We're approaching half way through 2013, and I thought it'd be a good time to reflect on my collecting goals for the year, and where I stand! Since I've been quite silent on posting this year, it'll also help to bring you up to speed on what I've done lately.
Original goals in italic red, reflections in normal text.1. Build my Japanese Card Type Collection. It's currently at 35%. I reached that figure mainly through Calbee cards, base BBM cards, and gaming cards. Reaching the next level is going to be much more difficult, because the remaining cards are obviously tougher to locate or more expensive. Or both. But by the end of 2013, I want 50%. The most gains will come from BBM, both in new releases and prior issue inserts and base cards. Difficulty: 7/10.
Today, the Japanese type collection stands at 49%. Actually, I'm writing this post Saturday night and I could pass 50% this weekend if I do some card shopping. As I predicted, most of the cards have come from BBM issues, but I've also discovered some new shops that have given me a whole bunch of oddball and older issues. Maybe I'll be able to reach 67% by the end of the year!
2. Put together/buy some 2013 sets. This year, just like last year, I'll probably just buy the flagship set, Gypsy Queen, and Allen & Ginter (I didn't buy A&G in 2012 and I need to get that set put together). I haven't seen anything else that interests me yet. As with 2011 and 2012, I will put together a master set of Gypsy Queen, meaning the base set and insert sets. Difficulty: 3/10.
I haven't really touched 2013 issues, but I'm not worried about them. I'll pick up the flagship set as a full issue of series 1 and 2, and I might have Gypsy Queen in the next couple weeks.
3. Finish 10 sets from years past. I'm not sure how I'll track this one, but since I'm not collecting any new insert sets this year, I need to take some time to finish off some of the older insert sets I'm working on. That includes 2012 Gypsy Queen, as I didn't do too well building those insert sets. Difficulty: 6/10.
I finished all the 2012 Gypsy Queen insert sets this week with some Sportlots purchases; I've also completed the Ballparks insert set from 2012 Panini Cooperstown. I wanted to finish 10 old sets, and I've finished six of the easiest sets. Now, what to try to tackle next?
4. Pay more attention to Panini. I used some of my birthday money to buy three boxes of Triple Play super-cheap (I should have in-hand them soon) - I want to build the set, obviously. Golden Age looks like a great issue. And there are some cards in Cooperstown that I want in my collection. A lot of people cry about the logos, but they have been really trying to put out interesting sets and it seems that they have been listening to collectors. All three card sets I mentioned here feel like they were stolen from my writings. And that's good, though I wouldn't mind them sending a couple boxes or sample sets my way to review. I need to get Panini cards in my type collection. And I want to look into putting together an insert set or two of theirs. Difficulty: 5/10.
I am working on my Triple Play master set from last year, and I have the Cooperstown and Golden Age base sets. This year, I want another master set of Triple Play. I'm planning on getting Golden Age and keeping my eye on other issues. As I just mentioned, I have the Ballparks insert set on the way, and I might tackle another this year.
5. Visit the rest of the NPB baseball stadiums. I went to Fukuoka and Hiroshima, and saw local-area Swallows, BayStars, and Lions. There are two more local area teams (Marines and Giants) plus the Kansai teams and two teams to the north. It's going to be rough getting to the Kansai stadiums in-season - there are three teams playing in the area (Tigers, Buffaloes, and Dragons). Difficulty: 9/10.
The baseball season started only about six weeks ago, but I have managed to get to two new stadiums already (Tigers and Buffaloes in the Kansai region). The Dragons aren't exactly in Kansai - Nagoya is in a different prefecture between Osaka and Tokyo. I might go to Nagoya next weekend, and I've got my eyes on local team schedules.
6. "Fix" my MLB type collection. The major and minor league issues are mixed together. Random Australian and other league issues are part of that group. And the spreadsheets are just insane. I want to rework it a bit. This will give me a better view of percentages for each type of card (MLB, MiLB, etc) and make it easier to look through my lists. It will also help me focus my type collection. I still want the minor league and international cards, but I want to have them tracked separately like I do Japanese and Taiwan CPBL cards. Difficulty: 4/10. But time-consuming.
Yeah. I haven't started. Maybe next month.
7. Complete at least 15 trades this year. I completed maybe a dozen trades last year, far fewer than in 2011. But living in Japan makes it difficult. I have access to CardGen singles that give me some really unique trade bait. So I think I can manage this year. Difficulty: 6/10.
CardGen hasn't come out yet, but I have done a couple trades already. I have a bunch more in the works that I need to follow up with.
8. Finish at least two player collections. This should be easy to do via trades, COMC, or SportLots. Difficulty: 2/10.
Haven't really looked at this. Maybe later. Instead, I've been working hard on the Japanese Awards Collection. It's around 90% complete!
9. Post a year-by-year review of Calbee issues. Since I have over 75% of Calbee issues I can really showcase this beautiful annual release. I'm not sure what to do with all those missing 1970s series yet, though. With 40 years of sets and counting, I can post once a week and finish by the end of the year. The challenge will be sticking to it! Difficulty: 4/10.
Something else I haven't started, but I really want to. I have 89% of Calbee issues covered in my type collection, but most of the missing cards are from 1977 and 1979.
10. Do a better job picking up 2013 release singles. With only (less than) 15% of 2012 complete, I am missing a ton of cards. I can always pick these up later, but I want to stay on top of new releases. My goal for 2013 will be 25%. Difficulty: 7/10.
I haven't really bothered with 2013 sets, or 2012 for that matter. I have a feeling I'm going to fall way short of this goal.
11. Make meaningful posts on the blog. 2012 was a blur for me, and I churned out a ton of "look at what I bought!" posts. I'd rather make interesting posts about the stores, cards, and other baseball things that drive my passion. Difficulty: 5/10.
I've avoided the "look at what I bought!" posts but I haven't posted much of anything else, either. I guess I need to get back into the posting groove, something I've had trouble with.
12. Create a menu/table of contents for some of my posts. I'm talking about Card Shops in Japan, my featured sets, and stuff like that. And when I get that Calbee series underway, I should have a list for those too! Difficulty: 3/10.
I haven't started this, but since I haven't been posting lately I haven't exactly been motivated to make menus.
13. Have fun collecting. If you read my other blog, you know how frustrated I got in Korea looking for baseball cards and souvenirs. But deep down I still love collecting and I enjoy the thrill of the chase. While I came home from Korea without actual baseball cards, I've found tons of them - plenty of them uncatalogued - here in Japan. I'm planning a trip to Australia in April, and while I don't think I'll get to see any games I can hopefully dig up some Australian baseball cards and souvenirs too. Difficulty: 1/10. In having fun, I mean. Not the trip to Oz. That's looking like a 9/10.
Australia didn't happen and isn't happening as far as I can see. If it does happen, it'll be because I move there next year, I think. If I move there - this isn't an announcement of anything. I haven't figured out my plans for next year. But I've had a blast collecting so far, hanging out with other collectors, and checking out new stores. If only I had more money...
Overall, I'd say I'm making pretty good progress on my collection. I can easily buy American cards, so I'm not so worried about MLB issues. The Japanese collection is growing very fast, which I think is pretty important, because they're much more difficult to find outside of Japan. I wish I had more time and energy to devote to my collection - trading and posting especially. For those of you I've been talking with about trades, I'll get back with you soon, I hope!
Until my next post...