What is the ugliest card set you've ever seen?
But they're all stuck in America, showing American baseball cards, with American baseball players. And while I could look through my US type collection cards to find some ugly designs, I thought I'd take a look at the cards I've found in the past six months here in Japan. So you won't see any Topps, Upper Deck, or gaudy Fleer, Score, or Donruss from the junk wax era.
Finding oddballs isn't easy here. They just disappear into the ether once they're issued. But there's a good bit of BBM, Calbee, and game cards to choose from. Let's take a short look at some of them.
As a collectible for baseball fans, they have nothing going from them. I understand they're designed for another purpose, though, so they just receive honorable mention.
#4 BBM Parallels. When you're the only game in town, you're going to end up on this list several times. Sorry, BBM, you just have so little competition. All the team issues this year have foil parallels that seem to have no extra value over the base cards. Plus, I don't care much for foil parallels like this. Many teams have something going on (the Giants team issue has a giant silver G logo on the gold foil background). I've seen foil signature cards for other BBM issues which I'm happy with. But those are tougher to find, and thus have value over the base version.
But he has boobs. And he's holding a plunger and apparently wearing rubber gloves. And shin guards (I guess he's a catcher). And he's Godzilla-sized. Plus, I think he has tattoos. He's wearing a cape? Is he the Giants version of a toilet-fixing superhero? Is he Mario from the video game, but if he left plumbing to become a baseball player, but never lost his love of clearing the most stubborn clogs?
I like the cartoon. It's fun. But this little line-art drawing is etched into a little gold foil sticker, so nobody can really see it. Frankly, I'm very surprised it scanned. And that's why I think it's the ugliest Japanese issue. This is a 2008 issue by Lotte (the company that owns the Chiba Marines and sells lots of chocolates and other food goods). The cards/stickers were found inserted into these chocolate cream filled wafer things from 2006-2008. There are stickers still being made somewhat similar to this, most recently seen when I went to Fukuoka:
The funny thing is, the cartoons issued by Lotte from 2006-2008 that aren't gold foil-etched are pretty good, even if they're on a foil background too.
The gold foil stickers just don't look good. Granted, they aren't vomit-inducing, but line art cartoons and foil really shouldn't be mixed. And that's my opinion! There are plenty of boring designs, and some really gaudy inserts too, but I excuse inserts since some of the craziest inserts are also the best. No, parallels aren't inserts.
Hmm, now that I think about it, I might need to try to put together the Lotte stickers sets because of the awesomely wonderful cartoons. Yeah, that'll be easy. Yep.