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

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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Buying Women's Clothing, a.k.a. Idol Relic Cards

I guess idol cards can be filed under "those crazy things Japanese people do!", but America's done it too. Tobacco companies had series of beautiful ladies inserted in their products well over 100 years ago, and there are plenty of card sets issued in the 1980s through 2000s by Playboy, Hustler, and other adult magazine companies. And then there are all those Benchwarmer sets.

Japan has issued cards for idol singers for decades, generally in the form of bromides. Starting in the 1990s, standard trading cards for race queens and bikini models hit the shelves, quickly evolving into what we have today.

Just like Benchwarmer sets, Japanese idol cards have autographs, kiss cards, and relics. There are often Polaroid photos, called chekis, too.

Of course, relic cards for models are generally going to be clothes. So, buying relic cards, I guess I'm picking up some women's clothing. Anyway... Yuko Ogura is my favorite idol, and I found a cheap lot of relics from early in her career.
The Avant Garde sets came out from 2003-2005, with a couple of just Yuko and at least one more featuring several models. This relic is just a pair of pajamas.
 Here's a skirt relic from a cute costume in the Avant Garde set.
 Sakurado still issues cards today, including some baseball sets. This swatch is of her "dress", which is actually a flannel shirt.
 Bomb is a gravure magazine, and several sets have been issued under various Bomb titles. This is a skirt relic. Note the Avant Garde mention in the copyright line.
Finally, this Hyper card, also through Avant Garde, is another Bomb line (I think). This relic is not of that bikini, but the scarf she has draped over her head.

All four make for nice additions to my Yuko collection!


  1. No idea who Yuko is... but these cards are pretty awesome!

    1. A one time, she was considered the hottest gravure idol in Japan. Might still be, though she's not modeling anymore.

  2. Did I miss it, but what company makes these?

    1. I'm not 100% sure, but I consider the first two cards to be from ColleCarA, and the others from Sakurado/whatever the company goes by. Honestly, it's really confusing and I believe the same actual company printed all of them, and they're released under various brand names. It's similar to how we call Bowman Bowman, not Topps Bowman.

      Sakurado is a card company of some sort, and I believe ColleCarA is that same company (I forget... I tried to research all of this before). Bomb and Hyper are magazines, but they have issued tons of sets over the past 20 years or so.