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

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

2019 BBM Time Travel 1979

BBM's first 2019 set was released in late 2018. American card collectors might understand this concept, since manufacturers rushed to release the first sets with the prior year's stats as quickly as possible. I remember finding cards with prior-year statistics before Christmas in the 1990s. Of course, a lot of that changed around 2006 or so, when the MLB started setting some rules on card releases.

These days, the year's first release is a flagship - 2019 Topps came out recently, and 2019 Donruss will be out soon. Some manufacturers (Leaf, mainly) seem to issue some sets into the next year; there are still some "release-pending" 2018 issues six months into 2019.

But in Japan, BBM issues its first 2019 sets long before its flagship. Both this set and Glory came out before New Years, the annual retirement set came out this month, and Rookie Edition is either out now or will be out very soon. In fact, a couple of BBM's team sets might be released before the flagship First Version.

Time Travel focuses on a particular year in the past; if you haven't guessed from the title, the 2019 set goes back 40 years to 1979. This is BBM's only "throwback" set.

I really look forward to this set every year, mainly because of the throwback design and the inclusion of some pop culture references. It's a nice replacement for the Historic Collection sets BBM used to do. And it must be pretty popular, as it is always a bit difficult finding a full set at a reasonable price.
 Base cards use a brown card stock with very little gloss. Backs use just one color, similar to menko cards of the era. The regular cards are #1-72.
 Six players who retired in 1979 are featured in the first subset (#73-78).
 The next eight cards are titled 1979 Retrospective (#79-86).
 I'm sure you can guess the topic of "Born in 1979", card #87-92.
 The final four cards look at society in 1979. While pop culture is featured, this NEC computer got its own card as well.

Moving on to inserts, we get to the Title Holders series.

There really isn't much difference between the Central League Title Holders and Pacific League Title Holders sets. Each set has nine cards, and both have parallel versions #/30.
The only premium insert in this release are autographs. Those are #/90 or less. I don't have a copy of one yet for my collection, so the above photo is a promotional image from BBM.

Monday, February 18, 2019


From time to time, cards and/or sets don't properly get added to my lists. As accurate as I try to be, my type collection is missing plenty of listings, I'm sure, and I know my inventory isn't always accurate. 

One set that isn't quite right is BBM's 2000 O-N box set. The set was originally sold for 30,000 yen, which is about $300. Each set came with a 54-card set, and actually, there were two versions. You can read about the two versions, and NPBCardGuy's adventures with the set, here.

And you might recognize this card from his post:
This is #ON-B26. It comes from the Basic set. This card was sent to me by NPBCardGuy, and it's my first and only card from the set. I now need to chase down a regular base card of the basic and limited versions of the set... or just get the whole set. However I might do that.

Thanks, NPBCardGuy!

Until next time...

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Being a Team Player

Every card in my type collection is technically equal. My 1989 Topps base card is just as important to finishing my collection as a 1/1 Babe Ruth autograph. In fact, since I focus most on base cards, followed by inserts, I would argue that the '89 Topps nickel box single is more important. 

But nickel box singles are a dime a dozen. And mainstream cards aren't so hard to find; even "rare" parallels and inserts can be found online somewhere. It's the regional and team issues that I find most challenging to locate. And in Japan, I'm pretty sure the vast majority of them are uncatalogued. 

So these team issues are more exciting to find, even if they are "equal" to the base cards.
 This is 2017 BayStars B*Spirit. B*Spirit is the BayStars fan club. Most team issues in Japan are issued through the fan clubs, though some teams (including the Eagles and BayStars in 2018) issue their own regular sets, and other teams (especially the Giants) distribute cards as stadium giveaways.

The card has an interesting holographic foil coating, which showed up in my scan. Each card has four different photos, and the season slogan can be found on the back.
 The 2018 B*Spirit set only has two photos, but both are full-bleed images. And this year has statistics. The front of Yamasaki's card commemorates three years of 20 saves per season.
 Team Venus is the name of the Yomiuri Giants cheerleading squad. I don't know who exactly issued this set or how it was distributed, but thanks to Anna's signature including the year, we can see that it was issued in 2015. The back has a bunch of little facts, like what she recommends at Tokyo Dome and her catchphrase. It seems to be a requirement that every celebrity, mascot, and performer in Japan must have their own catchphrase.

The final three cards were issued by the Swallows in 2008. They are parallels, as noted below.
 The base card is similar to most trading cards. It reminds me a lot of the cardstock Hits uses for its idol cards and oddball sets. And Hits has issued a few Swallows sets recently that make me believe they were the printers. Base cards have Y prefixes in their card number.
 Holofoil parallels have a busy coating on the front similar to the BayStars card at the top of this post; you can probably make out the pattern in the scan. Holofoil parallels have Ys prefixes.
 Finally, I have this black printed signature - it's a facsimile signature. These have YsS prefixes.