Series: Dragonball Z
Main distribution: United States / Europe
These are trading cards from Dragonball Z by Artbox. This is Series 3. The series exists out of 72 cards, with 10 Hologram cards in silver and gold versions and 4 transparant chaser cards, creating 96 cards total. The images are based on the end of the Ginyu Saga, the Frieza Saga and the start of the Garlic Jr. 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 3.
The cards are recognisable as having along the bottom a black bar with Dragonball Z on it with the text “Is it Defeat or Victory that Waits in the Dark?” and a DBZ logo.
The backs have a yellow stone border, and an image of Super Saiyan Goku with text on it. The Hologram cards have a black background with an image of Vegeta, with some text next to it.
They came in blue packs and orange packs. The golden cards came in the blue packs, which I think are American, whereas the silver cards came in the orange packs, which I’m thinking are European. The chaser cards I only found in blue packs, but this could be a coincidence. This is based on personal experience in my childhood.
Apparently these blue packs are “hobby packs” that have 10 cards with one of those being a gold or chaser card, and the orange packs are “retail packs” that have 6 cards with one of them a silver card.
I got 96/96, the complete set.
These are the first Dragonball Z cards I collected. They were also everywhere. After Series 1 and Series 2, I had to get Series 3 too of course! I was still trying to get all of Series 1 and Series 2 at the time, so there was a lot of swaps going on.
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 one will just have fronts sadly.
We had a video rental store that sold the blue packs. It was the only place that sold the blue packs. I think they were American? It was the only packs I got the gold G cards out of. It was also the only packs I got the C cards out of (but this could be coincidence). I remember getting the C-1 card (my very first!) and being annoyed there were chaser cards I now had to find as well, as none of my friends had these (let alone seen them). I traded it for C-2 Vegeta on a market in Belgium as I didn’t think I would get them all, so I might as well have my favourite. I later got C-4 Gohan. Then I got C-1 again, Goku, so no regrets now. I eventually traded for the last C-3 card, completing them after all.
Eventually though, that entire blue box was bought and no new ones came back in. I traded these everywhere in an attempt to get a full set. On school, on markets, with friends etc. 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 them to complete my set. I managed to get most of the Golden G cards this way. I tried to trade for the missing ones later on the internet as well, but I kept getting the silver cards in return and I just gave up after a while. But eventually, 2 decades later, I see someone post the Golden G cards that I was missing for sale in a vintage dragonball group on Facebook! So I bought them. They came all the way from America and shipping wasn’t cheap, but I finally got this set complete!
I still have a few doubles left as well if anyone wants to trade for other series or buy (G-4 (silver), G-5 (silver), G-5 (silver), G-8 (silver), 4, 19, 25, 29, 36, 37, 55)?
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!