Dragon Ball Z Trading Card Game (Panini): 2014-2017

Posted: January 8, 2017 in Uncategorized





This wasn’t what I originally wanted to talk about for my first post of 2017.  I had this gut feeling that something like this was about to happen yet I couldn’t have expected the way it had happened.

Per Panini’s Blog:

“For the last two years, Panini Games was privileged to bring you the Dragon Ball Z Trading Card Game.

As many of you know, Bandai (the master license holder for Dragon Ball universe properties) is releasing a trading card game based on Dragon Ball Super in 2017. So as to not over-saturate the market with similar products, Panini America will not be continuing with the Dragon Ball Z license. From the sparse known details, Bandai’s new game and our DBZ TCG are vastly different.

We will continue to provide sales and support throughout the transition, such as ongoing management of rulings and maintenance of tournament documents – including a final update to the CRD and Frozen List. The goal of any remaining updates will be to lay the groundwork for an eternally balanced “final environment.”

We want to thank all of our fans for their support of the game. The fanatical enthusiasm for the DBZ TCG carried the game through seven releases and helped the DBZ TCG to earn several accolades – including two of the highest attended events at Gen Con 2015 and 2016. We were also able navigate two seasons of Organized Play – including local tournaments with countless promos and other prizes, over thirty Regionals and premier-level events, and two highly competitive World Championships.

While this chapter of the DBZ TCG is coming to an end, Panini Games has numerous new products scheduled for 2017. Look for continued Afterworld content and support, along with a new trading card game based on DC’s portfolio of comics, movies, and video games – as well as several other exciting tabletop board and card game offerings.

We were very fortunate to produce the DBZ TCG for such dedicated fans. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your support – and look for much more from Panini Games in the future!”

First, this was the first substancal blog post from them since the several recap enteries around the World Championships in November. The last several entries were bare bones and should have sent up red flags.  They come out of no where and just drop it. No real warning or transition period.

Second, in the same entry that they announced they are ceasing the production so as to “not over-saturate” the market, they sneak in an announcement about a DC trading card game.  The DC Comics portfolio of hobby games ranges the gambit of deck building games to miniature games. Two Dragon Ball Z games are in no way over-saturating the market. This goes doubly so if a.) the games plays completely different and b.) Bandai’s game is focused on Dragon Ball Super and Panini’s was focused on the Z era and earlier.

Finally, the card selection and lack of play testing regarding Awakening, their last and final set from October 2016, becomes so much more clear as a cash grab that it is offensive.  From Goku’s interaction with Unleashed to the inclusion of, essentially, an Ultra Rare Destructo Disc for Saiyans, they only cared about pushing what was to be their final product than adding anything of substance to the meta or the game at large.

That being said, however, I will miss this game.  When the game was first released by Score over a decade ago, I went with Score’s other trading card game: Yu Yu Hakusho.  This was a rare second chance in a hobby that doesn’t usually see them.  This game was something that drew my brother and I closer together as card players.  It allowed us to meet new people that we probably never would have met or associated with otherwise.  It also opened my mind to proper deck building, meta appreciation and theory crafting.

I know that the game died once, was kept alive via a dedicated online presence and was ressurected.  There are already people talking about continuing it and hoping the Dragon Balls are called on once more for Shenron to bring back. I, for one, just don’t have that kind of faith or hope. As I said, I’m grateful for the last couple years.  My only regrets are that I didn’t try attending more tournaments and that they didn’t make it to Majin Vegeta and Majin Buu.

So for now, I’ll pour a drink and lock the decks away with the Enternal Dragon.

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  1. […] Dragon Ball Z Trading Card Game (Panini): 2014-2017 […]

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