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

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Japanese Repacks: Hawks Version

If you enjoyed yesterday's Marines "repack" then you should really enjoy this one! My per-card price was much lower because there were several more cards, though there were fewer inserts in the pack.
 After just three cards, I already see a single from my favorite BBM throwback set. The Hawks team set in 2012 was patterned after a few different old MLB sets, with some of the subsets having even better designs!
 The 2000 BBM set is one of the best designs they've had, although it's a bit dated now, obviously. And while there were fewer inserts and oddballs in the Hawks pack, subset cards fit nicely into my collection too!
 I've generally avoided BBM's team anniversary sets, mainly because I'm not a team fan and I'd rather collect the general issues. Except for my type collection, of course. But that Hawks 75th Anniversary set looks pretty nice.
  The Fukuoka Legacy set is also interesting because the circles on the front recognize accomplishments the players made - I guess being DH in the 2011 Japan Series was about the best they could do for Matsunaka.
 My scanner cropped that Keyman insert incorrectly. I like the Arakaki card with him interacting with the fans, though!

 How about some awards? I like the Golden Glove card more because you can see the background in the image. BBM likes to crop the rest of the action out in many of its cards, which removes the beauty of the ballpark.
 While the 2012 Hawks set was beautifully done as a throwback, BBM abandoned the concept and went back to simple modern designs the next year, as you can see above.
 One thing I think Topps could work on providing is a line of sets similar to BBM's anniversary sets. MLB's history is deeper than the NPB, so a 200-card set for most teams wouldn't be out of the question. Anything more than that would really dilute the set, but with 200 cards you could hit every era and recognize some of the semi-stars and fan favorites that helped teams come together.
 The LaHair card has brought to light the fact that set overlap between this and the Marines pack is minimal. Granted, there are lots of team issues jammed into each pack, but there aren't many main sets that are shared between the two packs I picked up.
 It's quite surprising how little the team logos end up on the front of BBM cards.
 One of these three cards has a logo, in the form of the team flag. The others hide the team name in thin text.
 On one hand, no logos (or tiny logos) reduces the clutter on a card. On the other hand, Japanese baseball especially focuses on teams - all my students who are baseball fans can name their favorite team and a few players quite easily.
 Mascot cards are cool. But it feels like BBM puts them in every team set and their flagship sets every year.
 The Terahara card got clipped by my scanner due to the dark background. But with three pitchers in a row, now's a good time to note that players are almost always shown doing exactly what they're known for. There are very few "candid" shots on regular cards. At the same time, posed head shots are also quite rare.
 Genesis is BBM's current premium brand. Yes, BBM has only one truly premium packed-out release each year. I like that, and it should stay that way. I would argue that the box set format is similar to a premium pack release, though at least you get all the base cards with each purchase, instead of only a couple base cards or even a release with no base cards at all.
 And BBM's flagship has "several" parallels - less than five for any one card. There are only a couple insert sets, and a single autograph set and relic set. BBM makes sure each team gets the same number of cards in almost every release, too.
 The red and blue cards came from one of those box set releases.
 The last two BBM cards in the pack were subsets from the flagship set. BBM's flagship is more interesting because they have so many subsets. Though I guess Topps just turns all those subsets into insert sets to "add value" to packs. Which do you prefer - subsets or insert sets?
 I mentioned that there were fewer oddball sets included - these two cards from Epoch's Rookie of the Year set were it.
The two inserts were placed on the front and back of the pack to get buyers excited. The Kokubo is just a parallel - a "kira" version that's a simple foil parallel which was available in "light" packs. Light packs were less expensive and had little to no chance of getting anything but base cards and exclusive parallels. BBM's abandoned that idea, though I can find a few boxes of those at some stores in the clearance bins. The Hawks Dream Team card was cropped by my scanner again, but it was the whole reason for buying this pack because I needed it in my collection!

Well, that's it for the Hawks! Which pack would you prefer: the one with more cards (Hawks) or the one with more inserts and oddballs (Marines)?


  1. I'd take either repack. If they had any of these sitting on my local Target's shelves, I'd be all over either. Great stuff!

  2. These are interesting - I had no idea that stores were doing this, although it makes a lot of sense. I think I like the Marines one better - it's a lot more diverse and has a lot of older cards. The Hawks repack looks like it only has one card older than 10 years.

    After really liking the Hawks team set in 2012, I really hated the one they did last year. All the player cards have the same background.

  3. I wish that the American repacks were single-club-only repacks. Of course, I'd never find Milwaukee ones here in Atlanta!

  4. I've been finding a few repacks/grab bags in different stores lately and buying them to get an idea of what goodies are inside. I found an interesting one at a secondhand hobby shop last weekend, too.

    Most stores don't do team-specific packs, though the Mint locations have 1000-yen and 2000-yen grab bags and the idea of clearance bags has been around for a long time in Japan. Every January all stores put together awesome packages of clearanced products that are essentially "lucky" bags. Apple even gives away a few high end items (iPads/iPhones) scattered among the hundred or so bags they sell each year.

    I think I've heard of one single-club focused repack, but team collecting in the US isn't as strong as in Japan. The concept could work at shows, if the market at that show was diverse enough to allow for all teams' packs to sell - something like the National. This store didn't sell any Marines repacks, though - the cards were for out of market teams. Perhaps that's one reason why they were so cheap (and needing to be clearanced).