers are quite simple, we would have avoided the doubles, fortunately few, given the not exactly perfect cuts (at the time of the Tex albums we saw real horrors), in general an album that is not wrong to define encyclopedic of the saga of our beloved thief in a jacket and Cinquecento.
“do nothing, just listen to your heartbeat” (Fujiko)
SAINT SEIYA CLOTH SERIES (SSV Italy)
EDICOLA NEWS: THE REVIEWS nr. 162
stickers: 35 (1-34 + sticker cover) album + complete stickers set € 20.00
Behind this album there is passion, a lot of passion. When we were contacted by the Saint Seiya Vintage Italy Association, we appreciated that they followed our site and even more that they wanted to inform us about their editorial initiative. We are the first to be stubborn in carrying out our projects, so we wanted to give our small contribution by purchasing a copy and doing the necessary review, we consider it an honor rather than a burden.
The stickers are just 34, as if it were a negative aspect, for some time we have been carrying on the firm belief that it is not the length of an album or its amount of stickers that makes it interesting and enjoyable, sometimes publishers exaggerate, perhaps adding the (not always) superfluous cards or other.
The album reflects the reason why the association was born, the collecting of toys (ok, the term is limiting, but to make everyone understand what we are talking about) released in Japan and Italy since the end of the years 80. Not all toys, but the specific Saint Cloth Series collection starting from the first series that we find here represented. We apologize to the boys of the association if we have written inaccuracies. It is a world parallel to ours, we know it, but we are certainly not experts.
The album is a catalog book containing 17 characters from the series, Pegazus, Dragon, Swan, Andromeda, Phoenix and the 12 Golden Knights corresponding to the zodiac signs. Each with two stickers, a photo of the front of the box and the inside with the character still in its original packaging. If Mr. Preziosi has been able to buy Saronno, Como and finally Genoa Football Club over the years, it is also thanks to the great commercial successes of his company such as the Knights of the Zodiac!
The surrounding photographs are also beautiful, certainly from private collections and not found on the internet. They also write it on the album but it is clear that there is a great job behind it, that passion we were talking about at the beginning of the review. Final pages with many curiosities and details for those wishing to venture out in search of these small jewels related to Japanese animation (and in turn to manga, but in reality the toys portray much more the characters as they are represented in the TV series rather than in the comics).
Interesting project, commitment to be supported, the main flaw is the size of the stickers, rather small which do not do justice to the work behind it and above all do not allow you to fully appreciate the details inside the boxes. Probably an obligatory choice, linked to the indications of those who printed albums and stickers.
We allow ourselves to make two additions:
there are 34 stickers but we wrote 35 because you can also find the sticker of the album cover. It does not have a space inside but is still, in our opinion, part of the collection
we name it volume 1, the copy in our possession is part of the first reprint. We hope the success of the initiative will push this handful of collectors to repeat the initiative and propose another album. Maybe to be presented at a future edition of Figurine Forever Fair where we would certainly like to have them with us 😉
Anyone interested in purchasing a copy of the album can contact the Association directly by visiting their interesting website http://saintseiyavintage.it/
“Don’t call me Holly!”, Forget also about Benji, Landers and Becker, it’s time to get to know the real names in the most loved and followed football cartoon of all time. It is not an absolute novelty, manga readers know the comics that kept the Japanese names even when published in Italy. The album is not a revival but is linked to the recently made reboot, the story is always the same but the graphics are modern and all the characters are also offered in Italy with their original names.
In leafing through the album, Panini rightly makes no mention of English-style names, for some until the sticker is found difficult to understand who the caption is intended for. The older of us will find another way to have fun!
We like the setting of the album very much, the story is the same as the first series, the risk of making an album similar to the previous ones (although it has not been made for many years) is well avoided by Panini by creating a product where in the Captions and titles could almost look like a classic football album were it not for the animation in the stickers.
The first pages feature the top players, Tsubasa (formerly Holly Hutton), Genzo (formerly Benji Price), Taro (formerly Tom Becker) and Hyuga (formerly Mark Lenders). In the many stickers, scenes from the various episodes are re-proposed, but also special glitter, shaped and for some the splendid circular emblems. We admit that we have not yet seen the new version on TV, but a lot of space is given to Roberto (he, being Brazilian, keeps the same name as the classic series), an important character, but less charismatic than the many other young players in the series, the best here summarized on one page.
In the second part of the album the series and the acrobatics of our champions are dealt with, instead of summarizing the salient episodes, the album enjoys involving the collector with a series of captivating “screams” (in action! come on! what a goal and what saves!), plus some focus on moments of glory, not only the final between the two teams (clearly not called Muppet and New Team) but for example the golden couple Tsubasa / Taro with satisfaction of the writer, among the various characters I have always had a soft spot for Taro / Tom Becker.
The idea of interacting with children is also nice, inviting them in the various pages to write their own ideas and passions about football, even better in two specific pages with lots of tests, the first dedicated to attack or defense, the second to how much you know the series. In reality, it is enough to be good and if you have been careful in reading the album captions, you should know all the answers.
Particular mention was made of the double central poster for the P stickers, there was too much curiosity not to detach it from the album and see it in all its grandeur. Side A proposes the Top 11 of the players in the series, the ones we will then all find together in the national team; side B the players in action.
Good quality album, even the paper although not perfect yet, is better than the last Panini albums. The stickers reproduce the moments of the series, the special ones and especially the shaped ones are beautiful. If you really wanted to be tax, you could have given more space to the other characters and less to the protagonist, but in reality we seem to see that, having already opened about twenty packets, even the supporting actors have several appearances. Just a detail, given that the album is CAPTAIN TSUBASA, as you can also read on the cover, why write Capitan (in Italian) inside? Detail, just to be a pain in the ass 🙂
We have just released the TOP TEN 2020 (for albums released from December 1, 2019 to November 30, 2020) and perhaps we already have the 2021 winner in the cartoon category. Being only the first series, the hope of seeing other albums in the future is high, even Panini seems to believe (hope) given the box of 50 packets while lately he has often used the 36 one.
Come on Japan!
HOLLY & BENJI (Gazzetta dello Sport Italy)
EDICOLA NEWS: REVIEWS nr. 127
album: € 2.99 with the first DVD
subsequent releases: 36 (DVD + 4 stickers) € 9.99
comment: the albums linked to the Gazzetta dello Sport have become a sub-collection, rather expensive if interested only in stickers. At least and luckily over time they have improved and are more refined and interesting inside pages. After 3 of Tex, 1 of Zagor, 1 of Alan Ford, the one linked to the world of football by Holly and Benji has their good reasons.
Not being able to present covers, the album is set on the story and the various series that created the myth of Captain Tsubasa (the original name of the manga). For those few who still don’t know it by heart, better wait to watch all the episodes before attacking the stickers!
Much of the album is related to the classic series of the character, Holly’s arrival at the New Team and friendship with Benjamin Price, the role of the brazilian top player Roberto (I’m the only one who thought he was in love with the mother of Holly while her husband was at sea ??) and all the exciting and long games until the final match against Mark Lenders’ Muppet.
The stickers are images taken from the same cartoon, so some sin of quality. Then the beautiful and much loved international championship games, with Japan playing against the great European and South American champions.
Final of the album with Holly, Mark and Benji, adults and footballers established in major European clubs, even if for reasons of image rights Hutton’s Barcelona has been renamed Catalonia. Nice album, we chose this formula to tell the story in stickers, another solution could be the stickers of all the characters as found in the booklets attached to the DVDs (well done, to be kept). It could have been an equally interesting solution.
For those who are not interested in the DVD collection, better wait to find the album later and spend much less (probably), for those who want to watch all this unforgettable saga from the beginning, an opportunity not to be missed