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Sunday, January 28, 2018

Oddball: 2004 Kirin Japan Olympic Team Trading Cards

I'm taking a bit of a break this weekend from the KBO posts as I'm rearranging my apartment a bit. It's kind of a disaster area right now, though I guess I could be more active in getting things done. And I guess I could have done a lot of it during that long winter vacation.

My friend lent me her pocket wifi router early this month - they signed a new contract and I'm basically running out the rest of the month's service on this one. I gotta say, it's nice to have reliable internet again. The month is almost over, though, and with my new room arrangement there will be no internet! I just gotta go get my own service, and hopefully I can do that tomorrow after my health checkup. But meanwhile, here's a post that should be pretty quick getting out but interesting nonetheless.

Until the past six years or so, there hasn't be a really reliable Olympic set issued in America. I always look forward to the sets Topps issues every other year for the respective Games. Japan has a similar issue; I think there has been only one real comprehensive Japan Olympic Team set - the 1999 MRM/Upper Deck set for the 2000 Sydney Olympics. (By the way, I need just two cards for that.)

BBM issues small box sets for successful teams - there was a curling box set a few years ago, and gymnastics shows up from time to time. And while I haven't really looked into it in detail, I know at least some of the athletes in Real Venus/Shining Venus have competed in the Olympics.

I'm really hoping something great shows up in two years when the Games come to Tokyo. As always, I'd be glad to help work on such a set! But until then, I have this release:
 For the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, beverage company Kirin issued a five-card set which must have been packaged or distributed with its drinks. Given that each pack has only one card, it's certainly likely that they were free with any of their beer or non-alcoholic drinks. The back of the pack does have a warning about drinking responsibly though, so I'm leaning towards beer instead of soft drinks.

I grabbed a 10-pack lot and ended up with a full set and of course several duplicates. One card I ended up with four copies of, eliminating the possibility of a full set. Here is the full set, front and back.
 Shingo Suetsugu
 Kouji Surofushi (Koji Surofushi)
 Mizuki Noguchi
 Ryouko Tani (Ryoko Tani)
Kousei Inoue (Kosei Inoue)

Come on 2020! Bring me a great card set!


  1. I really wish BBM did a set for the Winter Olympics this year too. Alas, I don't think it is meant to be.

    1. Shining Venus just came out... I guess that's as close as we'll get.

  2. Well crap - I was hoping from the title of your post that you'd found a card set that included the 2004 Olympic baseball team.

    1. Don't I wish. I wish there were more cards in the set, but I guess it wasn't to be.

  3. Cool set. Looks like 3 out of 5 won gold in 2004. 60% is darn good.

    1. That may be why they were put in this set - super-high chance of gold?