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

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

More Japanese Cards from America!

Trading cards internationally is a somewhat funny idea. I am having cards sent from America to Japan, and whenever I finally decide to come home, they'll go back across the Pacific.

Trading Japanese cards internationally is downright goofy. I'm not talking about my sending cards to the States, where people don't usually get a chance to see them. I mean getting Japanese cards in trades.

But this is the second trade with The NPB Card Guy and my third trade of Japanese cards from the States (the other time being with Rob Fitts, who is getting his eBay business back up - whenever he lets me know it's ready I am going to post the link for him). Yeah. These cards started here, went halfway around the world, and now have found their way back home. Yin and yang. Full circle. Etc etc.

It doesn't mean I don't want them:
 Japanese cards are way overpriced. Or is it that US cards are way underpriced? Either way, this card is worth MEGA MASSIVE DOUGH YO OMG I HIT THE LOTTERY. Well, if you look at price guides and store asking prices. Truth be told, on the secondary market I think singles of equal print runs and star status cost about the same as in the US, perhaps a bit higher. This is a nice parallel...
 And another not-quite-as-limited-but-still-nice parallel! Both from 2005 BBM 1st Version.
 I sent a large box his way a couple weeks ago, around the same time he sent me a small box. It worked out in the end, trust me.
 I don't know how or why he had cards like this, but if I need them, I need them...
 And that includes these team set cards. I commented earlier that 1990s BBM cards aren't really that easy to find in stores, especially if they're not part of the flagship issue. I don't frequent Yahoo Auctions, though I gather there is a good bit of product sitting out there.
 Magic motion! BBM tried some of the gimmick ideas that US makers used too, with the foil signatures and foil background inserts being the only real survivors.
 Speaking of foil signatures..
 Here's another signed parallel pair! BBM does only partial parallels of base sets, with perhaps a couple minor exceptions. Insert sets frequently have full parallels, though.
 Some parallels were better off left unprinted. But they exist!
 I posted about a Climax Series card I picked up a couple months ago, and I was alerted to the fact that each team had their own individually-numbered set, plus the insert cards. I now have one card from each of the six team sets, plus the Central and Pacific insert cards (which appear to be only two sets total). There was a full team set in the package, plus this insert.

Vintage cards were also to be found in the box:
Plain, but unique, this game card has a playing card symbol at the top. Could you imagine playing poker with baseball players, using baseball cards?
Some people complain about how some sets look the same from year to year - I am one of those. But just imagine how difficult it has been for pioneers in Japanese card cataloging to distinguish between all the menkos with very similar fronts and sometimes very similar backs.
 The same goes for bromides. I love Japanese vintage because it is so simple. Photos and text on cards. No flashy graphics designs, foils, parallels, inserts, parallels of inserts, autographs, relics... It's one reason so many people love Calbee. It's consistent and while it does have inserts and some parallels and insert parallels in its history, it's predictable and obtainable year after year. Not that it's easy or cheap to put together a full set run from 1973.
Oh, speaking of modern cards, this MLB card snuck into the box. I was thinking I'd have to use COMC to get it, but unannounced, there it was!

This package was such a joy to open and look through! Thanks, NPB Card Guy! I found your BBM Rookie Edition Classic and Buffaloes '13 Rookies and Young Stars box sets on Monday. Still looking for the rest...

Until then!


  1. Glad you liked the cards. Thanks for looking for stuff for me!

  2. Nice cards, I particularly like the menkos there. I only have a few of them and as you mention, the thought of trying to figure out which is which based on the backs, which are almost all the same, is pretty daunting. So I just have them in a little pile somewhere at random.

    And needless to say I agree with your point about how awesome Calbee is :)

  3. NPB Card Guy: Always glad to hunt. The chase is part of the fun!

    Sean: Thanks to Engel's guide, it's so much easier. But the 2008 edition is missing sets and the 2012 edition isn't complete either. I still consider myself pretty ignorant about teams and players, but I've learned a lot between my awards collections and identifying menkos. I make so many mistakes when IDing cards...