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

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Awesomeness Returns: A Calbee Repack

I have established a regular route around Akihabara, going from a card store, swinging by some arcades to check out the UFO Catchers (crane games), stopping for lunch before heading back on my loop toward the station and a few more arcades. Along the way, I've discovered a few stores that sell things I'm interested in (especially trading cards), and my mood (and wallet) sometimes inspires me to poke around a couple as I make my rounds.

I stopped at one such store a couple weeks ago and ended up walking out with two sealed boxes of trading cards, one single card, and a repack. The repack was almost entirely Calbee, and for the price with two limited cards showing there was no way I was passing it up.

I'm not building older Calbee sets. It's just way too hard and I have too many other priorities in collecting ahead of such an undertaking. Trust me when I say that building a full run of Calbee baseball cards is more difficult than building a full run of Topps baseball cards.

So, what did I get? I'll let the cards mostly speak for themselves: (a little more commentary at the bottom)
The cards above are presented in the order they were in the pack. Did you notice the Ichiro and Matsui cards from 15 years ago? And all the limited inserts? It's no 1970s Calbee shoebox find but there are some great cards here. I'm not sure yet if I need any of them for my type collection - most likely it would be the checklists toward the end of the pack or the foreign players. I think I'll keep ahold of these (unless anyone needs them in trade) just in case I do decide to build Calbee sets in the future!


  1. Wow, that's a nice selection of cards. Even if you took out Ichiro and Godzilla, there are plenty of names that anybody who's followed MLB for the past 10 years would recognize... Uehara, Matsuzaka, Johjima, Shinjo, Fukudome, Wada... I don't know much about Calbee so I can't fully appreciate the inserts, but I can tell that's an awesome haul. Congratulations!

  2. Wow, that's a hell of a haul for a repack! I bet the photo from the Matsunaka card near the top is from the filming of one of those cool SoftBank commercials.

  3. Great stuff. So why did they stick a Mermaid Data card in a Calbee repack?

  4. That really is a great find. I have bought the odd similar packs of random Calbees, mainly off Yahoo Auctions, and they always pay off in terms of being fun to sort through. I particularly love the fact that they usually include star players and not just a bunch of commons.

    One thing I have noticed, and your pack seems to back that up, is there are almost always a lot of 2000 Calbee cards in those lots. That year they must have sold a lot of cards or something. It was the last year Ichiro was in a set, so perhaps people bought more just to have the last chance to get a card or something. Otherwise I can`t think of a reason why 2000 Calbee would be more common than other sets from that time frame.

  5. shlabotnikreport: yeah, I'm very happy with the haul! Most of the inserts don't carry a premium, but he Star Cards, Player of Glory cards, and older checklists are quite valuable. I'm not sure why the checklists are so pricey, though based on my pack busting this year I think they're short printed at least a little bit now, and possibly were more-so back then.

    Jason: it's a great photo!

    NPB Card Guy: No clue why that was there. But I'm guessing that whoever sold/donated the cards to the store just grabbed the cards from their closet and the store just packs everything together - they carry *very* few modern baseball cards.

    Sean: Just flipping through old cards is fun enough! And yes, I always see more 2000s than anything else. 2000 was a great year for baseball in Japan, with Ichiro and Matsui (and others) being super-popular. I wasn't around to know for sure, but I bet there was a lot of talk of Ichiro going to the States and people just bought tons of cards. Or who knows else why!