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!



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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?

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