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

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Saturday, January 4, 2014

Card Stores in Japan: Wrappers in Akihabara

There are two true card shops in Akihabara, a Mint/Yellow Submarine store found in the Radio Hall building near the JR station, and Wrappers, found a few minutes away from the rest of the Akihabara action.

Wrappers recently rearranged their store, which I realized when I went looking for some more oddball-ish cards for a trade in November.
 I spent some time looking around the various little trays, looking for new-to-me cards not issued by BBM or Calbee. I found a bunch of Data Cards. That's the name of the set; look at the back:
I also poked through some of the older Calbee boxes to work on the type collection and find Mike Diaz cards.
 This is a regional Calbee with a gold name variant. It's not extremely rare but I haven't seen it elsewhere.
 Here is an early version of a Calbee Star Card. If it didn't have a Calbee logo on the back, I'd think it was a Broder issued in America.
 And I needed this 1970s-era card for the type collection.
 I found a Fighters team-issued 2011 bromide of Darvish among a bunch of others. It's a large size - about the same as a postcard.

So how did the store change? I'm not sure if they got rid of anything or just reorganized the space, but the trading card section is now much smaller, and there is a larger space devoted to CCG cards. I realize that I haven't made a post about this store anyway, but readers of NPB Card Guy's Japanese Baseball Cards probably saw his post (with photos) about the store.  I would guess they cut back on some of the complete sets or just reorganized that area, as the boxes and boxes of singles still remain. I'm a little worried they might try to clearance some of it out, though, so I'll probably make a trip again soon to compare. They are still stocking new cards though, so they aren't disappearing anytime soon as a baseball card store.

Here is their current (as of late November) business card:
You can check out their blog in Japanese if you'd like. Store hours are 12-8 weekdays, 11-7 on Saturday, closed on Sunday. Expect to pay 50 yen per card for common singles, though non-BBM/Calbee cards and older inserts seem to be all over the place as far as price to value. Your mileage may vary.


  1. The Data Card is identified in Engel's 7th Edition as 1989 Mermaid Data Cards (JG 5). I didn't realize I'd missed adding this set to the SCF system until I tried looking it up. It's a 50 card set, that according to Engel was included 1 card per package of Ice Candy or Gumi Jelly.

  2. Yeah - I forgot to include the brand name. The katakana above "Data Card" says Mermaid, basically. They are some of the least interesting cards I've ever seen, especially for their price. I guess the nod to "modern" technology with the "DATA CARD" font on the back is somewhat amusing, if about 5 years too late.

  3. I respectfully disagree - there's ONE true card store in Akihabara and it's Wrappers. Cards are an afterthought at that Mint store, although I did pick up some good items. But you can't really do any serious set building there, unlike Wrappers.

    Mermaid is on the list of sets I need to do a post about sometime.

  4. Akihabara has several card stores, but they have nothing but card game cards; BBM/Calbee/etc can be found occasionally in other places too. Wrappers is certainly well-stocked for set building, especially compared to Mint, but Mint does carry the latest packs and singles at a pretty good price. For those looking for packs/boxes, idol cards, or newer releases, it's convenient and the only Mint store with singles at 30 yen each. It is a hole in the wall, but an important one at that, compared with the other places you can get "cards" in Akiba.

    I'm headed to Wrappers now - it's Sunday but I think I misread the business card when I wrote the post and they could be open 7 days a week.