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

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Taipei Trickery: Finding Cards in Taiwan Part 1

I go to great lengths to find the oddballs.

One of my top priorities while on my trip to Taiwan this summer was tracking down some CPBL cards. The CPBL is Taiwan's major baseball league, though it currently has only four teams.

Cards have been produced since 1990 by a couple different manufacturers, and currently are released by the league itself. But supplies dry up fast, and the language barrier really makes card store hunting difficult.
 I had some free time one afternoon so I checked in with one of the tourist information centers in Taipei and told them what I was looking for. About 15 minutes and a few phone calls later they directed me to go down a random alley.
 Though I had a decent map I still went past the alley but I didn't get too lost. There was a card store, hidden down a nondescript alley that I certainly never would have been down on purpose. It wasn't scary or anything. It's just one of hundreds "lanes" in Taipei that hold housing and random neighborhood shops.
 I was so happy to see cardboard, I started browsing cases and making a mental note of what I wanted to buy. Some stuff had prices, while others didn't.
 I saw some binders sitting on a shelf and started thumbing through them. There's a lot of basketball at this store, and I found some MLB binders. I also found a binder with random sports containing all these Ace Authentic tennis cards.
 I've made a mental (and written) note that I need to find a complete set of this product. I haven't been keeping up-to-date with my small tennis card collection. Each of these singles cost me about $10 in Taiwanese money, which comes to about 30 cents or 25 yen.
 Pat Burrell was about $30 (100 yen), and he's numbered to 150! All the cards in the binders were in sleeves with prices, unlike some of the case cards.
 My scanner butchered this Ripken card image due to the dark background and foil, but it was only TWD$10 as well. It's a Leaf Gold Stars insert from the mid 2000s.
 I was really working hard to get a type collection for this Leaf Sportscasters set but I've been kind of lazy lately. Finding this card for under $1 was a nice surprise.
 There were two Japanese idol cards in the binder for practically nothing. Of course, I bought them.
 How they ended up in Taiwan I'll never know, but now they're back home. Until I send them off to someone in America.
 I found a huge mess of these Baseball Heroes inserts from SP Authentic. I'm trying to put together a full set of all the Baseball Heroes sets (not counting parallels and autographs) and the inserts from 2006 and 2007 are quite challenging to locate. I could probably find a bunch on Sportlots or COMC but I've been sticking with card shows and stores.
 I picked up a couple dozen for 10-25 yen each! I didn't need all of them but they were still worth buying.
I could have probably spent more time looking through MLB binders, but that wasn't my focus on this trip. I spent only a few minutes pulling all these cards out before I found the binder with CPBL cards.
 I'll get to the CPBL cards next time. But first, I picked up this little figurine. It doesn't appear to do anything; I'm not sure what the base is for. Maybe it is an ink stamp, but I didn't play with it to find out.
And here's the back.

Taiwanese cards coming up soon! Until then...


  1. The figure was probably a premium with a bottled drink of some kind. I've got a tiny Ichiro bobble head on a base just like that from a Pepsi bottle in Japan from several years ago.

  2. Jason - interesting story. I came across a few tiny Ichiro bottle-top figurines last weekend and grabbed them all! With a better look, the yellow guy looks like a bottle drink premium too. These days, the premiums are just attached to the drinks somehow instead of being part of a bottle cap.