Sailor Moon stamps which are coming to Japan will be available internationally through the Sailor Moon Fan Club

Sailor Moon Stamp set

Sailor Moon stamps are coming to Japan! 10 different stamps, featuring the Sailor Soldiers in manga designs by Naoko Takeuchi, will be released in Japan. These are 62 yen stamps, which is equivalent to 55 cents American, so this would be your standard stamp used for postage on an envelope. A special stamp set will be sold in Japan for 5,900 yen, nearly 10 times the cost of a all 10 stamps combined! Fans in Japan will be able to buy a collector’s stamp set from the post office and many fans worldwide will be able to do the same if they are part of the Official Sailor Moon Fan Club! The set is listed on the Tokyo Otaku Mode site for fans with a membership. This set sells for $63.99 US, which is a bit more than the exchange for 5,900 yen but somewhat comparable. Pre-orders are being taken now. The product will ship in March 2018.

Sailor Moon Stamp set full contents

The set includes more than just the 10 stamps! There is also a stamp holder, 8 premium post cards based on manga art and 24 deluxe postcards which are manga cover art for both the original and the most recent editions of the manga. A clear folder which is included in both the fan club and post office package is slightly different between the two. I believe it’s simply a different colour.

Do you plan on getting this set? Keep reading for individual images of the contents!

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The NYCC “Exclusive” Sailor V Funko Pop! Vinyl is now available from Hot Topic

Sailor V Fall Convention Exclusive

This weekend is New York Comic Con and while some of you may be trying to figure out how many goats to sacrifice to get into the lottery to get one of the convention exclusive Sailor V Funko Pop! Vinyl figure we reported on earlier, the toy is available to order from the Hot Topic web site and as of the time I’m writing this it is “In Stock”. I’m really not sure what the term “Exclusive” means anymore. I mean it’s nice that more fans can get it I just didn’t expect this kind of thing to happen until after the convention. Notice that the Hot Topic product listing image has a “2017 Fall Convention Exclusive” sticker instead of the “New York Comic Con Exclusive” sticker we had previously seen from the Funko web site. Both stickers, however, have a Statue of Liberty image on them, which to me seems to be a symbol representing New York City…

New York Comic Con exclusive Sailor V Funko Pop! Vinyl

As a Canadian I was briefly excited at the prospect of buying this figure, which is selling for a somewhat reasonable $15 US. Upon checkout when I was presented with a whopping $31 US shipping charge I promptly canceled my order. I frequently order items from Japan, quite literally on the other side of the planet, which arrive in a day or two for less than this ridiculous scam disguised as “shipping and handling”. How are they shipping this thing that could be so expensive? By personal courier riding a diamond eating unicorn? UPS? I’ll just stop now before I say what I’d like to say about this situation in words that I prefer not to use on this site.

New York Comic Con exclusive Sailor V Funko Pop! Vinyl

New Funko Pop! Vinyls include Sailor Chibi Moon, Uranus, Neptune, Saturn, Pluto, Queen Beryl and keychains

Queen Beryl Funko Pop! Vinyl

The Funko web site has revealed the 2nd wave of Sailor Moon themed Funko Pop! Vinyls which will be coming in November, just in time for Christmas! This wave includes Sailor Chibi Moon, Sailor Uranus, Sailor Neptune, Sailor Pluto, Sailor Saturn and Queen Beryl. Queen Beryl will be a Toys R Us exclusive. There will also be Pocket Pop! Keychains. Sailor Moon and Sailor Chibi Moon are the two keychains featured on the blog post, though there may be more.

Sailor Saturn Funko Pop! Vinyl

Apparently Sailor Chibi Moon is the must have Vinyl since she’s the only new character who has a keychain shown and there’s a Barnes and Noble exclusive glitter version of her. Not really sure what the appeal of that is but if you must have every exclusive ever, you’ll probably want that! Barnes and Noble is an American book store chain. Not sure who, if anyone, will be distributing this exclusive in Canada.

Glitter Sailor Chibi Moon Funko Pop! Vinyl

Do you plan on getting these? I’ve made my thoughts on them clear before! I think they’re kind of ugly but I still have a couple of them. On a recent trip to Gamestop I saw a Bob Ross and Justin Bieber Funko Pop! Vinyl so I’m not sure what figure they could possibly make to surprise me anymore. If I live long enough I’m sure I’ll have a Funko Pop! Vinyl made out of me. There will be one created for every fictional or real living or dead being to ever remotely resemble a humanoid. Funko Pop! Vinyls will outnumber of us all until the universe is so packed with them that there isn’t room for anything else. We need not fear entropy. The end of time will occur when every particle in existence is part of a Funko Pop! Vinyl.

Keep reading to see the rest of the new figures.

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An official Sailor Moon Store is opening in Japan this Saturday, September 23rd

Sailor Moon Store - Logo

Japan is getting an official Sailor Moon store! The store will be opening in the Laforet Harajuku mall in Tokyo and will sell a lot of exclusive goods, some of which have already been announced on the official Sailor Moon Store site. You can also follow the Sailor Moon Store Twitter account for more photos of their merchandise. The opening is tomorrow, Saturday September 23rd, which means that it will be open in Japan by the end of today because of how time zones work.

Sailor Moon Store - Goods

Of the goods which have already been revealed we have bags, phone cases, key chains, tea and various other such knick knacks. These items seem to be reasonably priced. I find these kinds of products more appealing than the very expensive and limited selection we’ve gotten with the Sailor Moon Official Fan Club. More products will be shown on the Sailor Moon Store site and Twitter account as they are released.

Sailor Moon Store - Goods

I saw no statement that this was a limited time store so it may be intended as a somewhat permanent place, or at least remaining open from now until the store becomes unprofitable. If any of you are lucky enough to check out this store let us know what it’s like!

Sailor Moon Store - Banner

Keep reading for individual photos of some of these products.

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A Sailor V Funko Pop! Vinyl will be a New York Comic Con exclusive

New York Comic Con exclusive Sailor V Funko Pop! Vinyl

Funko has announced some of their 80s and 90s themed Pop! Vinyl exclusives for New York Comic Con and they include Sailor Venus’s alter ego Sailor V! The convention will take place in Manhattan at the Javits Center the weekend of October 5th to the 8th. This is great news for those that have done the full physical, psych evaluation and DNA testing required to get the NYCC Fan Verification™®© status required to attend the event.

New York Comic Con exclusive Sailor V Funko Pop! Vinyl

So what’s involved in getting an exclusive Funko Pop! Vinyl at New York Comic Con? You just walk up to a booth and buy one, right? In past years Funko has run a lottery ahead of the convention for time slots where attendees can buy things from their booth. It seems that this is the case this year as well. The Funko Twitter account pointed fans to the NYCC Lottery page where they can go into lotteries for certain events. I don’t have a Fan Verified™®© account but it seems like the Sailor V Funko Pop! Vinyl should be showing up there.

Funko made a video showcasing their 80s and 90s themed Pop! Vinyls including Sailor V. Check it out below.

Funko Pop! Vinyls are an overly simple cheap and fairly ugly line of nearly identical looking figures covering pretty much every franchise to ever exist in the history of time. Their business model seems to be to make toys based on as many brands as possible and it’s going quite well for them. They can be found at pretty much every booth at every comic, anime, gaming or pop culture convention as well as on most of the shelf space at GameStop, a novelty toy store that used to sell video games. All said I sure would like to get my hands on one of these figures but unfortunately I have no plans to attend New York Comic Con. Will any of you be lucky enough to be attending?

New York Comic Con exclusive Sailor V Funko Pop! Vinyl

Keep reading for more images of this figure and the box.

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Japanese Sailor Moon Blu-Ray Collection set 2 review

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Cover

The second Japanese Blu-Ray set of the original Sailor Moon anime was released on August 9th. This includes the second half of the first season of Sailor Moon remastered in HD for Blu-Ray. This is a Japanese only release, meaning no English dub or subtitles. I got a copy and wanted to provide some thoughts on it. I previously did a more thorough review of the first set, which includes screenshot comparisons between various versions. I would recommend checking out that post to get an idea of the quality if you are interested in picking up this release. The set is available through online retailers such as Amazon Japan and CD Japan but beware that the cheapest you’ll find it for is about $150 US. This is considerably more expensive than the North American Blu-Ray releases from Viz.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Episode 46 - Princess Serenity attacks Queen Beryl

So why would someone want to get this set instead of buying the English version? It really comes down to minor improvements in video quality. I don’t have many nice things to say about the Viz Blu-Ray releases. The picture quality in these is pretty low due to being authored from some pretty bad masters. This Japanese version has better source material which leads to a better final product. The catch? No matter how much software they throw at it, this is still an upscaled version of a standard definition source. What this means is that a DVD equivalent 480p quality source was used and using software algorithms it was extrapolated into a 1080p HD video which is used for the Blu-Ray. Does this look better than a DVD? That’s a somewhat subjective question but it certainly doesn’t look like it would if the original film source was used to get an HD version, as has been done with the recently released Sailor Moon R movie. Still, this is pretty much the best quality version of Sailor Moon you’ll find. If you’re such a perfectionist that you absolutely need to have the original Sailor Moon anime in the best quality possible, then you’ll want to buy this set. Most people won’t find this to be necessary.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Episode 31 - Rhett Butler

I’ve included a few screenshots in this post, with more at the end if you scroll down, to give an idea of the quality. Again, check out my first volume review for specific comparisons. This second half of the first season contains some great episodes with some fantastic animation. Seeing them in good quality is a real treat. The episodes included start with episode 24, Nephlite’s final episode, and continue until episode 46, the season finale for the first season. It begins and ends with people dying and there’s a bunch of dying in between as well! This is indeed a heart wrenching half season to watch but to me it’s anime at its best.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Cover art comparison

As with the first set, and pretty much all releases of the original Sailor Moon anime, the box art used on the cover art and discs is reused from the first video releases of Sailor Moon on VHS and laserdisc back in the 1990s. This is great iconic art which continues to hold up with this release. There seems to be no need to replace it. Featured in this art are Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Venus, both of whom first appear in this set, as well as group shots and images of Serenity and Endymion, two characters who are especially relevant in these episodes.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Disc 1 art comparison

There isn’t a ton in the way of special features in this release. We have creditless opening and ending credits and the 15 second commercials which were shown on TV when this originally aired. This is something which has been included time and time again with Japanese releases of the Sailor Moon anime. While there were many, many other special video features included in the first season laserdisc video releases none of these appear in this or the previous set. This seems like it would have been something fairly easy to include in this set but there seems to be little interest in resurrecting this old footage.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Booklet episodes 29 to 31

A nice looking booklet of episode descriptions is included. These short descriptions include a single screenshot per episode as well as pieces of production art that pertain to characters introduced in those particular episodes. I’ve included a sample page above and will include a few more later in the post.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Episode 31 - Sailor Jupiter look at Sailor Mercury's butt

All considered I stand by my assessment of the last set that the quality is “good but not great” and it won’t be worth buying for most fans who are either really picky about quality or don’t like having money. While the available English versions don’t have terribly good video quality this is not a huge improvement over the original Japanese DVD releases and many other international releases of the series. It would have been really great to see a better quality release for these Blu-Ray sets but for whatever reason this doesn’t seem feasible at this time.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Episode 32 - Tuxedo Umino Kamen

Sailor Moon R part 1 will be released next month. It can be preordered from Amazon Japan and CD Japan. Since this season was originally only released in interlaced video quality on the original Japanese DVD I anticipate a more significant video quality improvement with this set.

Keep reading for more screenshots, as well as photos of the box art and the included booklet.

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The new Japanese Sailor Moon Blu-Ray sets look good but not great in HD

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Vol. 1 - Cover

The first of many Japanese Blu-Ray releases of the original Sailor Moon anime was out on June 14th. I got my copy from Amazon Japan and it is available in stores and via other online retailers. The set includes the first half of the first season, that being episodes 1 to 23, and sells for a whopping 15,747 yen which is $140 US. Why, you may ask, would someone bother to buy this release when they can get the Viz Blu-Ray release for a fraction of the price? I don’t have an answer which would convince most fans. This is a Japanese only release with no subtitles. There is however a significant improvement in picture quality over what we got from Viz, but this is no real surprise given what we’d had. Ultimately though this is a software upscaled HD version of a standard definition master. What this means is that they used video which was roughly DVD quality and extrapolated using software algorithms to make a 1080p HD video. While this will look better than a DVD to most people it’s still nothing close to what we would have gotten if Toei went back to the film source and made an HD transfer, like we recently got for the Sailor Moon R movie. Don’t take my word for it! Check out some sample screenshots.

Sailor Moon episode 8 - Viz Blu-Ray - Ami

Viz Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon episode 8 - Japanese Blu-Ray - Ami

Japanese Blu-Ray

Make Up! Sailor Senshi - Ami

Make Up! Sailor Senshi Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon episode 8 - Japanese DVD - Ami

Japanese DVD

In the above image, and many other samples included at the end of this post, we have a comparison between four versions of the same scene. The top two compare the Viz Blu-Ray to the new Japanese Blu-Ray, and it’s hard to see the differences with just a thumbnail but if you look at the full sized versions of each image you’ll see that there’s a difference. Also included for comparison are a screenshot from the Make Up! Sailor Senshi Blu-Ray which was included with Sailor Moon R The Movie and the original Japanese DVD. I include screenshots from Make Up! Sailor Senshi because when that special was done it used footage from the original film source which, in 1993, was not yet lost as it apparently is today. Since that film was then transferred to HD this gives us a look at what this release would roughly look like if we’d had the opportunity to have a better master. It’s not perfect as the aspect ratio was changed for cinema so we have a cropped image but it should give an idea of what we could have gotten. The Japanese DVD gives an impression of what the master likely looked like before software upscaling.

Sailor Moon Episode 1 - Viz Blu-Ray - Sailor Moon shocked by her transformation

Viz Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon Episode 1 - Japanese Blu-Ray - Sailor Moon shocked by her transformation

Japanese Blu-Ray

If you look closely at the fine details you’ll see that even with this new Japanese Blu-Ray there’s some blurriness to the image. We don’t actually see the imperfections in the lines that make these images and the backgrounds which aren’t using as solid colours as the foreground don’t look as nice as they could. All that said this looks nice on a TV. It doesn’t blow your mind when you’re sitting a few feet from your TV trying to put a crying 2 month old to sleep at 5:30am but if you’re sitting on a couch looking at the show it looks pretty good. In an alternate dimension where someone in the mid 90s knew better than to discard masters for a shows which, given the evolving nature of video and high definition TV, they should have known better than to do, we would have a nicer looking Blu-Ray. Unfortunately we don’t live in that dimension so this is what we have and it seems like this is the best looking version of Sailor Moon we’ll get. It’s not leaps and bounds above anything else we’ve seen but it is a mild improvement.

Sailor Moon Episode 1 - Viz Blu-Ray - Sailor Moon poses

Viz Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon Episode 1 - Japanese Blu-Ray - Sailor Moon poses

Japanese Blu-Ray

Make Up! Sailor Senshi - Sailor Moon poses

Make Up! Sailor Senshi Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon episode 1 - Japanese DVD - Sailor Moon poses

Japanese DVD

These are just a few comparison screenshots. Be sure to click them and then click the link that says “1920×1080″ to see the full image. I’ve included many more at the end of this post for reference. There will be some distortion due to jpeg compression on these but that should be minor.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Vol. 1 - Comparison between Laserdisc, Japanese DVD and Blu-Ray

Besides the image quality, what do we have here? Some pretty nice looking box art. Is it really classy and iconic to keep using the exact same laserdisc artwork or is it lazy? I think it’s a bit of both. Some people have criticized Viz for their Blu-Ray releases but I thought their artwork was on point. Here we’ve got art which has been used time and time again being recycled yet again. This was used in the 90s for the original laserdisc and VHS releases of the series, again when the DVDs were released in 2003, yet again when those DVDs were rereleased and once again with these. That art has been seen in other places over the years. This art is of course fantastic, as it was when it first appeared on those massive vinyl sized laserdisc covers which credit art director Kazuko Tadano for having made them. Once again the above image is just a sample. All of the disc art was reused from earlier covers and I’ve included photos of all of these comparisons at the end of this post.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray disc 1 menu

The episodes included are… do I even need to talk about this? It’s episodes 1 to 23. It’s the first half of what might very well be the best season of anything ever produced on the planet in the history of history. This goes from Usagi becoming Sailor Moon right through her meeting Ami and Rei and fighting Jadeite and Nephrite. The next half will begin with Nephrite’s tear jerker final episode. Not a ton in the way of special features are included. On the fourth disc there are creditless lower quality versions of the opening and first ending theme as well as the 15 second commercials which played after every episode, promoting the next one. The laserdiscs for the first season actually had many more fun extras which have never been included in the DVD releases. Given what we see with the musicals it doesn’t seem out of the question to include a ton of silly bonus features. It would have been nice to see them here! I understand that there may have been no HD source for these but not every special feature in a Blu-Ray needs to be 1080p HD! The low quality credits and ads are proof of that.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Vol. 1 - Booklet - Episodes 8 to 10

The special booklet which is included gives episodes summaries for all of the episodes in this set. This is a nice addition. Each episode has one screenshot, some character art and a brief description to go with it. I would assume we’ll have something similar with the next set which comes out on August 9th.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Vol. 1 - Back

So what’s the verdict? Is it worth spending so much money on this release? This is almost certainly not something anyone but a hardcore collector would want to bother getting. There are less expensive ways to watch Sailor Moon in a language you understand. If, however, you are a videophile that absolutely needs to have the best of the best, well go ahead and get that line of credit approved so that you can buy all of these!

Keep reading for more screenshots, images of the packaging and photos of all pages of the included booklet.

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Even more Sailor Moon merchandise is coming as Toei Animation strikes more deals!

Toei Animation

A press release from License Global gives us an indication of upcoming Sailor Moon merchandise. There was certainly a time when we would go years without any official Sailor Moon merchandise being available in North America, requiring fans to look in niche comic book and hobby shops to find anything, but this is far from being true today! It seems like the ongoing trend of a lot of new merchandise being available in some fairly mainstream stores like Toys R Us, HMV, Hot Topic and GameStop will only continue. Toei Animation has merchandising deals with the following companies for the original Sailor Moon anime:

For whatever reason they’ve made a different set of deals for Sailor Moon Crystal merchandise which includes:

Fans will probably notice that most of these are brands which already sell Sailor Moon products, such as Great Eastern (GE) and Funko, but some of these are companies which haven’t previously sold Sailor Moon products such as Dyskami which is producing a couple of Sailor Moon games soon or Mimoco who’s battery charging devices have not previously been Sailor Moon branded.

Hold on to your wallet! Or don’t. Throw it away! You’ll probably find a Sailor Moon wallet soon.

Two new tabletop Sailor Moon games, Sailor Moon Crystal Dice Challenge and Truth or Bluff are coming to stores in 2017!

Sailor Moon Crystal Dice Challenge

Great news for fans of Sailor Moon and tabletop games! Dyskami Publishing Company has acquired the rights to release two Sailor Moon Crystal games this year! The first, Sailor Moon Crystal Dice Challenge, will be out this summer while Sailor Moon Crystal Truth or Bluff, a tile based game, is set to be release in the Fall. Details about both of these games can be found on the Dyskami official site.

The first game we’ll be getting, Sailor Moon Crystal Dice Challenge, is a game of dice and cards. Players will be one of 24 characters, who are each represented by a card, and will use a number of different dice to face off against each other. The game comes with a total of 24 dice, 6 different types, as well as tokens and challenge cards. The box art says it’s for 2 to10 players though the site lists it as being for 2 to 8 players. It’s for players aged 10 and up and will retail for $29.99 US.

Sailor Moon Crystal Dice Challenge - Tuxedo Mask challenge card

Sailor Moon Crystal Truth or Bluff

The other game which will be released in the Fall is Sailor Moon Crystal Truth or Bluff. This game will have players laying down tile cards showcasing heroes, villains and ending tiles. It will also include tokens, tile holders, privacy shields and a cloth bag for portability. The title made me think this might be a Truth or Dare kind of social game but based on the description it seems to be about bluffing with what tiles you’re using. This game is for 3 to 10 players and again is for players aged 10 and up. It will also retail for $29.99 US. Check out some of the tiles below! They feature Super Deformed or Chibi type characters in a Sailor Moon Crystal style.

Sailor Moon Crystal Truth or Bluff - Character tiles

Both games are priced affordably and seem to be quite portable. I’m looking forward to seeing these games in action! It’s great to see this come from a Canadian company! Dyskami Publishing is based in Guelph Ontario.

Sailor Moon Web of the Negaverse game

This is not one of the upcoming games!

I was tempted to say that these were the first Sailor Moon board games available in North America but I had a vague memory of having seen one before. Indeed a quick search reminded me that there was a Sailor Moon Web of the Negaverse game released in the 90s! I never had the pleasure of playing it. There was also the popular Sailor Moon Trading Card Game and the Sailor Moon pen and paper RPG released back in the day. These last two were actually designed by Dyskami’s founder and CEO Mark MacKinnon. Many other Sailor Moon games were released in other countries around the world.

Check out the full press release below for more details. We’ll be sure to have more on these games when they come out!

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Check out the box art for Sailor Moon R The Movie on home video

Sailor Moon R The Movie DVD

We previously announced that Sailor Moon R The Movie, recently released to theatres in North America, was coming out on home video April 18th. We now have a look at the box art for this release! The above image showing the cover art and the image showing a bit of the spine are on Right Stuf’s listing for the DVD. This is new art likely made by artist Marco Albiero who did cover art for many international releases of the original Sailor Moon anime. (Update: Marco Albiero has confirmed that he did not in fact make this cover) It includes Tuxedo Mask, Fiore and the Sailor Guardians. Some fans have some not terribly wonderful things to say about this art. What do you think?

Sailor Moon R The Movie DVD

The Blu-Ray version is also posted on Right Stuf’s web site but the cover art isn’t included. It seems likely that the image used will be similar.

Sailor Moon R The Movie poster

Some fans have said that they’d prefer to have seen the original Japanese poster for Sailor Moon R The Movie used. An image of that poster is included above. This poster has the distinction of being included in the liner notes of a U2 CD.

U2 in front of a Sailor Moon R The Movie poster