Toy Story: Dragon Ball Z Super Battle Collection Movie 7 3-Pack

It's time for another toy story. This time around I am going to do something a little bit different. I will be taking a closer look at the legendary Dragonball Z Movie 7 Super Battle Collection set. 

I really want to examine what gives this particular toy it's everlasting popularity. Something compelled me to buy this toy back after selling it about a decade ago...and I really want to know what made me do it. What made this toy so special? Is it a good toy on it's own, or is it's legacy the result of the circumstance? I suppose the best way to go about this is to talk about all of the factors around this toy before digging into the toy itself.

Super Battle Collection - Chosenshi Daizen

Dragonball Z began it's anime run in 1989 but didn't see it's first line of articulated plastic action figures until 1991 with the Super Battle Collection. These figures began life as high-quality, hand-painted figures that were released in "Volumes" and manufactured in Japan. These Japanese-made figures are largely referred to as the "1992" versions despite the first two volumes being released in 1991 and the final two volumes (Super Saiyan Gohan & Super Saiyan Broly) being released in 1993. Naturally this line began with Son Gokou and haphazardly progressed from there. Here is a snap of what figures were released by the end of 1992...

Kinda disappointing seeing as the series has a fairly diverse cast of heroes and villains. 

After the 1993 additions of SS Gohan and SS Broly, the series was shifted from Bandai Japan to Bandai Asia. The Bandai Japan figures were re-released with all-new bland artwork and a somewhat dull finish. New volumes were also produced and...well, they were awful. Volumes 11-18 are very poorly sculpted figures. Things pick up starting with Super Saiyan Vegetto as Volume 19. The series transitions over to Dragonball GT starting with Volume 28 and concluded with Volume 42 -- Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta. 

The Super Battle Collection was a staple of any Dragonball fan of the 90s' collection. The line never really shook it's problem of focusing on Goku, Gohan, Vegeta, and Trunks, but it was pretty expansive at the end of the day. These figures saw re-release upon re-release through various divisions of Bandai and the likes of Canadian brand Irwin. 

The lone exception? The Movie 7 Super Saiyan 3-Pack.

Dragonball Z Movie 7: Kyokugen Battle! San Dai Super Saiyajin 

The seventh entry in the Dragonball Z film series was released on July 11, 1992 during the '92 Summer Toei Anime Fair. Like many Dragonball Z movies it followed a plot that somewhat mirrored what was going on in the TV series with disposable alternate bad guys. This movie in particular follows the arrival and defeat of the forgotten Jinzoningen 13, 14, and 15 (the series was featuring Jinzoningen 16-20 at this point). 

The thing that made this movie special is that it was the first appearance of all three Super Saiyan in a movie. The previous, and personal favorite DBZ Movie, Gekitotsu!! Hyaku-oku Power no senshi-tachi!, featured Super Saiyan Goku and Vegeta...but didn't quite have a reason for Trunks to be involved since it took place on the New Planet Namek.

Honestly, I didn't really dig the seventh movie all that much, but it was an alright entry. The three new Jinzoningen were all table-scrap designs and the plot was genuinely non-existent. I don't even recall the animation being all that spectacular either. Even the Hironobu Kageyama ending song Giri-Giri - Sekai Kyokugen is a weak ripoff of Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song

Trunks' movie debut is what made this movie special. 

Super Battle Collection - Keshuu San Dai Super Saiyajin

In conjunction with the release of Movie 7, Bandai Japan released a set of the three Super Saiyans from the film -- Goku, Vegeta, and Trunks. Even though these are re-issues of three existing figures, there are varying differences to each figure to make them entirely unique to this set.

Super Saiyan Son Gokou

Previously released as Volume 2 in the Super Battle Collection, this figure actually has some substantial changes to more closely emulate Goku's look in the movie. For one, his belt is no longer a belt, rather a...sash? Band? In addition to this, his top is no longer a tank-top style, but rather a full shirt. This kinda hinders articulation, but who really cares?

The biggest change, however, has to be his hair. Not even taking into account the new, smooth gold look of his hair...it's an entirely new sculpt. The hair for Vol. 2 SS Goku was totally fine even if the bangs were a little weird. I'm kinda perplexed on why they felt the need to redo his hair for this set. Even more perplexing is that they didn't bother to make tweaks to his face sculpt since there are some dead spots where his hair previously covered. The outer edges of his eyebrows are missing on both sides.


Super Saiyan Vegeta

The two biggest changes here are the corrected name (Vol. 7 erroneous calls him just "Super Vegeta" rather than Super Saiyan Vegeta--this mistake was even carried over to the Bandai Asia releases) and the smooth gold tone to his hair. Otherwise, this is the same terrible Super Saiyan Vegeta figure that Vol. 7 is. Of the Bandai Japan Super Battle Collection figures, Vol.7 is easily the weakest...which also kinda makes it the easiest to obtain. 

I'm not a big Vegeta fan, but even I feel like Bandai screwed his figures up most of the time.

Super Saiyan Trunks

This is the figure that makes the set in most collector's eyes. 

Trunks was previously released as Vol. 5 in the regular SBC line. Despite only really being a cool character as a Super Saiyan, this set is really the only place you can get the Super Battle Collection Super Saiyan Future Trunks in his Capsule Corp gear. 

The hair sculpt is spot on. Really, this should have also seen an individual release when you look at how much effort went into nailing the hair. 

One thing that will either make or break the value of this set is the accessory bag that comes with Trunks. Fortunately the Goku figure in this set ditched his sticker sheet, but Trunks still has his along with a belt, sword, and sheath.

The funny thing is...some intrepid bootleggers solved the problem that Bandai created. Honestly, I wouldn't mind adding that one to my collection some day.

The set overall...

If you've been reading this far you probably think this is the most mediocre set based on the most mediocre movie of the most mediocre anime ever created. When you break it down that way, this set certainly doesn't seem like something I would collect. Dragonball has some incredible moments, but I could never sit through the TV anime. The manga is great beginning to end, and the movies are almost always entertaining despite the fact that Broly is overrated (Movie 10 was fun at least...before he became a poop monster). 

The thing that draws the collectors, myself included, back to the SBC 3-pack is...

Look at it. It is a masterclass of artwork and toy packaging. There isn't a single bit of wasted space. There are no offensive colors or graphics. I own tons of toys, and I firmly believe that the Movie 7 3-pack has the best packaging of them all. The only caveat is that it has to be perfect or pretty damn close to it.

I've owned this set in the past. Back in 2000 I managed to get my first set. It was complete with an unused Trunks accessory bag, but the box was pretty well beat to hell. I ended up selling it circa 2010 and always had a tinge of regret despite making a pretty healthy profit. 

Something compelled me to start searching for a replacement a couple of months ago when I almost immediately stumbled upon a minter that was not only a legit auction (more on that later), but from a seller in my State. After making some offers, I procured my second set at a price that I would consider extremely fair for both of us. We arranged for a local pick-up and I'm glad we did, because the seller was a great dude to chat with -- he's even a Sentai fan. 

The set I have now is just as complete as my previous set, but in a far cleaner box. The ears on the flaps are a little warped due to age, but really I couldn't be happier to have a super-clean Super Battle Collection Movie 7 3-Pack in the family once again. This is a set worthy of the incredible artwork that a nameless designer at Bandai totally aced.

Should you decide to proceed on your own...

This is a set that is highly susceptible to scams. I'm not going to lie when I say there really is no perfect way to buy one of these. Unfortunately this is what lead me to watermark all of the images with my web address. Hopefully it isn't too intrusive, but I also didn't want anyone to get scammed by someone lifting my images. 

The usual precautions apply. Try to stick to ebay even if it means paying more...you'll at least have that safety net. Be sure to do your research on the seller...and don't be afraid to ask questions. A lot of sellers based in Japan are middlemen who might not even have the item on-hand. They might be listing the item based on a listing on either Yahoo Japan Auctions or Mercari with a substantial mark-up. While there isn't anything inherently wrong with that, they won't be able to provide additional details on an item if something isn't clear.

The biggest thing to keep an eye out for is that Trunks accessory bag. Honestly, I can't stand what this set looks like with a used or missing accessory bag. For there to be this big, blank white space on the front of an otherwise gorgeous box is a damn shame. Even a used accessory bag is better than no accessory bag. Some less honest sellers might include an accessory bag from a Hong Kong Trunks figure, which features a much duller sword and different sticker sheet.

Fortunately the figures themselves are harder to fake and outside of that bootleg Trunks, I've never encountered a bootleg version of this set.

So what makes this set so special? It's a perfect storm of rarity, history, and a dash of nostalgia. It's a bit of my history as well. It's good to let things go, but it's also worth exploring regret when you find that item that you shouldn't have let go.

More than anything...it's just a rad thing to have on a shelf.


It may not be a Tokusatsu toy, but I wanted to share something that truly brings me some joy and was a legit score for me in this godawful year. 2019 wasn't a great year for me, so I'll take what I can get.

Anyway...I'll be seeing you in 2020! I have some great things lined up for the new year. In the meantime you can check out my previous Toy Stories or maybe even my takedown of that lousy Netflix doc.

See ya!



Running To Horizon: 30 Years of Digitalian Is Eating Breakfast
Chodenshi Bioman Song Collection
The Toys That Made Us: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers

Extra Images...

P.S. Movie 6 really was a thousand times better than Movie 7. The ending song was awesome and even Metal Coola was fun. How great would it have been if they did a Movie 6 3-pack with Super Saiyan Goku, Super Saiyan Vegeta, and an all new Metal Coola figure?


Running to Horizon: Thirty Years of Digitalian Is Eating Breakfast

It's time to stray a little bit off-course. I largely focus on Tokusatsu-related topics here on CCLemon99.com, but every once in awhile I have to give something outside of my realm a fair shout. Back in 2018 I reviewed every Akina Nakamori album. I spent an entire month covering thirty-five years worth of albums and a few extras. It was...an experience. I don't anticipate doing anything crazy like that again, but every once in awhile something special comes along for me to talk about.

Today, on the thirtieth anniversary of it's release, I'll be talking about Tetsuya Komuro's 1989 electronic epic Digitalian Is Eating Breakfast.


To sum up Tetsuya Komuro's career in short is damn near impossible. He was one-third of the popular long-running group TM Network. Beyond that, his talents allowed him to break off to produce several pop songs in the 1980s before launching a full-blown solo debut with the album Digitalian Is Eating Breakfast.

Following the release of this album, things absolutely took off for Komuro. He went on to compose, collaborate, collaborate, collaborate, and produce some of the best selling music of the 1990s (and the Speed 2 theme). Again, it's impossible to briefly sum up just how important and prolific Komuro is to Japanese popular music. On the list of the top twenty best-selling singles in Japan, he has his hands on the entries in the 14th (Namie Amuro Can You Celebrate?), 15th (Globe Departures), and 17th (H Jungle With t WOW WAR TONIGHT~Toki niwa okose yo Movement) spots.

The end of the story is a lot less rosy for Komuro. He ended up in some pretty hefty legal troubles in 2008, but managed to avoid prison after a bailout by avex, the record label he was affiliated with. He managed to maintain his career for another decade before being entwined in another scandal, which prompted his abrupt retirement from the music business in 2018.

While his name was always out there during the early years of TM Network, largely due to his supreme skills pioneering a new era of electronic music in Japan, he didn't become a name in his own right until he went solo. He has a unique and somewhat unusual voice, but that didn't seem to hold him back when it came to fronting his own disc. I can understand how someone wouldn't be a fan of his vocals, but I dig them.

Let's eat!


Tetsuya Komuro Digitalian Is Eating Breakfast


To set the mood our endeavor begins with an incredibly dense instrumental track. In later years TK had become increasingly theatrical with 30+ minute versions of Get Wild, but this is really the genesis of what would later become a staple of TM Network live shows. These long, sweeping tracks with endless little layers piled on top of one another generate some incredible hype for music that will never disappoint.


DIGITALIAN leads directly into SHOUT. SHOUT is really the place where you're really going to want to make up your mind on whether or not you want to continue with this album. If you do, you'll be greatly rewarded...but as I mentioned, TK's voice is certainly unique.

One of TK's greatest hallmarks, particularly in this era, was his habit of either taking these usually long breaks during the middle of the song from his vocals and his propensity for incredibly detailed and extended intros. This song has both. His vocals don't kick in for almost an entire minute and he takes a one minute, twenty second break from singing smack in the middle of the song. Both times are used to incredible effect of building up the power of this song.

I honestly can't think of a better jumping point from DIGITALIAN.


While the previous two tracks are a bit more on the sterile side, OPERA NIGHT is a bit less tense and a lot more fun. It manages to accomplish all of this while maintaining the electronic flow-throughout.

Listen carefully when you check this one out. There is so much going on from start to finish to make up the beat.


This is the first song on the album that I would call "catchy".

TK likely agreed with this sentiment because he later produced a song for the entirely forgettable girl group CoCo called Haru Milky Way that is VERBATIM the melody from I WANT YOU BACK. I'm not kidding. It's a direct copy minus about ten layers of music stripped out of it.

I WANT YOU BACK is great, though. TK once again employs his trick of building the perfect momentum through a increasingly dense intro and uses a fun little key change when moving into the coda before it gently fades out.


An incredibly chill song. This is TK's second single and it also peaked at number one on the oricon singles chart.

Even in it's slower pace, there is plenty of things here to keep you hooked. The ever-present density is just as available for study as it is elsewhere and subtle little jabs like the random section of English lyrics definitely give this otherwise mundane song some interesting flair.


OK, story time. I was randomly listening to this song while working on something at work overnight with a coworker who was wearing headphones and doing his own thing. All of the sudden he was like "OH MY GOD THAT WAS INCREDIBLE! WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO??" just as the sax solo had ended. I didn't realize it, but he basically stopped listening to his bullshit and just started jamming to my TK.

This song...is truly the underrated hit of the album. Personally I think TK's vocals are at their best here. I'm kinda sad knowing I'll never have fresh ears for this album like my co-worker did, but he definitely made me *really* appreciate the Stan Harrison saxophone solo that slides in so perfectly with this otherwise entirely synthetic beat.


This is another song that TK was quite fond of and later re-purposed. The fresh-lyric version later appeared as the theme song for the 1990 Toei film Ten to chi to. Personally I'm a little more into the film version as it works more as an orchestrated tune than a fully-produced one.

When I say that NEVER CRY FOR ME is the produced version, I mean that very lightly. This is the most stripped-sounding song on the entire album--easily the most instrument-heavy track. Somehow it still fits in very well. A nice little breath of reality.


As I am writing this review thirty years to the day of the album's release, it is cold, infinitely dark, and pouring down with sleet. If it were snowing outside, it would be the ideal scenario for this song. I don't know how, but this instrumental track really captures that Winter feeling for me. Is the synclavier an instrument typically associated to cold weather? To me it is...

It really should come as no surprise that TK's follow-up to this album, Hit Factory, has a beach-themed instrumental track that fits into the glitzy beach theme of that album. He also produced a quadruple album of instrumental music broken into seasons. The man knows his seasonal ambient music.


Ohhhh yeah. The big daddy track of this album. Here it is all the way at the end. This is also the first single from the album AND a number one single on the oricon singles chart. How's that for a debut? Well...except that he had been a major musician for five years at this point with TM Network.

A little back story to this song. RUNNING TO HORIZON is the theme song to the thirteen-episode City Hunter 3 from 1989. Both City Hunter and City Hunter 2 frequented TM Network songs (Get Wild, Still Love Her) and even a song from the TM Network touring band Fence of Defense (Sara). It only makes sense that CH3 kept it in the family by using a song from Tetsuya Komuro.

Like SHOUT, this song has this incredible sprawling intro that builds this awesome momentum. From there it is just this wonderful assault of just pure pop music. TK bends the lyrics in a mighty bid to avoid disturbing the impeccably constructed flow of the music.

It's incredibly easy to compare RUNNING TO HORIZON to TM Network's Dive Into Your Body since they was recorded concurrently, but these are two very different songs. Outside of the similar backing vocals, both are just these wonderfully constructed and LOUD pop songs.

Think of the hits of Stock, Aitkman, and Waterman. I love 'em. Just shameless and unapologetic bangers. Songs like this, and this (it's relevant), and this (even though it's completely stolen from this). RUNNING TO HORIZON is obviously a bit more complex than any of those songs, but their all of the same ilk.

When it comes to a good pop song, I'm a sucker. This song is pop song perfection.

The opening animation for City Hunter 3 cuts down a lot of the awesome intro of the song, but it is easily my favorite of the intros in the franchise.


Since this album has a December release and Christmas songs have a habit of becoming an annual tradition if they're good enough, here we are. This song did get to be the third and final single from the album, but it peaked at number two. So close to that trifecta.

You know what? TK does sincere incredibly well. TM Network bandmate Naoto Kine provides some wonderful strings, and the children's choir is very effectively used.

I will take this a THOUSAND times over TM Network's Christmas song of the same era. It's a very sweet and simple close to our journey of an album.


For a musician that comes from a band that I've always given a solid "B" to, Tetsuya Komuro totally excels as a solo act and producer. This album has no fat. None. Everything on this disc is 100% necessary. It's ten tracks, forty-nine minutes of just solid music. There isn't a single song here that is out of place, there isn't a single dud of a song. It is literally THE album of the tail end of Japan's bubble.

Is it my favorite JPOP album of the 1980s? Nope. It's definitely up there, though. My heart 100% belongs to Akina Nakamori's Stock for the record. The interaction I had with my coworker is proof-positive that TK was a goddamn genius producer. From here...he would only go on to rule the 90s...

Digitalian is Eating Breakfast even has a legacy of it's own, getting a sequel in 2011 and 2013. How are they? Never heard them. The samples were kinda off-putting...but I may check them out some day.

Is this album worth your time? YES. At the very minimum, RUNNING TO HORIZON is a fabulous song, but as a whole it is an experience from start to end.

Here's to 10,958 breakfasts...and many more!


It's always nice to talk about one of my favorite albums. Be sure to check out some of the posts I wrote about TM Network previously...and my month-long Akina Nakamori marathon if you dare.

See ya!


TM Network Original Singles 1984-1999
TM Network Get Wild Song Mafia
Akina Nakamori Month