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

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Card Shops in Japan: Mint Ponyland, Nagoya

Thanks to Kenny, I was well-educated as to what Mint Ponyland would carry. I'm only paraphrasing a bit when he said it was the best card store in Nagoya for singles. I got there about 45 minutes before closing.
 The store is quite large, even by US card store standards! I found a bunch of boxes near the front which were sorted by team. The boxes were full of random base cards and occasional inserts and oddballs. I found this DigiCube card in the mix.
 Here's the back - the set was released in 2000.
 I found another Touch The Game single I needed.
 BBM issued a set commemorating the Dragons being the 2004 Central League Champions, and I found a bunch of singles in the box.
 There were worthy cards from other teams - a Lions Pacific League Champions card from 2002.
 Lions 30th Anniversary set.
 Konami Field of Nine game card.
 Power League was a card game released in 2000 and 2001 - there were a few different series issued but the game must have never caught on.
 I thought this was a good pickup. Upper Deck issued a set of Japanese Olympic Team members, including at least a couple baseball players. Though this is card number 222, I was only able to find a couple dozen different cards of mostly uninteresting sports.
 Konami's Prime Nine game cards are printed on foil board. They probably cost too much to make, which is why Baseball Heroes and Allstars are printed on regular gaming card stock.
 I bought two complete sets at Ponyland. They had several boxed sets with the special cards removed, just as I find at other stores. I first picked up the new 2000 Hits Club set - three players joined the club this year and they are the focus. It would have been nice to include the other members of the club.
 Fairies on the Lane is a women's bowling set, if you didn't guess already. Women's sports cards seem to be fairly popular here in Japan.

I didn't spend much time going through the sorted boxes, but there were dozens of 5000-count boxes full of singles for set building in multiple sports, including idol cards. Singles start at 50 yen, which is more than the CAPS Mint location, but both stores would be good sources for people looking for specific singles when filling want lists. Being so well-organized, when I can return I hope to find some good oddballs and box set singles for my collection.

Mint Ponyland is located at Nakamurakoen Station from the Higashiyama (yellow) subway line. Use exit 6, and look for the Ponyland sign across the main street on an upper floor. It's very convenient to reach! If you're using a Mint point card, you won't be able to use it here, because they have their own.


  1. I have never seen the DigiCube cards before. I checked and they are NOT included in Gary Engel's last Japanese checklist book. Looks like I have yet another project to add to the to-do list!

  2. I think I've seen boxes of the DigiCube cards offered for sale on Yahoo! Japan Auctions but I'd never actually seen the cards before.

    That Olympic card is really cool. Do you know who the baseball players in the set are? The 2000 Japanese Olympic baseball team was a combination of eight NPB players (including Daisuke Matsuzaka, So Taguchi, Norihiro Nakamura, Yukio Tanaka and Nobuhiko Matsunaka) and a bunch of guys out of the industrial leagues (most notably Norihiro Akahoshi, who was Rookie of the Year with the Tigers in 2001 and went on to have a 10 year or so career). Calbee had a subset in their 2001 set for the 8 NPB players but I wonder if the Upper Deck set just has the industrial league guys.

    Damn, now I want something else that'll be impossible to find from the States...

  3. Love the Fairies on the Lane set! Headed off to eBay to see if I can find a set or some packs. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Jason: yeah, I believe it's a team issue, and it seems like Engel left out most of the team issues except for some popular ones.

    NPB Card Guy: I've seen some other DigiCube card elsewhere, too, though I could be wrong in my memory. As for the Olympic cards, the only baseball player I saw is Doi. I really want to find a full set of these somewhere including all the sports, though I fear it will be impossible. I might have to try assembling a set, which I doubt will ever happen completely.

    Fuji: I'll find one for you eventually! Are you interested in multiple years or other sports? I've seen golf, wrestling, swimming, and gymnastics - plus the other sets I discovered and posted about today.

    1. I'm totally interested in any of those sports... especially if they have the ladies. However, I'm on a fixed budget... so if they're crazy expensive, I'd have to pass.

      The prices you quoted in the email works for me ;-)

    2. I asked Mr. Engel about the more recent issues when his last edition came out and he (a lot like Bob Lemke in the US) is mostly interested in vintage cards, so he concentrated only on the most mainstream modern sets, and like with the Standard Catalog, his most recent edition is vintage-only.

      On other subject, a year or to ago, there was also a Fairies on the Fairway set for lady golfers in Japan.

    3. Fuji: you got it, and the base sits run about 300-500 yen each, usually.

      Jason: I saw that the new version only includes vintage cards. I'm guessing there's more interest in identifying vintage, but I'm glad you're cataloging all the recent stuff and hopefully I'm giving a little bit of help exposing the world to some of the oddballs.

      I have the Fairway set, and I think it might have been released a couple times. I keep discovering more of these small box sets, and I saw that the new Real Venus set is coming soon too.

    4. Thanks Ryan... that would be awesome!