At New York Comic-Con 2012 back in October, Viz Media noted plans to release new “3-in-1 omnibus editions” of the Dragon Ball manga starting in June 2013, but no further details were available. At the time, this re-release sounded confusing due to the “Viz Big” edition of the manga — also 3-in-1 volumes printed on higher-quality paper and with most of its respective color chapters intact — still being readily available at retailers.
Just this month, the special Shonen Jump Alpha Yearbook 2013 contained a “Creator Spotlight” on Akira Toriyama. The spotlight (image courtesy of our forum user the original ero-sennin) promoted a “new 3-in-1 edition” of the Dragon Ball manga planned for release beginning Summer 2013, which lined up with the Comic-Con announcement.
Viz had released specially-branded “3-in-1″ versions of certain series before, combining volumes together into one book on lower-quality paper than their standard “Graphic Novel” paper, though printed at the same size (roughly 5 x 7.5 inches — for comparison’s sake, the “Viz Big” versions of Dragon Ball are roughly 8.6 x 5.8 inches). Both One Piece and Bleach — neither of which had previously received a “Viz Big” version — had seen these repackagings trickle out. One Piece in particular never made it past the East Blue arc, ending its fourth “3-in-1″ with volumes 10, 11, and 12 together in one book back in May 2010. That is set to change next month with a new “3-in-1″ picking up with the Baroque Works arc and volumes 13, 14, and 15.
Kanzenshuu has been able to confirm with Viz that these new editions of the Dragon Ball manga are the same type of “3-in-1″ editions that One Piece has received (and will be continuing with). MSRP for these editions is $14.99, as opposed to the “Viz Big” editions which retail for $17.99. The “Viz Big” editions will still be kept in print and on the market — alongside these new “3-in-1″ editions — with the collectors in mind.