2020+ CHIBI COLLECTION by the New Zealand Mint

A phenomenon that has travelled far from its Japanese homeland, Chibi (ちび or チビ) is slang for ‘short’ and is applied to various pop culture genres today. Chief amongst those are the small, chubby caricatures with their tiny bodies and over-sized heads – also called super-deformed (SD). A popular style in anime and manga, and also with the Funko figures that are seemingly everywhere these days, we’re actually surprised the concept has taken this long to hit the numismatic world.

If anyone was going to do it, it would be pop-culture innovators the New Zealand Mint, who have an extensive catalogue of media franchises under their wing. These are perfect subjects for the Chibi treatment, and the first to get reimagined was cult superhero, Batman. Rather than go with the dour character from the excellent Nolan movies, the mint sensibly took a more comic-orientated approach, with some similarities to the style popularised in the camp Sixties TV series. The follow-up coins are equally whimsical and manage to be both an extreme caricature, and easily recognisable.

This was the first of the DC Comics Chibi Collection, which was soon joined by a Harry Potter series, and then a Star Wars one. In February 2021, Lord of the Rings appeared, followed by even more to the stage we’re at 20+ subsets. Each coin is numbered as part of its own collection, rather than as a unified Chibi series as a whole. Given the accelerated release schedule, that’s probably a wise decision. Amazingly, given the near $100 USD price tag per coin, the mint is issuing four per month.

In September 2022, the first two-ounce ‘Mega Chibi’ appeared, with a ‘The Batman’ movie coin. We’re expecting more. A disappointing direction for the series, as we’d have thought that, given the nature of Chibi, a smaller sized range, perhaps half, or even quarter-ounce in weight, would’ve been the way to entice new and/or younger collectors.

RELEASES TO DATE

Each shaped coin has a standard obverse design. The usual Ian Rank Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II and the surrounding inscriptions marking this out as a Niue issue. The presentation is also as neat as you would expect from a mint known for the quality of it, the box allowing for easy display and heavily themed for each issue.

Each is a 1oz fine silver coin with a mintage of 2,000 pieces. Early releases have sold very briskly, with Batman and Darth Vader particularly showing some excellent initial price appreciation. It is possible the intensive release schedule might harm that a little, but it remains to be seen. A splendid idea, expertly realised and quite unique. Couldn’t really ask for more.

STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES

2021 01: JAMES T. KIRK

2021 02: SPOCK

2022 03: LEONARD McCOY

2022 04: MONTGOMERY SCOTT

2022 05: NYOTA UHURA

STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION

2022 01: JEAN-LUC PICARD

STAR WARS: THE MOVIES

2020 01: DARTH VADER

2020 02: CHEWBACCA

2020 03: R2-D2

2020 04: STORMTROOPER

2020 05: BOBA FETT

2021 06: LUKE SKYWALKER

2021 07: PRINCESS LEIA

2021 08: HAN SOLO

2021 09: OBI-WAN KENOBI

2021 10: KYLO REN

2021 11: REY

2022 12: PADME AMIDALA

2022 13: YODA

2022 14: ADMIRAL ACKBAR

2022 15: DARTH MAUL

2022 16: YOUNG OBI-WAN

2022 SE (13.5): MAY 4TH C3:PO

STAR WARS: THE MANDALORIAN

2022 01: THE CHILD

2022 02: THE MANDALORIAN

STAR WARS: THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT

2022 01: BOBA FETT

2022 02: FENNEC SHAND

2022 03: KRRSANTAN

2022 04: CAD BANE

MICKEY AND FRIENDS

2021 01: MICKEY MOUSE

2021 02: MINNIE MOUSE

2021 03: DAISY DUCK

2021 04: DONALD DUCK

HALO

2021 01: MASTER CHIEF

2021 02: CORTANA

DISNEY PRINCESSES

2021 01: CINDERELLA

2021 02: SNOW WHITE

2021 03: BELLE

2021 04: AURORA

DC COMICS

2020 01: BATMAN

2020 02: WONDER WOMAN

2020 03: THE FLASH

2020 04: GREEN LANTERN

2020 05: SUPERMAN

2020 06: THE JOKER

2021 07: HARLEY QUINN

2021 08: CATWOMAN

2021 09: AQUAMAN

2021 10: CATWOMAN

2021 11: DEATHSTROKE

2021 12: BATMAN FLYING

2021 13: SUPERMAN FLYING

2021 14: GREEN ARROW

WONDER WOMAN ’84

2021 01: WONDER WOMAN

2021 02: CHEETAH

THE BATMAN

2022 01: THE BATMAN (2oz)

2022 02: THE RIDDLER

HARRY POTTER MOVIES

2020 01: HARRY POTTER

2020 02: HERMIONE GRANGER

2020 03: RON WEASLEY

2020 04 ALBUS DUMBLEDORE

2020 05: RUBEUS HAGRID

2021 06: SEVERUS SNAPE

2021 07: LORD VOLDEMORT

2021 08: SIRIUS BLACK

2021 09: HARRY POTTER PYJAMAS

FANTASTIC BEASTS

2021 01: NEWT SCAMANDER

2021 02: ALBUS DUMBLEDORE

THE LORD OF THE RINGS

2021 01: FRODO BAGGINS

2021 02: SAMWISE GANGEE

2021 03: GANDALF THE GREY

2021 04: LEGOLAS

2021 05: GOLLUM

2021 06: ARAGORN

2021 07: GIMLI

WARRIORS OF HISTORY

2022 01: SAMURAI

2022 02: NINJA

2022 03: KNIGHT TEMPLAR

2022 04: VIKING

HORROR

2022 01: IT

2022 02: THE EXORCIST

2022 03: THE NUN

STREET FIGHTER II

2021 01: RYU

2021 02: KEN MASTERS

MORTAL KOMBAT KLASSIC

2022 01: SCORPION

2022 02: SUB-ZERO

2022 03: RAIDEN

MOUNT RUSHMORE PRESIDENTS

2022 01: GEORGE WASHINGTON

2022 02: THEODORE ROOSEVELT

FRIENDS

2022 01: ROSS GELLER

2022 02: RACHEL GREEN

2022 03: JOEY TRIBBIANI

2022 04: PHOEBE BUFFAY

2022 05: CHANDLER BING

2022 06: MONICA GELLER

CALENDAR EVENTS

2021 GINGERBREAD MAN

2022 YEAR OF THE TIGER

2023 YEAR OF THE RABBIT

OBVERSE EXAMPLES

SPECIFICATION

CHIBI COLLECTION
DENOMINATION $2 NZD (Niue Island)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams
DIMENSIONS approx 31 x 36 mm
FINISH Proof
MODIFICATIONS Colour, Shaped
MINTAGE 2,000 per design
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes
NEW ZEALAND MINT