Adidas Dragon Ball z, one of the most talked about sneaker collabs in 2018. Since the beginning of the year, there was so much hype surrounding this collab, we actually thought they were gonna be the new Yeezys. Everyone in this industry thought so too. Until the first mockups of the shoes surfaced.
Unlike the usual with hyped Adidas releases, the first account to share any images of the collab wasn’t the Yeezymafia, it was Seraph. A then, not too known leaker’s account. The Yeezy Mafia then followed and shared the rest of the images and detailed release info. But never after that. Maybe they saw or knew what we didn’t. That the Adidas Dragon Ball Z collab was not gonna be the biggest release of 2018.
Who did it better?
The Adidas Dragon Ball Z collab wasn’t to all sneakerheads’ liking. And the second sneakerheads got a look at the mockups, they expressed their opinion loud and clear.
— foreverskydome (@foreverskydome) January 15, 2018
— Jono (@chantajj12) January 15, 2018
And going as far as showing images of shoes, and boots that would’ve done the collab more justice.
Man I was expecting at LEAST some Saiyan armor–style shoes. Maybe not as high rising as these but like… If they’d just given us the kicks the actual characters wear that woulda been 🔥. Not feeling these… literally only sneakerheads and hxc DBZ fans will recognize them on-feet. pic.twitter.com/nSawk0ChrW
— Hugh Guiney (@LordPancreas) January 15, 2018
Off-White™ x Nike Air Presto “Dragon Ball Z” Custom pic.twitter.com/BIVSMxwqPo
— Unite Create™ 🌎 (@UniteCreate) September 26, 2018
But nowhere as far as showing The Three Stripes brand, how Nike could’ve done it.
Here, we gotta acknowledge illustrator Chad Manzo, whose mockups showed Adidas how to nail such a collab. Using an Air Jordan 1 Off-white as Goku’s Boots, and a very impressive Air Presto Acronym for Cell, Manzo surely did a better job than Adidas.
But for us, the winner of this competition was Walsh. A sneakerhead/ designer who shared his own take on the collab with the community. He even went the extra mile and gave us 4 more mockups of Piccolo, Future Trunks, Bulma, and Master Roshi. And we gotta say the amount of effort put into these renditions, shows more respect to the Manga’s fans than Adidas’ work.
And we, as most of you reading this, were caught red-handed loving on these concepts. But regardless of what anyone had to say, Adidas copped the deal. And they executed the collaborative designs, the way THEY saw fit. Even if it meant disapproving and disappointing DBZ fans.
Why These Shoes?
It’s true that Adidas’ choice of sneakers for this collaboration wasn’t up to everyone’s expectations, but The Three Stripes Brand has its own agenda.
If you think about it, objectively, a collab that big is the best way to market new unseen silhouettes. And also a great excuse to dig out old dusty designs. It’s not easy to get people to like an eccentric design like the Propheres. But once you see Cell’s rendition of the pair, it starts growing on you. Same applies to the Yung-1 and Kamandas.
On the other side, bringing back the ZX and Ultratechs would’ve made absolutely no sense if done any differently. Like, why are these back? Because they’re a part of the Adidas DBZ collection. Oh! Makes sense.
In theory, this marketing plan sounds pretty smart. And it is. But Adidas had to go and mess it all up, and release different colorways of the sneakers before the actual collaboration dropped.
We had the pleasure of meeting the Prophere, Deerupt, and Kamandas, week, and even months before they were scheduled to release.
Why was this a bad idea?
- If you were too eager to get the pair, and just couldn’t wait, you could just buy it. Even if it’s a different colorway.
- If you wanted to try them on, and get a taste of what they actually feel like you could. Just go to an Adidas store and try them on.
This really killed the hype over these sneakers. No more anticipation, mystery, or resale value. Just another colorway of an Adidas silhouette. So before any of the Adidas Dragon Ball Z shoes dropped, you knew what to expect. And you knew for sure, that they’re not limited.
Why not Yeezys?
To be honest, I personally thought Adidas should’ve gone for a 750 as Goku’s signature Blue boots. How cool would have that been? And this was also the opinion of so many among you. But again, that’s not the point. Why would Adidas shed more light on shoes that are already so hyped and sellable? The Adidas Yeezy 750 line can’t possibly become more desired. The 750s are a story long over. And has no sequel.
Was it the worst release of 2018? We can’t be that harsh! But it definitely doesn’t belong on the top releases list. Maybe it would’be if it delivered the collectible figurines we were promised. But it didn’t. Sneakers sat on shelves for hours, many of them were restocked, and on the secondary market, it ain’t looking good.
But honestly, we expected and Adidas Dragon Ball Z collection to do much better. And this has us worrying about the fate of the Adidas Game of Thrones collection, supposedly debuting in April 2019.