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Friday, March 17, 2017

Menko Madness: Show Me the Money

Before you get any ideas, no, these menko aren't really worth a lot... I don't think. Really, non-sport menko aren't very valuable. But there's a theme in a few of these sets.
 The first set card has  a dinosaur and playing card symbols on the front. This has silver borders. The back has a circle with a flying machine and janken symbol, and the bottom half is a complete loss to me aside from the very long menko number.
 This next card is designed like money. I'm calling this the Nippon Ginko set due to the money name on the back. The left-hand kanji is the value of the money in Japanese characters. The text across the top and on the right side refer to this being a children's toy.
 My card back is mis-printed, but the money value here is obviously different from the value on the front.  The typical menko number and janken hand appear on the back.
 This card is similar to the Maruta cards I showed yesterday; I guess you could classify this as the same set. Ultraman makes an appearance on the front in artwork style, with a Boeing B52 plane on the back.
 These are very similar to the Maruta sets, but there is no manufacturer symbol. Except the one rogue Maruta card (top-right) that got into the stack. Some of these have silver borders (bottom right has white). The ink color varies, too.
 As compared to the Nippon Ginko, this is the Kodomo Ginko (Children's Bank) set. The value is 1000 yen for each card on the front and back, so at least they match. The fronts are basically identical, except for printing quality, The menko number is on the front, but the back has a rock-paper-scissors symbol. Note the two ink colors here.
 This set carries the Marusho symbol on the back with a hero cartoon art. The copyright line says "Pii Production" but I don't know the reference.
 This menko somehow ended up upside down. The front has a copyright across the bottom (look at the top of the card) while the back tells you how to play a card stacking game. The back identifies this as a "Lotte Game Card" and is probably card #7.
 Trains are extremely popular here, so it shouldn't be surprising that there are train menko cards. The back has details about the train as well as the usual menko number and janken symbol.
 This set can be dubbed the Television Quiz set. Fronts have images from popular TV shows and the back has an image inside a television which you are supposed to identify.
 Finally, these are "quiz" card menkos. Most of these have silver borders and appear to come from the same set, while the white one in the middle is probably from another issue.
They are quiz cards because the back has a quiz in Japanese. For those of you following along at home, these are the same backs as JCM 58 (1975-76 Flag Front). So the issue date is probably around then.


  1. I regret not picking up more Dragons menkos in Japan.

    1. There is an entire Dragons menko set, but I've never seen the whole thing intact. You do have a knack for finding things like that, though.

  2. Ultraman is cool. But that Nippon Ginko is the coolest in this particular post! Great design. Although... it's weird that the value on the back doesn't match the front.

    1. I've talked about in the past how card backs don't correlate to the front - they seem to be entirely random at times. NPB Card Guy and I had a short discussion on another post about menko backs naming players that don't appear on the front.