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

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Friday, November 2, 2012

Taichung Tinfoil: Finding Cards in Taiwan Part 2

Let's backtrack a bit. Before hunting for cards in Taipei, I traveled down the west coast of Taiwan visiting amusement parks and tourist destinations and taking in a couple baseball games.

I was heading back to the train station in Taichung after a day of sightseeing when I randomly came across a small baseball card shop. Actually, it was part card shop and part toy shop, and the toys are what really caught my eye at first. As soon as I saw the cards I started looking carefully.
 I didn't find any loose CPBL cards, but I found foil packs of Brother Elephants cards from (it appears) this year.
The pack backs carry a Family Mart logo, which is a convenience store found in Asia similar to 7-Eleven. They were $60 each (about $1.75). I bought two packs. The text at the top appears to list all the subsets in the checklist.

Here are the cards:
 The cards are pretty nice, with different front designs.My scanner doesn't pick up black borders well, but all the regular cards have black borders all around at a consistent thickness.
 This must be some sort of subset card.
 This looks to be the "base" card.
 The backs contain statistics, with 2011 stats at the top of the list. The whole card reads bottom to top if you follow traditional MLB card back layouts.
 Another base card, this time in a studio shot.
 Looks like Yu hasn't been seeing much action.
 Another subset card. I'm guessing these subsets focus on career highlights instead of statistics.

 Here's a coach or the manager.
 Oh, coach. Thanks, only English word on the back.
 The set is pretty large, somewhere around 100 cards.
 Note the authenticity hologram in the lower right corner.
 Here's a different subset, with a pitcher and catcher.
 I don't know what any of that says.
 There is a two-card checklist set with yellow borders. I have card one, which shows the mascots (I thought these were the Elephants?!) and cheer team. There must be some significance to these characters - perhaps the E. Sun Bank mascots.
 The back shows up to card 91. I wish I had checklist 2 to see what else is in the set.
 Each pack had a foil card, which are high-numbered and have different color borders. I don't know if each pack was supposed to have a foil in it, but my two packs did.
 They are identified as SPs on the back, and appear to highlight accomplishments for players in the prior season.
 I'm not sure how I pulled two of the same player in different colors. The green has a holofoil appearance while the red doesn't.
The back is identical to the red version.

I saw a small box of singles of these later when I was in Taiwan and at the time I didn't realize that different colors were parallels of the SPs. I think there was a black border parallel as well, or at least one other color. I didn't see any other "insert" sets in the box, so either there are no other special cards or they were sold already.
 Also in Taichung, I was in a 7-Eleven and I saw these prepaid iCash cards at the register. for TWD$200 (about 600 yen) you get the two cards. Then you load cash onto it for use at the stores. I don't know what the benefit to that is other than convenience, especially given the high price.
 The back of the cards are boring, as is the back of the packaging. I paid a good bit for these cards, but I never saw them again so I'm glad I bought them when I did.
 While attending my first CPBL game, the Lions fan club was handing out postcards honoring this player (A-Ran?) reaching 1000 hits. I was really glad to get one for free!
 It only took him 12 years to reach 1000 hits... really?
 Anyway, back to the Taichung card shop. Other than the Elephants packs, they had a lot of MLB product given the size of the shop. And it was cheap. And I should have spent more time there, but I didn't have it.
 All these MLB cards are the box loader cabinet cards, and they cost me $5-15 each (that's about 15-50 yen).
 I want this set. I really liked National Chicle.
Actually, I want all four sets. I kind of like the World Traveler set too.

The Taichung card store was a short walk from Taichung Station. Leaving the main exit for the station, turn left and walk down the main street for a while, on the side of the street opposite the tracks. I don't recall how far it was nor anything specific about the look of the shop, but keep your eye out at street level for a store with toys, action figures, comics, or anything else of that nature in the window. The cards were located on the right side of the shop looking in the front door.

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