Welcome to part 3 of the Wave One Collectibles Guide to Collecting “Ghost In The Shell” in trading cards. Here we will continue our breakdown of available Ghost In The Shell card sets and chase cards with a look at Ghost In The Shell in the form of card games. First, we take a look at the uniquely branded card deck from Manga Video, followed by the deep-dive into the recently released and massive Force of Will Collectible Card Game.
For over three decades now, Masamune Shirow’s Ghost In The Shell has continued to demonstrate its staying power, both in pop-culture and across a variety of mediums. Interestingly enough, there aren’t very many resources highlighting the variety of Ghost In The Shell trading card sets that have come to market over the years, so hopefully the Wave 1 Collectibles breakdown of the famed anime as it appears in .0254 millimeters of cardboard will be helpful for fans and collectors alike.
PART 3 MANGA VIDEO & FORCE OF WILL CCG
GHOST IN THE SHELL S.A.C. 2nd Gig | Branded Card Deck | 2005 [Manga Video]
At a glance, it might seem odd to include a deck of playing cards intended for Blackjack or Poker in a guide like this. But Wave 1 Collectibles is always proud to dig up those deeper cut items that might give some added content for fans through their collections. This Manga Video branded Bandai card deck has enough added value that fans of Motoko Kusanagi and her team will definitely find this deck interesting.
This playing card deck is focused on the Stand Alone Complex: 2nd Gig iteration of Ghost In the Shell. Collectors looking for a complete set only need to go so far as to pick up the 54-card deck as would normally be presented in a deck of Poker Cards. The set itself is uniformly backed with an art deco pattern that frames the Stand Alone Complex logo at an angle along the card.
The card face is what you would normally expect from a deck of playing cards - suites and numbers adorning opposing corners of each card. However, in most branded card decks, the images presented in the center of the cards can be an afterthought for manufacturers, repeating the same images over and over to present the licensed I.P.
But the fact that the Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig deck features unique images on all 54 cards is what really hammers home that this set is worth picking up and mounting in a binder for collectors. Across the set, collectors are presented with a variety of images from the anime series ranging from some great animation stills of Kusanagi to a variety of moments from "Stand Alone Complex". 52 cards of unique images adorn this neat set, with the final 2 “Jokers” presenting mirror images of the Tachikoma tanks from the show.
The Manga Video GITS playing card deck comes packaged in your standard deck box, albeit attractively designed to match the I.P. being presented within. The box features a good image of Kusanagi backed by her revolver-packing teammate, Kogusa, and all sides featuring branding including the Bandai, Manga Video, and GITS logos. The box art is nice enough that collectors might flatten it out and display it through a postcard page in their card binders with the accompanying set in 9-Pocket pages.
Completists will embrace this deep-cut find to enhance their card collections with more content. Even more appealing is the fact that the set represents the Stand Alone Complex series and does so with unique images across the deck. The deck appears to be widely available online and is still reasonably affordable for anyone who wants to pad their GITS collection with more collectible trading card content.
MANGA VIDEO’S GHOST IN THE SHELL: SAC 2ND GIG PLAYING CARD DECK BREAKDOWN
54 Card Standard Set | 52 Cards, 2 Jokers
54 Cards Per Box
One new box yields a full 54 card set
GHOST IN THE SHELL: STAND ALONE COMPLEX 2045 | 2020 [FORCE OF WILL]
Force of Will is a Collectible Card Game designed to be interchangeable amongst any property that is given a set. Akin to Magic: The Gathering, Force of Will began as a fantasy card game but eventually adapted various intellectual properties to its format as it gained popularity with players. Collectors may be interested in playing the game, but this set provides a lot to look at for the average Ghost In The Shell fan looking for more content for their favorite cyborg hero.
The 2nd Gig Force of Will set represents the 2049 iteration of the show which was launched on Netflix in April 2020. Collectors have a lot to look forward to across the variety of cards in the set both in terms of scarcity as well as image variety. Of course, each card has varying attributes related to the gameplay as well, but we won’t be diving into that information too deeply here. These cards can be broken down by type as there is a lot for collectors to embrace here. The Starter Deck features 14 unique cards in multiple copies intended to get collectors deep enough to play the game. After that, collectors will buy expansion packs where they can assemble a complete 78 card set across various tiers of rarity – 48 normal cards, 17 rare cards and 13 super rare cards.
Force of Will also advertises a "Secret" card in every case. These cards, numbered as "SEC###" are the same as the standard set cards, but presented with variation in artwork to the original card. We opened three boxes here at W1C without pulling a Secret card. Force of Will also delivers on a parallel set with cards lined in holographic foil on the front face. These cards only pop one per pack and given that they also mirror the standard set’s scarcity tiers, this parallel set could wind up becoming fairly sought after by collectors down the road.
The cards in the Force of Will set are nicely designed with a uniform techno-theme on the obverse and a clean “Force of Will” logo against black backgrounds on the reverse. Generally speaking, the image quality is good, although some shots are a bit dark or a bit lacking in content. Of note, the cards are numbered, albeit in incredibly small font on the bottom left of each card, but one standout to the numbering system is that each card number is followed by an “N”, “R”, or “SR” clearly designating the level of scarcity for collectors.
Boxes have a pleasing waxy finish to them, featuring bright colors and a playful image of the Major hanging out with her Tachikoma. Boxes are prominently labeled as “Force of Will” and would look great on a shelf for collectors who like to display additional apocrypha. Card packs have the same box art in landscape format across the front and are manufactured in a holographic foil with basic branding information nicely tucked around the perimeter of the artwork. Overall, the set’s packaging materials are well made and present nicely for collectors who like to make use of that stuff as well.
“Ghost In The Shell: SAC 2045” by Force Of Will is intended for CCG players, but yields enough neat content for GITS collectors looking to expand their collection in cards. Building a base set could require some commitment however, as the Rare and Super Rare cards are truly rarer pack pulls, and completing the holofoil parallel set could be a real chore for those without a few trading partners to assist the endeavor. The Force of Will cards are nicely designed and feature some nice images from the Netflix CGI show, although some card fronts could have had better images chosen for them. Ultimately though this is a nice set, and sealed boxes are still readily available at or around retail pricing. Opening packs is a lot of fun, but remember to get started with a Starter Deck which not only pads the collection, but yields a grouping of foil parallels as well. Collectors can also decide whether or not they want to take the deep dive into the card game itself, but if not, the set presents very nicely either framed or to flip through in a binder.
FORCE OF WILL GHOST IN THE SHELL: SAC 2045 CCG SET BREAKDOWN
51 Card Starter Deck
78 Card Standard Set | 48 Normal Cards, 17 Rare Cards & 13 Super Rare
78 Card Holographic Foil Parallel Set
20 Packs Per Box | 10 Cards Per Pack
Wave 1 Collectibles currently has “Ghost In The Shell” inventory available here.