Dragonball Z Trading Cards Series 1 – Artbox

Dragonball Z Trading Cards Series 1 by Artbox packaging

Series: Dragonball Z

Company: Artbox

Year: 1996

Main distribution: United States / Europe

Barcode: 601139083706

These are trading cards from Dragonball Z by Artbox. This is Series 1. The series exists out of 60 cards, with the first 10 being Hologram cards. The images are based on the Saiyan Saga.

Artbox (also known as DBA Artbox Entertainment or Japan Printing Products USA Inc.) was an American publisher of trading cards and Collectable Card Games. Their headquarters was in San Clemente, California, USA. A subsidiary of Ensky (Formerly Amada Printing MFG. Co., Ltd), Artbox Entertainment was established in 1995 as a United States based company to manufacture and market popular licensed products by specialising in the category of printed toys and collectables. Founded over 65 years ago, Ensky is Japan’s leading manufacture, marketer and distributor of licensed products. With strong support from Japan’s leading manufacturers, Artbox Entertainment was well equipped as a leader of printed toys and collectables for licensed products.

They gained many licenses, including Dragonball, Dragonball Z, Pokémon, Sailormoon and many more.

Here I’ll show my Dragonball Z Trading Cards Series 1.

The cards are recognisable as having along the bottom a black bar with Dragonball Z on it, as well as the text “Is it Defeat or Victory that Waits in the Dark?”.
The backs have a little image of Goku mastering the Spirit Bomb (card 46), or Goku and Gohan riding Nimbus (card 9), with a fiery background and some text.

They came in packs of 10; 9 normal cards and 1 Hologram card. I got 2 different packaging, one with Shenron in the background and one with Gohan. I believe the Shenron are American while Gohan is the European versions. The backgrounds of the cards are also lighter on one version of them.

I got 60/60, the complete set.

Dragonball Z Trading Cards Series 1 by Artbox 1-7
Dragonball Z Trading Cards Series 1 by Artbox 8-16
Dragonball Z Trading Cards Series 1 by Artbox 17-25
Dragonball Z Trading Cards Series 1 by Artbox 26-34
Dragonball Z Trading Cards Series 1 by Artbox 35-43
Dragonball Z Trading Cards Series 1 by Artbox 44-52
Dragonball Z Trading Cards Series 1 by Artbox 53-60

These are the first Dragonball Z cards I collected. They were also everywhere. Considering the set only existed out of 60 cards, and there were 10 in a pack, they were quite generous and easy to get as well. As each pack also had a hologram card, they were actually easier to get than the other 50 cards!

My uncle worked at the NATO, an American base, which had an American shop that imported stuff from America for the Americans based here. Occasionally my uncle brought me along and I would buy tons of cards there. I would also ask him to buy me some every time he went. Although I usually stuck to the cards that I couldn’t get anywhere else, I also bought some of these there. Hence the two different packagings and slightly different coloured cards.

For some reason, I cut the artwork of the packaging out instead of just keeping the full pack. I think I wanted to remember what the packs looked like, but not keep packaging? Luckily I stopped doing that but my older sets like this European one will just have fronts sadly.

I traded these everywhere to get a full set. On school, on markets, with friends etc. I was trying to get Series 2 and Series 3 complete as well at the time, so there was a lot of swapping going on! Luckily my uncle is a collector and gambler as well and knew the importance of getting the full set! He traded some with his American co-workers kids as well for me. Not all cards are super minty, but I was happy to have gotten the full set.

I still have a few doubles left if anyone wants to trade for other series or buy (25, 40, 45, 45, 47)?

Got any more details / information you think I should add? Or did I get something wrong? Do you own any of these cards? Or do you have the full set? Would you like to trade any? Do you agree or disagree with my findings? Let me know in the comments below!

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