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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

2014 Calbee Is Here! Five Packs For You

Last Sunday, I made the rounds from store to store, doing some end-of-the-month shopping. One of my stops was the Mint Ikebukuro location, where I noticed they had just put out their Calbee Series 1 singles. They even had the bags of chips still sitting off to the side. I'm not sure what they do with them.

I flipped through the cards, but didn't buy any. I wanted to wait and see what I could get from packs myself. I was also looking for graham crackers in markets, for a friend who wanted to make a cheesecake. I didn't get any graham crackers (they're really tough to find here), and I didn't see any Calbee baseball chips on Sunday. But Monday afternoon I went to another store for a little shopping and noticed they had a fresh "case" of Calbee Pro Yakyu chips ready to go on the shelves. The woman was very nice to open the box for me, probably happy that I would be making her stocking job easier. I grabbed 10 bags; here are the first 5 packs.
 Calbee goes with a design that works. It really doesn't change from year to year.
 Pack one: two base cards.
 Pack two: two base cards again. The photos are sharp and clear. Aranami's slide is interesting.
 I remember Luna was batting over .400 for a while last year. I like that Itoh horizontal play at the plate photo though! Pack three had just two base cards again.
 Ueda's shot is most likely from an actual game, while Mori is taking infield. NPB players take infield just like high school teams do; MLB teams don't do that. Pack four: two more base cards.
 Jane Fonda ain't got a motor in the back of her Honda. Pack five finally gives me an insert:
The Starcard insert/subset (I call it insert, since it's numbered separately from the base set) is the only one in packs that uses any special printing techniques; as usual there's a starburst-design foil coating on the card to make it sparkly-shiny.

There are six insert sets in Series 1, though five of them have between 2 and 4 cards each. I'm not aware of any "limited" printing on the subsets or inserts, although the Starcard set could be limited. Time will tell. There usually is a gold foil signature parallel of the Starcard set, too. Calbee is doing a Lucky Winner card this year too! Hopefully I can pull one of those cards and get the special binder and one of the lucky cards... actually I think you get both lucky cards with the binder.

Five down, five to go from my first purchase. I might be inspired to completely build the 2014 set by hand. I'd need to buy some cards from the store to finish my set; for a master set I'll need to buy about 60-something bags of chips if I don't pull any duplicates (124 cards including the "inserts"). Ten a week, yup. I can do that... just gotta get my coworkers to eat some of the chips.


  1. I think the Star cards are considered a separate, premium insert/subset and the other subsets are considered part of the regular set. At least when I buy the "complete" set from my source, I get everything except the Star cards. Jambalaya shows pricing for the base set (6000 yen), the base set plus the Star cards (120000 yen) and the base set, the Star cards and the mail-in Title Holders set (200000 yen).

    Can't wait to get this year's Calbees. So jealous you've got them already!

  2. Are there still the occasional foil signature parallels in Calbee sets anymore? In the past there have been parallels issued that just weren't announced, like a different refractive pattern on the Star Cards (or no pattern at all) or facsimile signature cards. Most of the time no one seems to know they exist until they turn up on the auction sites and collectors' blogs. Sort of like how BBM doesn't do a very good job of announcing all their parallels up front (or which parts of the checklist the parallels apply to).