Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

New Release: 2018 BBM Giants

What must be the most popular team set BBM issues every year came out recently. The Yomiuri Giants set came out in mid-May, with the standard 81-card base set and a collection of inserts.
The base set features a lot of horizontal shots, though the majority are vertical. I'm not sure why BBM doesn't go with many horizontal pictures in its other team sets, other than the effort it takes to adjust the design to fit a different template. Obviously, the Giants design here doesn't take much work to shift, as the cards are borderless. Cards G01-G67 are regular cards, and G68 is a checklist with a picture of mascots. Several of the regular cards have foil signature parallels. These come in three flavors: Gold #/100, Holo #/50, and Orange #/25.
New Arrivals is the first subset, with four cards featuring players who recently joined the team.
There are three cards in the Giant Guns subset, with the team's power hitters.
Another three players are in High Quality Triangle. These feature the team's top pitchers.
Finally, Young Synergy has three pairs of younger players.
Moving on to inserts, Giants Pride 2018 has 15 of the team's top players. A hologram parallel #/50 and firework parallel #/25 were also issued.
Three cards are in My Generation, also with holo #/50 and firework #/25 parallels.
Cross Foil Signing is limited to 15 cards each, and has foil autographs. There are 18 cards in the set.
Super Metallic Giants is a nine-card set obtainable via exchange card. Each card is serial-numbered to the player's jersey number.
The three card Triplex insert set is numbered out of 25 copies. Cards use 3D technology, and are advertised as having multiple images. I haven't seen one in person.
Phantom inserts are also found #/25, just like the other team sets.
While the Giants set doesn't contain autographs, seven Memorabilia cards (#/100) can be found in packs, including two dual relic cards (#/20) and one quad relic card (#/10).

Nine Stadium Event promo cards, plus one SP promo card, were issued as well.

Insert images are promotional images from BBM.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Not New New Calbee

The race is on. 2000, 2004, 2005, and 2016 Calbee are all nearing completion. I hope to finish all four sets by the end of the year, and here are my pickups from late May explorations (I'm a bit behind on posting).
 2004. I've noticed that (except for Ichiro) players who go by just one name really aren't that good - at least, anymore. They're beloved local stars but they haven't been productive in years. Ah, the joy of playing baseball in Japan. Shinjo actually played in the MLB for three seasons, posting a .245 batting average. His NPB career average is .254. But he's known for his attitude, not his performance. As most of these guys are.
 The card on the right is a checklist from 2004.
 Only one card from 2005, and one from 2000. Those sets are very close to being in the books! Or, more accurately, in the box. There's no space for binders in my tiny Japanese apartment.
 Card #52 was the last basic common from the 1973 Calbee "Crossed Bats" set. I need several high numbers and the two iconic key cards in the set.
Here's one of those high numbers. For the longest time, I wasn't even sure they existed! This is my first, actually.

Which set do you think I'll finish first?

Friday, June 15, 2018

DK or BK?

IHOP recently announced they were flipping the last letter in their signs upside down to sell burgers. Okay, but, I go to IHOP for pancakes. If I want beef I already have great places to go. In n Out, Five Guys, Burger King or McDonalds are all satisfactory places for cheap meat, and even Wendy's hits the spot if I avoid their french fries (boy do I miss their spicy chicken sandwiches). And there are plenty of spots to get a better burger, like TGI Friday's, Applebees, and Round Robin. (Yeah I'm probably leaving a bunch of better chains out, but I haven't exactly lived in America in the past six-plus years. And I'm not naming single-establishment or local chains that most people wouldn't know. Give me a break, here.)

That little deviation comes from the fact that Diamond Kings can be abbreviated DK. And Burger King can be abbreviated BK. And BK and DK sound similar. And I think I need to find a good burger shop soon before all I ever write about are cow sandwiches.

But I'm still working on a bunch of Diamond King sets. While the older years are moving along slowly, the current year's cards are much easier to find within my budget. And at a local card shop a couple weeks ago, I did just that.
 Hey, Reggie! Nice green and yellow shirt. When I think of Oakland baseball team, I think of green and yellow. But not the A's. Because you're unlicensed.
 Jackie Robinson cards carry a surprising premium. Yes, Jackie was an amazing player, especially given the difficulties he's faced, but nobody talks about him like they do Ruth or Mantle. So his high prices surprise me. But he's not so popular in Japan, so I get a good deal!
Speaking of Mantle, I kicked this The 500 card off my list too. This is my least favorite insert set from this year's Diamond King issue, because that giant box on the side feels so unnecessary and out of place. I guess it's a good spot for a big jersey piece or a cut autograph.

Until next time...