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Reviews on Sailor Moon Items

Sailor Moon Trading Cards

Some of the first trading cards were avaliable in vending dispensers at your local Toys 'R Us stores after Sailor Moon first appeared in North America around early 1996. They were fairly nice, and they were hard. The fronts had pictures of the characters or scenes from the show, and the backs talked about the characters or the scenes. While they were rather corny, they were also informative. I learned how to spell the NA names from them. What's interesting to know is that the cards gave away information that the dub tended to avoid. For example, the Darien card mentions that he's the reincarnation of Prince Darien, something DIC does not talk about at all. Another example is that on the Rini card, it says that she helped the Scouts defeat Rubeus, which, at the time of the card printing, she hadn't done yet. One main thing the cards did were to mention the deaths of the Sailor Scouts in 'Day of Destiny,' but the dub makes you think that they were just kidnapped.

Also on the backs, the Sailor Scouts said little messages. Sailor Moon's messages are rather silly. Some of the other cards were also laughable. For instance, a Mercury card called Amy a 'popular genius' when she was never popular.

The third series cards were also pretty hilarious. Some of the back pictures were nice, but otherwise they were just dumb. The quotes, messages, and descriptions are moronic, most of the front pictures look crappy, et cetera. I believe this was also the series that released the infamous card of "Sailor Uranus in earthly form." This particular card (which I have :D) had Haruka in her school uniform but did not give her a name other than "Sailor Uranus." Her statistics were also on the back, which were surprisingly correct except for a few of the "too Japanese" ones. At the time the card was released, Sailor Moon S had not been released and most people thought that it would never come out dubbed.

A later series of cards were the Prismatic series. These were probably the worst out of the early bunch. Even the pirate sticker cards made in Taiwan have a better sense of taste. The Prismatic cards just took regular pictures and mad them all shiny, which gave a really cheap, tacky sort of effect.

Popular Genius Back of card

Serena and Tuxedo Mask Back of card

Kotetsu provides some information on the later Sailor Moon trading cards released in 2000:

"I've been an anime card collector for a little while now, but only just recently have I found any NA SM cards worth investing in. Some of the more recent series, which (understandably) haven't yet been included on the page, are actually quite nice.

"Here's the information that I've gathered over the course of a year regarding NASM card and trading-sticker releases:

"Artbox is the company currently releasing SM cards to the North American market. Their website is http://www.artboxent.com/ Artbox is actually a division of JPP/Amada, the company that released the Sailormoon pull-pack cards in Japan.

"Sailor Moon Trading Stickers Series I: The first series of trading stickers released is simply amazing - because the stickers are complete facsimiles of the first two Japanese sets of pull-pack cards! The images on the stickers were not altered in any way from the original pull-packs. Even the Japanese text was kept! The difference is that images that were prisms in the pull-pack series are now plain stickers in the NA release. Artbox created their own series of ten "double-prism" stickers to compliment their set. These stickers actually have two layers. The first layer is three or four die-cut prism stickers. If you peel off the die-cut prisms, there is a lovely foil sticker underneath. There are 10 "double-prism" stickers and 90 regular trading stickers in the set. There are five regular stickers and one double-prism sticker in each pack.

"Out of all the cards and stickers released in North America, these are my favorite. The original Japanese PP cards are very cute and colorful, but unfortunately extremely rare because they are no longer in print. This sticker collection is kind of a cheater's way of collecting PP cards. Either way, the stickers themselves retain all of the charm and appeal of the Japanese originals.

"Unfortunately, Trading Stickers Series II were a disappointment. I was hoping that they would encompass PP series 3 and 4, but I was wrong. These stickers are just a bunch of previously released images from the first two seasons of Sailormoon. There are a few standout images, such as shots of the corpses of the Sailor Senshi from episode 45. But overall, nothing new or innovative. The stickers would be a lot prettier if not for the horrendously ugly "Sailor Moon" logo stuck conspicuously in the corner of every sticker. These logos are so huge that they spoil the entire image. I do have one sticker that is a nice headshot of Rei, and one of her eyes is partially covered by that hideous logo. If it weren't for the logo spoiling the images, this wouldn't be a bad set. The images are nice, and each sticker is framed by a soft, pearly pink border. There are 72 trading stickers and 12 prism stickers in the set. There are five trading stickers and one prism sticker per pac!

"Sailor Moon Action Flipz are actually kind of cool, but more expensive than regular stickers or cards. They have an irregular size, 2" by 2". Each "Action Flipz" uses "lenticular motion technology" to make the image on the card move. There are some very nice images from the opening credits of the first season. Because these little babies don't fit into conventional card collector's sleeves, Artbox also offers a customized binder to compliment the collection.

"Sailor Moon Film Cards Series 1 are very nicely done. Each card is actually an image from the anime painted onto a transparent cel, and framed by a thick cardboard card. The images themselves are nothing new, but the presentation of the card itself is very impressive. The colors seem unusually vibrant and rich on the cel material, and the border of the card is a tasteful solid color that compliments the image on the cel. Artbox offers a free film-card viewer that can be retained if you send in the UPC labels from three packs of cards. I'm not exactly sure what this is or how it works, but here's the advertisement blurb from the website: "Our new line of Film Card Viewers allow you to load up the plastic viewing unit with Sailor Moon Film Cards and then 'pop' them up one by one onto the small screen for viewing! It's a great new product and this Blister Board will contain one viewer and a starter pack of Film Cards so the kids can start the show!"

"Overall, I would say that Artbox has produced four series of cards and stickers that are FAR superior in quality and presentation to the earlier sets released by Ban Dai and Dart. The best part is that NONE of these cards or stickers have those stupid sayings or moronic messages on the back!

"Wow . . . I never thought that I could be so enthusiastic about any NASM product. The dolls are still uglier than sin, the soundtracks aren't stellar, and the Dart cards remain a blight, but . . . I'm actually kind of excited about the direction that Artbox is taking collector's cards and stickers. Heck, I even spent the time and money to invest in a complete set of Series I trading stickers. And it was worth every penny."

There is also some trading card power game where you collect cards of scouts and villains and other cast members with different power levels to play in some sort of game. I have not seen these myself and have little interest in obtaining them, so if anyone else has any information on them, I'd be glad to post them up.


Sailor Moon Music

I honestly cannot remember the BGM for the DIC transformations so I can't comment on them. But anyway, the songs to the dub may have been the only really good thing about it. These are my views on the songs on the first CD, released in 1996. There were two versions of the CD- the regular CD and a blisterpack version. Both versions included a songbook with lyrics and some pictures.

  • Opening Theme Song: This is pretty bad. It has bad singing and is a bad hacking of "Moonlight Densetsu. Least favorite song.

  • I Wanna Be a Star: Pretty good on the CD. Nice fast pace, nice music. I don't like the lyrics though or when there's the talking during it. I can't stand when she sings, "I Wanna."

  • My Only Love: One of the best songs. Very, very strong, as good as the one on the show. Nice additional bg music that I appreciated as well.

  • Call My Name and I'll Be There: This song was played during the same episode as 'Oh Starry Night' but was cut off by the Cardian. Pretty nice. It's a shame I hate the show 'Friends' and this is the theme song.

  • Oh Starry Night: I like it, even though it was hacked from the original song, 'Eien no Melody.' The song on the CD is longer than the one in the ep, like the rest, but it makes Raye seem a little too weak. ("I wait patiently for a sign.") Still nice.

  • Give Me the Strength to Carry On: One of the other best songs. Nice and fast paced, sounds almost like the one in DOD, except without the 'Mercury Power', 'Mars Power' shouting during the interlude.

  • Rainy Day Man: Pretty good. The singer just says 'Rainy Day Man' too many times. Sad music, still touching, though not as much as 'My Only Love.'

  • It's a New Day: Fast paced, cheerful. Longer than the one on the show, again. I prefer 'You Are Just My Love' instead in the Japanese original though.

  • Only A Memory Away: I actually prefer the CD version, and I hated the one in 'Mercury Moving On.' It does sound country, and I don't like it when she says a line and sounds like she's whining. A little bit sad, but the lyrics are still silly.

  • She's got the Power: I liked this better during the episode. He just keeps saying, "She's got the power" over and over again, and I missed the action that was lacking from the CD.

  • Ending Song: Same as the theme song except thankfully shorter.

The second North American Sailor Moon CD was entitled "Sailor Moon and the Scouts," which was also known as "Lunarock." The songs were all new, but most of them were never used in the actual dubbed episodes, plus the CD had two Japanese songs, "Moonlight Densetsu" and "Ai no Senshi." My over all opinion about the Lunarock CD: Every single song except for the Japanese songs, "Moonlight Densetsu" and "Ai no Senshi" was bad. I couldn't stand listening to any of them, I had to fastforward through them and move on- which, in most cases, didn't improve my situation. All the songs were basically "SM" versions of popular songs made by famous artists, all were just plain terrible.


Sailor Moon Dolls and Figurines

There was actually quite a bit of merchandise early on when Sailor Moon first appeared in the United States. These toys and dolls were made by Irwin, a Canadian toy company. These included dolls of the five Sailor Scouts and Queen Beryl; accessories for the dolls like the moon motorcycle; and cosplay toys like the Moon Locket, the Emperyum Silver Crystal and Wand, and a Crescent Moon Jewelry Box.

There were several versions of the dolls that were released in 1995/1996. The first edition smaller dolls had the wrong shoes for all the Sailor Scouts; they all wore boots like Sailor Moon's, but this error was later corrected. The smaller dolls are quite icky looking. They appear to have no noses. They're technically there but they're nothing more than bumps. Mercury's hair looks really poofy and dyed, like Elizabeth Arden on crack. Moon's meatballs are disfigured. The larger dolls are the best of the initial lot, since they're prettier than the smaller dolls but they cost like $25 each. The larger dolls' noses are also more noticable. They're actually cute too.

After Sailor Moon reran a few times in the United States and Canada, Irwin released Sailor Moon R dolls in Canada only. These included dolls like King Darien, Rubeus, Emerald, and Prince Diamond. The three male dolls coincidentally all have fros. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's a conspiracy to make Mercury doll feel better. I think there might have been a Sapphire doll and a Princess Serenity doll as well, but I can't remember.

The Sailor Moon S dolls were also released by Irwin for Canada only but later came across the border to the US. They were made before any plans to release the Sailor Moon S dub were confirmed and were mostly Irwin trying to make more money off of a popular commodity. The dolls include Pluto, Uranus, Neptune, Professor Tomoe, Kaori Knight, and Super Sailor Moon. They're extremely ugly, horrid, and tackily made. Professor Tomoe probably is the worst- he doesn't look crazy at all, and his glasses are ridiculous as they are ugly and shoddily made. None of the dolls have noses, their hair is messed up. Pluto's outfit is for some reason silver instead of black. Super Sailor Moon doesn't even have the the pins in her hair, but her fuku's all right except her sleeves are like Eternal Sailormoon's. All the dolls come with Luna keychains and cheap Talismans and items though.

Irwin also released a lot of mini figurines, which are ugly too. I just can't wonder why anyone would buy them, even though they were modeled after the original Japanese figurines and should be somewhat decent. I think the only decent dolls are the plushies, which are pretty cute even if they cost $13 each. When Chibimoon dolls were released, they were just called "Rini".

The majority of these dolls and toys are now no longer created.

Since the release of Sailor Moon S and SuperS in North America, new dolls have been created by Irwin and advertised on American and Canadian TV. I've heard they look better than the original dolls, but I don't have any other information on them.


Other Merchandise

There has been a lot of other merchandise released in North America. These items include Sailor Moon folders for school; Sailor Moon valentine cards; Sailor Moon bedsheets; an interactive Sailor Moon CD-ROM game; Sailor Moon books, novels, manga; Sailor Moon playing cards; Sailor Moon wallscrolls; Sailor Moon calanders; etc.

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