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

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Set Gallery: 2014 BBM Fairies on the Lane Bowling

When it comes to women on sports cards, Japan is probably the best place to be. Sports and clubs are unbelievably important parts of junior high and high school students' lives, frequently carrying on to college and beyond. If you meet anyone over the age of 13, you could ask them what club they are or were in and you'll get an answer.

And most of them participate in sports clubs: soccer, baseball, swimming, badminton, and tennis are the most popular as far as I can tell. And continuing into adulthood, sports continue to be popular. Even "fringe" sports in America are newsworthy here with a market heavily focused on niches. The Real Venus annual set gives a broad look at sports in Japan, but BBM also issues cards for specific sports here and there.

The "Fairies" series has been used for both golf and bowling, and the latest set features active 10-pin greats.
 There are two types of cards in the set. The first 24 cards are "action" shots, usually showing the bowler on their follow through. Some show the women in their backswing. There aren't too many "poses" to choose from when it comes to bowling motion. Perhaps some ball polishing shots, or picking up a ball, or maybe tying their shoes or adjusting their wrist straps. Maybe a photo where they hover their hand over that small fan.

Anyway, the backs of these cards have some career highlights and statistics beneath a portrait head shot and some biographical stats.

 The second half of the set (cards 25-48) has posed half-body photos of the bowlers with their balls on greenish cards. The backs have stories of the players' happy moments. I'm not sure what Mika's is but it seems to involve being featured on a DVD. Glancing at the cards it looks like the women wrote their own messages.

The complete 48-card set comes in each box along with one special card and one autographed card for 4000 yen.
The 12-card combination die cut set looks really fun with lots of bright pastels. There are 250 copies of each card, though I don't know if they're serial-numbered.
As for autographs, each subject signed 100 black-ink cards and 20 pink-ink cards. Last year's autographs were die-cut, but these still look nice.
Additionally, each of the 24 women signed five "cheki" polaroid-style photos.


  1. These are awesome!!!! What's 4000 yen in American money?

    1. About $40. Sets without the autographed cards are around $5.

  2. Love this set... but you already knew that. My faves are...

    Hiromi and her eyeglasses
    Seul Ki and her leggings
    Mariko and her smile

    Wow... pulling one of those Polaroid autographs would be sweet!

    1. I don't remember offhand if I have a set for you now or not, but I'll make sure I get one! That style of eyeglasses is pretty popular here.

      I would love to have one of the rare autographs. The chekis first came from idol products, I think.