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

Want Lists are located here. NPB Baseball Want List is located here.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Is this my favorite card shop in Tokyo?

Why do I consistently find myself back at the Kanda Mint store? It doesn't seeem to make sense, because other than recent BBM and Calbee, the location doesn't carry a big NPB selection.
 This is why. I continue to find random sets I didn't know existed.
 This set is limited to 500 cards, though each card isn't serial-numbered.
 There are 20 players on the checklist, but I only found a few worthy of taking for the Women in Sports collection.
 I'm sure a couple more are missing so I'll have to dig up the checklist and figure out what to hunt for.
 I'm going to make an effort to get year-appropriate cards for my Nippon Series collection. And I'm going to try to have a common theme between the two teams. For 2011, I've decided to go with mascot cards. I found a Hawks card from 2012, which is pretty close.
 The back of the card shows the whole Hawk family. A team with eight mascots? They can almost field an entire team of plushies!
 The Dragons played the Hawks in the 2011 Japan Series, and Doala the Koala is their mascot. Again keeping the consistency as much as possible, this is a 2012 card.
 For the 2008 series between the Lions and Giants, I picked up two Calbee inserts commemorating the games.
 Unfortunately this card is horizontal, but it'll do.
 An unexpected surprise was the availability of 2013 Historic Collection singles. The 2013 issue focuses on famous jersey numbers. Green cards signify active stars.
 The purple cards are reserved for retired players. I didn't see Tuffy Rhodes but I found Randy Bass.
 The insert set is called Great Numbers and pairs two players who wore the same jersey number. Interesting that Boomer Wells and Randy Bass shared a jersey number.
 As I continue to find new interesting cards, I came across a bunch of 100 yen insert singles. I'll have to go back to those later.
 But I picked up two 2004 Hawks inserts.
 Plus a 2004 Marines insert.
 My excuse for visiting was to find Yu cards for Napkin Doon. Mission: accomplished. All the Yus yu see here are going to the serviette.
 Two nice Calbee cards start off the stack.
 Excellent Player? Yu got it.
 Top of Fighters? Yu know it.
 Does he have the Fighting Spirit? Yu bet he does.
 Is he the Prince of Power Pitch? Yu couldn't be more right.
Thought I forgot?
 This set must have just came out. No idea. But I did see recently that a couple other (baseball) sets have been released and I need to get back to the card shops right after Christmas to pick up a couple singles and sets. This particular card is from a J-Pop talent show of some kind. Several groups have cards for each member, plus two group cards; the set has a total of 72 cards. UMU is a Universal Music J-Pop idol girls group competition, and it looks like it's held annually. I found information that says the next competition is December 26th in Harajuku. I won't be there.
Speaking of recent sets, another oddball I found was this box set featuring Japan's nine best swimmers - four men and five female. Each subject has three cards in the set. I grabbed all 27 cards for 300 yen. Deal.
While I may have been going for the Darvish cards, my biggest pick-up was the complete No-Hitters set. It ran me 1200 yen, which is much cheaper than other stores had it for, and knocked about 90 cards off my want list (which would have cost me 3000-5000 yen one-by-one). Plus the set looks great.

So why do I keep going back to Mint Kanda? There's always something different, something cheap, and something fun worth buying! It's tough to call it my favorite, but it ranks right up there with Mint Ikebukuro. I find that funny because I initially dismissed the shop due to its lack of inventory and its location away from other places I like to visit. But it's really only a short walk from Akihabara, with its own card store and plenty to see and do.

1 comment:

  1. Oddly, Tuffy wasn't in the Historic Collection set with the uniform numbers. Perhaps that's because he changed numbers, starting with #20 for Kintetsu & Yomiuri from 1996-2005 and switching to #8 when returning to the Buffaloes for Orix.