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. January 2023 saw not only the addition of the giant Marvel franchise to Chibi, but also a randomly placed (10%) fully gilded coin.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES
- STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION
- STAR WARS: THE MOVIES
- STAR WARS: THE MANDALORIAN
- STAR WARS: BOOK OF BOBA FETT
- STAR WARS: ANDOR
- STAR WARS: OBI-WAN
- MICKEY AND FRIENDS
- DISNEY PRINCESSES
- DC COMICS
- THE BATMAN
- DC COMICS MOVIES
- MARVEL COMICS
- HARRY POTTER MOVIES
- FANTASTIC BEASTS
- THE LORD OF THE RINGS
- WARRIORS OF HISTORY
- STREET FIGHTER II
- MORTAL KOMBAT KLASSIC
- MOUNT RUSHMORE PRESIDENTS
- CALENDAR EVENTS
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
STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION
STAR WARS: THE MOVIES
STAR WARS: THE MANDALORIAN
STAR WARS: BOOK OF BOBA FETT
STAR WARS: ANDOR
STAR WARS: OBI-WAN
MICKEY AND FRIENDS
DC COMICS MOVIES
HARRY POTTER MOVIES
THE LORD OF THE RINGS
WARRIORS OF HISTORY
STREET FIGHTER II
MORTAL KOMBAT KLASSIC
MOUNT RUSHMORE PRESIDENTS
|DENOMINATION||$2 NZD (Niue Island)|
|DIMENSIONS||approx 31 x 36 mm|
|MINTAGE||2,000 per design|
|BOX / C.O.A.||Yes / Yes|
So far these Chibi coins have proven to be incredibly popular with collectors. All of the guesses here regarding the upcoming Chibi coins seem pretty spot-on. We are expecting the Boba Fett coins to sell out pretty quickly. Not so sure about Albus Dumbledore and Hagrid, but only time will tell!
Darth Vader was by far the quickest Chibi to sell out on our website, but we still have several other Chibis left in stock!
I’ve heard complaints from some dealers that they can’t even get them! I think Potter is less popular simply because the movies and books have been quieter over the last couple of years, plus the characters are considerably more ‘normal’ looking than the others.
That’s a fair point. DC Comics and Star Wars have both been spotlighted in recent years with new feature films. The Harry Potter universe did have some recent success with the Cursed Child play and the Fantastic Beasts series….but its success has most likely been overshadowed by the other two franchises.
Maybe if the mint produces a Dobby or Hedwig Chibi the Potterheads will get more excited…!
Harry Potter’s first book was published in June 1997, so his fans may not yet be the age to spend $99 each month on a coin.
Its not boba fett its cyborg and i think its not joker but han solo
Nice try, but I still think the original is correct. Definitely Boba Fett
Check the feet. Pointy ones are DC, flat are star wars, rounded are harry potter. It is Boba Feett, although cyborg is coming in the next few months I think, as is catwoman, yoda, etc.
Thanks Adam for this observation. This is the best one yet!
One more per month for The Lord of the Rings?
Don’t know yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it took off after Harry Potter runs out of the bigger characters. Might even see The Mandalorian this year.
I think you’re wrong there about Bellatrix and Malfoy, my guess is they are coming out this month with lord of the rings chibi coins!
You may be right on those two guesses as I’m quite unsure to be honest, but they’re not due this month. Next are Catwoman and Voldemort. No news on Lord of the Rings Chibi, but I also think they will be coming later this year, probably when Harry Potter runs out of characters. With A Nightmare Before Christmas getting new coins as well, I’d love to see Chibi issues of those very distinctice characters.
It is not Batgirl, but Catwoman; not Yoda, but Grogu; not Bellatrix Lestrange, but Frodo
i love the sets, but its getting a little ridiculous. Dc has batman and flying batman. Superman and flying superman. There are so many other suer heros they can put in there other then giving stupid duplicates. Same with harry potter. First and last coin in the series are the same character. WHY? Wonderwoman 84 only had 2 characters in it as far as i know. why make a series of that. Dont waste your time or my money. Riddler looks HORRIBLE. didnt even know who it was supposed to be when i seen the picture. I think they need to stop coming out with more and more series right now and focus on completing the ones they have out already.
I collect first release pf 70s of every coin of every series.
I want to thank you guys for putting this Chibi library together. I’ve been searching the internet for something like this to make sure I don’t miss any, and to see the new sets coming out. PLEASE DONT STOP THE WORK ON THIS. ITS AWESOME
Thank you. Great job.