Bandai has launched Shinra Bansho side products before, including gashapon card and figure key chains, statues, a full-blown trading card game, etc – but none have lasted: Only the main chocolate wafer card line has remained, with the occasional card binder release.
More recently though, the Shinra Bansho Frontier browser game has survived for over a year – and a cell phone based GREE platform game, Shinra Bansho Eternal, got started.
And here we are now with a side product to a side product: Shinra Bansho Eternal Coin Chocolate, which include art strips with an in-game redeemable item code.
Click the cut below for our product overview, and as usual, all images expand when clicked.
A full box shot, and comparison to a normal Shinra Bansho Chocolate box. The front is intended to be torn off for in-store product display, but I’ve left mine alone. Apologies for the image quality here, the rest are better.
The box’s sides and back.
The top, and the contents.
The two pack variants, a size comparison to your average SBC wafer pack, and a side view. They’re very thin.
For further comparison, your average DVD case (remember when holographics were inescapable shorthand for cool?), and the other side of a pack.
And finally, the actual content per pack. For the art on the front, there are 15 versions to collect: Most representing one of the Shinra Bansho Chocolate story arcs available in Eternal (since not all of them are present, there’s two variants for Chapter I, for instance). There’s also three featuring one of the characters original to Eternal, the same art of the guy and two gals plastered all over the packaging otherwise.
The covered part on the back is, of course, where the redeemable code is located.
Another size comparison – with a normal Shinra Bansho Chocolate card, and to a standard US quarter. It’s worth noting that the Eternal art slip here is thinner and less sturdy than an average card.
Also, the emblems on the coin foil vary, sure to delight obsessive compulsive hoarders looking for an excuse to hang on to food wrappers.
The third aspect of the product, the code provided, is not of any use unless one has access to the actual Shinra Bansho Eternal game. This entails the use of a Japanese cell phone, and service.
So with that leaving the main keepsake being a cool, but flimsy art strip, is this worthwhile for anyone else?
I’d be hard pressed to say yes: although it’s still a fun product on its own, most will probably want to spend that cash on actual Shinra Bansho cards and boxes. These are slightly more expensive to boot – an SBC Daimao Volume 4 box cost me about 30 dollars with currency conversion and cheapo SAL shipping, this Eternal box was about 34. Not much of a difference, but it doesn’t help.
I had wondered about the particular form factor of the included art, jokingly referring to it as a bookmark before – I thought maybe I was missing something. But apparently I’m not the only one to come to that conclusion, so it is what it is, I guess!