Followers of the site, or commemorative coins in general, will know that the New Zealand Mint loves a licence, anything from Monopoly, Spongebob Squarepants, and The Terminator, to new and huge properties like Star Wars and Disney. After dipping their toes in the well of trading cards with a Magic the Gathering series, the mint is back with another huge name in that industry, Yu-Gi-Oh!, a brave decision given the MtG series stopped at one coin.
Yu-Gi-Oh!, written and illustrated by Kazuki Takahashi, is a Japanese manga series about gaming, first appearing in a magazine (Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump) in 1996, and then making the inevitable leap to video-games, movies and television as its popularity grew. It was obvious, given the story is about a boy named Yugi Mutou, who solves the ancient Millennium Puzzle and awakens a gambling alter-ego within his body that solves his conflicts using various games, that the property would end up as a trading card game. To date, over 25 billion cards have been sold and it remains very popular throughout the world.
Enter the NZ Mint, and we see the release of a pair of 1oz silver coins with selective colouring. Depicting two of the major characters in the Yu-Gi-Oh! world, they each feature a coloured representation of the character art as drawn by Takahashi, set against a cleanly struck background featuring the Egyptian hieroglyphics that make up so much of the backstory. The appeal to the millions of fans of the game is quite obvious. As you’d expect, the packaging is very well done, colourful and showing the coins off well. The obverse is the usual effigy of Queen Elizabeth II that adorns all coins from Niue. The first coin, Yami Yugi, will be available from 06 June for $85.00 USD, the second from 12 July for the same price.