Tags: grin studios, licensing
Grin Studios is back with even more Yu-Gi-Oh! merchandise. 4K Media (Konami) is highlighting the Illinois-based toy maker’s new Yu-Gi-Oh! figural keychains, which feature the designs of Yugi, Kaiba, and Joey’s monsters. Series 1 includes Blue-Eyes White Dragon, Exodia the Forbidden One, Kuriboh, Red-Eyes B. Dragon, and Summoned Skull. The size of each figure varies but they stand up to three inches tall.
You can find these and other Grin Studio products at select Kmart, Target, ToysRUs, and Walmart stores.
Tags: grin studios, licensing
Yu-Gi-Oh! pins have been around in one form or another since the introduction of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game to the West, with former Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG distributor Upper Deck being the first to release the collectibles in the early 2000s. Today’s Yu-Gi-Oh! For the Holidays (YGOFTH) entry takes a look at the newest line of Yu-Gi-Oh! collectible trading pins, which are produced by Illinois-based toy maker Grin Studios.
You may already know of Grin Studios from its line of Yu-Gi-Oh! dog tags, which feature character and monster designs from the Duel Monsters anime.
Grin Studios has now followed up that offering with a set of enamel pins. Five pins are included in its series 1 set.
Dark Magician Girl:
The Millennium Puzzle:
Slifer the Sky Dragon:
I shot this Slifer pin from a slightly different angle to better emphasize its silver outlines, which really make the design pop. Slifer is the best-looking pin of the five, in my humble opinion. This is also the first time that an Egyptian God has been made into a pin.
These pins are unfortunately not easy to find. Part of the reason is because the products, despite having five designs, are all sold under one UPC with a warning on the packaging that says “Product style and colors may vary.” As a result, retailers cannot order specific designs. Instead they will receive an assortment of pins, and there is no guarantee that customers will be able to find every pin at any one particular retailer. Thus certain pins may be rarer than others.
So if you see a pin that you like, don’t wait to snatch it up. I visited about 10 different stores before finally getting all five pins!
Where To Buy
Grin Studios’ Yu-Gi-Oh! Collector Pins are available at select Target, ToysRUs, and Walmart stores for $4 to $5 each.
Tags: licensing, usaopoly
How can you tell when a franchise has truly penetrated mainstream culture? By one measure, it’s whether or not it has its own official version of Monopoly! Today’s Yu-Gi-Oh! for the Holidays (YGOFTH) entry looks at Monopoly: Yu-Gi-Oh! Edition from USAopoly, a producer of games and collectibles that feature big-name brands and pop culture properties. The company currently has over 20 special-edition, officially-licensed Monopoly games on the market. This year, USAopoly released three Yu-Gi-Oh! products: Monopoly, a Millennium Puzzle coin bank, and a 550-piece puzzle.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Monopoly is, quite simply, a variation of the popular “Fast-Dealing Property Trading Game” Monopoly by Hasbro. The game plays exactly the same as the standard Monopoly game, except all of the game elements are Yu-Gi-Oh!-themed. Let’s open a box and see what’s inside.
All of the game pieces can be organized in the Monopoly banker’s tray.
Duel Points (DP) have exited the fictional world of Yu-Gi-Oh! video games and entered the real world! Here they are, as real as real Monopoly money.
Here’s the game board in all its glory.
There are three types of properties in Yu-Gi-Oh! Monopoly. The first are Monster Cards, which take the place of streets and avenues in the standard Monopoly game.
The second type of property is Egyptian God Cards, which replace standard Monopoly’s railroad stations.
And the third type of property is Tournaments, which take the place of the Electric Company and Water Works utilities.
Community Chest cards in standard Monopoly are replaced with It’s Your Move cards in Yu-Gi-Oh! Monopoly.
And Chance cards are replaced with It’s Time to Duel cards.
Standard Monopoly’s houses and hotels are now Game Shops and Duel Arenas, respectively. These small plastic pieces are surprisingly detailed. All of the windows of the Game Shop, and even the “GAME” logo hanging above the front entrance, are visible. The Duel Arena pieces show all 20 monster and spell/trap zones.
Exodia, obliterate their income!!
The tokens are gorgeously crafted Millennium Items. They are all made of metal and feel substantive and heavy when you hold them in your hands.
Let’s see, there’s the Millennium Puzzle, Millennium Eye, Millennium Necklace, the…
Wait a minute…
Uhh, okay. Millennium Staff. Millennium Rod. Sure, whatever. Scales. Scale. No problem.
And then there’s the… Umm…
Ah, right! The legendary Millennium Ankh and Millennium Dream Catcher. How could I forget. These names are also used in the included rule book, so they must be official!
In all seriousness, these Millennium Item tokens are beautiful and very well made. Their pictures on the back of the box are quite ugly and aren’t representative of what they actually look like.
The bottom of the Millennium Eye is flat to prevent it from rolling away.
And last but not least is a fold-out rule book with instructions for how to play Yu-Gi-Oh! Monopoly and a summary of the differences between this game and standard Monopoly.
In total, USAopoly’s Yu-Gi-Oh! Monopoly includes the game board, 28 Title Deed cards, 16 It’s Time to Duel cards, 16 It’s Your Move cards, 32 Game Shops, 12 Duel Arenas, 7 Millennium Item tokens, 2 dice, and a stack of Duel Points money.
Where To Buy
USAopoly’s Yu-Gi-Oh! Monopoly is available from numerous online retailers, including Amazon.com (from both Amazon itself and third-party vendors), Dave and Adam’s Card World, and Fry’s Electronics. The MSRP is $39.95. (Note: The vendors’ links are provided as a convenience. I do not endorse or recommend any particular vendor.)
Tags: aquarius entertainment merchandising, licensing, nmr distribution
Aquarius Entertainment Merchandising is probably a company that you’ve have never heard of, but you’ve likely seen their products on store shelves. They make all kinds of magnets, pint and shot glasses, mugs, and games branded with characters and logos from various pop culture franchises. Today’s Yu-Gi-Oh! for the Holidays (YGOFTH) entry looks at one of Aquarius’ many Yu-Gi-Oh! products: playing cards! Because Duel Monsters isn’t the only type of card game that Yugi has mastered.
Aquarius’ Yu-Gi-Oh! playing cards make up a standard 52-card deck. The cards are poker-sized, measuring 2.5 x 3.5 inches.
Here is a close-up of the card stock used. Notice the air pockets, which help prevent sticking and improve the handling of the cards.
The back of the cards shows Yami Yugi picking a card out of his hand. Very appropriate. Two jokers are included: one shows the Millennium Puzzle while the other shows a full body shot of Yami Yugi. The background swirl design looks really similar to the back of an actual Yu-Gi-Oh! card. All of the playing cards have that same background and vary only in their color.
Let’s look at some game-winning hands.
Here’s Yugi’s royal flush. All of Yugi’s cards are spades. The background, suits, and symbols are colored blue.
Here’s Kaiba’s royal flush. All of Kaiba’s cards are clubs. The background, suits, and symbols are colored purple.
In bridge, spades are the highest ranked suit, while clubs are the lowest. Coincidence? Or a subtle nod at Yugi’s superiority over Kaiba?
Here’s Joey’s royal flush. All of Joey’s cards are diamonds. The background, suits, and symbols are colored gold.
All of the hearts are made up of monsters played by various antagonists throughout the series, like Pegasus, Weevil, the Big Five, and the Paradox Brothers. The background, suits, and symbols are colored red.
Here’s a not-so-game-winning hand: a 2-7 offsuit, the worst hand in Texas Hold ‘Em poker. Noooo, it’s Kuriboh!
Umm, wrong type of card game here!
Aquarius probably didn’t make this card.
Where To Buy
Aquarius’ Yu-Gi-Oh! playing cards are available on Amazon.com where they are sold directly by Amazon and by various third-party retailers for $5.99 and up. (Note: The vendors’ links are provided as a convenience. I do not endorse or recommend any particular vendor.)
Tags: gb eye, licensing
Have you ever wanted to spend more time with Yu-Gi-Oh! while doing everyday things, like having a meal, relaxing with a cup of coffee or tea, or organizing the pens and pencils scattered all over your desk? Today’s Yu-Gi-Oh! for the Holidays (YGOFTH) entry looks at a line of ceramic Yu-Gi-Oh! mugs, which would be perfect for all that and more.
GB eye is a major producer and distributor of posters and licensed merchandise based in the United Kingdom. This past summer, the company began selling Yu-Gi-Oh! mugs in the European, Australian, New Zealand, and South African markets.
GB eye’s mugs are officially licensed products, as shown by the Yu-Gi-Oh! Official Licensed Seal stamped on all of the boxes.
Quality truly is king here. GB eye didn’t cut costs by having the mugs made cheaply in a third-world country. Each mug is produced in the United Kingdom and is dishwasher and microwave safe.
But are these really, really licensed mugs? Hmm…
…I’m still unsure. I think I need to see more “Licensed Mug” labels on each box before I can be 100 percent certain.
There are five designs available and the print on each mug is top notch; my lousy pictures and Photoshopping skills don’t do them justice. You won’t find crystal clear designs like these on bootleg mugs.
The “Dragons” design depicts a classic clash between Blue-Eyes White Dragon and Red-Eyes Black Dragon on an electric purple background. The Yu-Gi-Oh! logo separates the pair.
The “Duelists” design features Kaiba, Yugi, and Joey together with their ace monsters in front of a red spiral and Egyptian hieroglyphs. Both sides of the mug have the same design while the Yu-Gi-Oh! logo sits in between them.
The “Millennium Puzzle” design shows Yugi’s legendary Egyptian item atop a bright green background on one side of the mug and a large Yu-Gi-Oh! logo on the other side.
One side of the “Yugi” design shows Yami Yugi posing with his Duel Disk in front of a stylized blue Millennium Puzzle. The other side shows Yugi Muto with his Star Chips surrounded by a blue magical circle.
The “King of Games” design features 4Kids’ classic “King of Games” logo on one side and the “Let’s Duel!” and Yu-Gi-Oh! logos on the other side. Let’s be honest here — I saved the best design for last. Ha, sorry, Yugi! What duelist wouldn’t want to take a nice long arrogant swig out of a King of Games mug while smirking at his opponent or dinner partner?
Each mug weighs 11 oz and holds about 13.5 fl oz (one and two-thirds cups).
Where To Buy
GB eye holds the rights to produce and distribute these mugs in several European nations, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Within these countries, customers can find the mugs in various online and brick-and-mortar stores retailing for around US$10 each. Customers in the United States and elsewhere will need to pay a little more and work a little harder to find a retailer who is willing to ship overseas. Searching the third-party sellers on the Amazon.co.uk Marketplace is probably the easiest route:
- Dragons mug: Amazon.co.uk
- Duelists mug: Amazon.co.uk
- Millennium Puzzle mug: Amazon.co.uk
- Yugi mug: Amazon.co.uk
- King of Games mug: Amazon.co.uk
(Note: The vendors’ links are provided as a convenience. I do not endorse or recommend any particular vendor.)
Tags: licensing, new zealand mint
Yu-Gi-Oh! breeds collectors. Whether it’s Yu-Gi-Oh! trading cards, anime, manga, or merch, if you aren’t collecting something now, you probably will as you delve into the franchise. Today’s Yu-Gi-Oh! For the Holidays (YGOFTH) entry looks at two products for numismatists — coin collectors. The New Zealand Mint, a privately-owned mint in Auckland known for its gold and silver coins inspired by popular TV shows, movies, and brands, released Yami Yugi and Seto Kaiba silver coins earlier this year. Minted in .999 fine silver, the coins have a limited run of 5,000 each.
The coins are each housed in a chipboard case. The material is not unlike the boxes that are often included with high-quality collectors sets of anime DVDs and Blu-rays. Yugi, Kaiba, and the Yu-Gi-Oh! logo have a glossy finish to them.
The back and spines of each box have a pattern of Egyptian hieroglyphs that is visible from certain angles.
The case is held shut by magnets in the flap and on the sides.
The inside of each case has an insert and a pocket to hold the Yami Yugi and Seto Kaiba coins.
The recess where the coin sits is lined with felt. Its bottom isn’t flat, which makes it easy to push down on the coin and take it out.
Each coin comes enclosed in a protective plastic case. The coin is a little less than 1.6 inches in diameter and an eighth of an inch thick, while the case measures about 1.75 inches in diameter and a quarter of an inch thick.
The obverse side of the coins features an image of Queen Elizabeth II.
The surface of the coins is highly polished. It was impossible for me to shoot the coins straight on without seeing a clear reflection of the camera. The edges of the coins are grooved.
The insert is a numbered certificate of authenticity with a brief biography of Yami Yugi and Seto Kaiba and the specs of the coins.
Amusingly, each coin has a value of $2 and is legal tender on the island of Niue located in the Pacific. But why would you ever spend it when the silver it contains is worth far more than that? Unless, of course, you are Seto Kaiba and you enjoy spending money that has your face on it.
Where To Buy
The Yami Yugi and Seto Kaiba silver coins can be purchased directly from the New Zealand Mint for $85 each or $160 for both.
Tags: licensing, top trumps, winning moves
Welcome to the first day of Yu-Gi-Oh! For the Holidays (YGOFTH) 2016. Today’s entry will look at the Yu-Gi-Oh! edition of Top Trumps, a popular card game in the United Kingdom that originated in the 1970s. Top Trumps cards are sold in packs, and each pack centers around a particular theme. There are hundreds of different themes out there — everything from military aircraft to the periodic table of the elements, dinosaurs to soccer stars, Harry Potter to the X-Men. Each card features a character or subject and contains a description and a list of categories and their accompanying numerical values.
In Yu-Gi-Oh! Top Trumps, the cards feature characters from the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime and the categories are Highest Level, Number of Cards, Highest Attack Points, Highest Defense Points, and Number of Duels.
Did you know that Yugi Muto has played 98 cards throughout the series? Or that Mai Valentine’s strongest card only has 2000 attack points? Yu-Gi-Oh! Top Trumps helps you discover these and other facts about the show’s characters. Because Top Trumps cards feature various biographical data and numerical statistics about their subjects, they are often used as learning tools. There is even a national Top Trumps tournament held between thousands of elementary schools in the United Kingdom.
Back and front of a Yu-Gi-Oh! Top Trumps card
The goal of Top Trumps is to win all of your opponents’ cards. To begin, the players are dealt all of the cards face down, and the players keep their cards face down in a stack. The player to the left of the dealer begins by flipping his top card face-up, looking at his card, and calling out a category. The other players then flip their top card face-up. The player whose card has the highest value in that category wins that round and takes all of the face-up cards and puts them on the bottom of his stack.
If there is a tie, or if the value of a card doesn’t exist for the called category, all of the face-up cards are placed in the center, and the turn player goes again until there is a winner. The winner of the round will also get all the cards in the center. In Yu-Gi-Oh! Top Trumps, a value of “Infinity” always wins, and a value of “Unknown” always forces the turn player to go again.
Sounds easy, right? Let’s play an example round. Suppose I play Téa Gardner and my opponent plays Mai Valentine.
Téa will beat Mai if I call the Highest Attack Points category. But Mai will beat Téa if I call the Number of Cards, Highest Defense Points, or Number of Duels category. The Highest Level category results in a tie, in which case I would flip over my next card and try again.
Top Trumps is an entirely self-contained game. There are 30 cards in a pack, and each pack includes the same cards. Each card measures about 2.5 x 4 inches. Here are some of the other cards in the Yu-Gi-Oh! edition.
Yugi and his friends and family:
Marik and his Rare Hunter goons:
The Kaiba Brothers:
Guardians of the Pharaoh:
Yami Yugi might be labeled as this game’s “Top Trump!” but there is at least one card that will always beat him…
The other cards in the set are Bandit Keith, Bonz, Dartz, Ishizu Ishtar, Mako Tsunami, Maximillion Pegasus, Odion, PaniK, Rafael, Rex Raptor, Shadi, Weevil Underwood, and Yami Bakura.
Also included is a card explaining the rules of the game, plus a special buy-5-get-1-free offer.
The instructions for the special offer are meant for the British market, but the producer of the game is also offering the same deal to the U.S. market.
Where To Buy
Yu-Gi-Oh! Top Trumps is owned and produced by Winning Moves, a maker of all types of board and card games. In the United States, Yu-Gi-Oh! Top Trumps can be purchased directly from Winning Moves for $7.99.
Tags: crackle, licensing
Crackle, the free TV and movie streaming platform owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment, has added 4Kids’ English dub of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s season 1 to its catalog. Check out episodes 1 through 64 on the web or on any one of Crackle’s numerous apps.
The ad-supported network also hosts several other anime series, including Blue Exorcist, Fate/Zero, Magi, and Sony’s lesser-known English dub of Rurouni Kenshin. Check them all out for free on Crackle.com.
Tags: grin studios, licensing
More old-school Yu-Gi-Oh! toys are making a comeback. 4K Media (Konami) announced that it has partnered with Grin Studios to produce dog tags featuring character and monster designs from the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters series. The dog tags are made of metal with a “premium finish” and are available now in national retailers like Kmart, Target, ToysRUs, and Walmart, as well as in regional chains like Meijer and Shopko.
Grin Studio’s first series of Yu-Gi-Oh! dog tags include: Yami Yugi, Seto Kaiba, Joey Wheeler, Millennium Puzzle, Blue-Eyes White Dragon, Dark Magician, Dark Magician Girl, Red Eyes B. Dragon, Exodia the Forbidden One, Slifer the Sky Dragon, Winged Dragon of Ra, and Obelisk the Tormentor.
Dog tags have been a perennial offering in the world of collectible Yu-Gi-Oh! toys. In the franchise’s heyday in the early 2000s, Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters dog tags were produced by ToySite and sometimes bundled with DVDs. Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s saw dog tags made by Dizzy Heights Entertainment. And more recently, NECA produced its own line of Duel Monsters dog tags.
(News from Yugioh.com)
Tags: licensing, sakami merchandise
It’s been ages since official Yu-Gi-Oh! plushies have been seen outside Japan and Asia, but that will change early next year thanks to a new deal between 4K Media (Konami) and Sakami Merchandise. 4K Media announced today that it has tapped the Germany-based video game and comic goods specialist to produce plush toys of Yami Yugi and Yuya Sakaki, concept art of which is shown above. The plushies will be available in the first quarter of 2017 in various European countries.
“Sakami Merchandise is a new company specializing in the manufacturing of plush toys based on popular Japanese anime and manga, so of course Yu-Gi-Oh! was at the top of our must-have list,” said Sakami representative Ronny Wolf in a release.
Sakami Merchandise’s other products currently include plushies of L and Ryuk from Death Note and Conan Edogawa from Case Closed. The company also has plushies of Saitama from One-Punch Man and Teepo from Tales of Xillia lined up for sale later this year.