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

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Old Calbee, New Pickups

It’s not too hard to keep up with recent Calbee releases, though the gold signature parallels are always pricey. But hunting for older Calbees I still need in my type collection is getting harder and harder.

I recently made two important and exciting pickups for my type collection.
The first is this August Best card from the 1979 set. The player is 新浦寿夫 (Hisao Niura) of the Carp. Gary Engel’s guide doesn’t indicate any rarity for this set, but finding a card has been difficult, and I finally came across one at Mint Ikebukuro. They identify this as a rare series, and the card came at a premium price. But given that I never see them at shows, I bit the bullet and dropped 4000 yen on the card.
The second card was much cheaper - a 1975 Homerun card that I got for only 1000 yen! My guess is that there are at most a dozen of any one Homerun card out there, and probably much fewer. They were mailed in to Calbee to redeem for a prize, so after being written on and later stamped by the redemption center, I’m sure most got tossed in the trash. Add to that the fact that Homerun cards were rare to begin with and possibly issued for every card front in the set, and you have an actual scarcity that’s difficult to match.

This card is even more interesting in that someone has circled a prize, but there is no stamp from the manufacturer, indicating the card might have never been redeemed.


  1. Yow - 4000 yen! Is that the most you've spent on a card?

    I suspect that not enough is known about the 1979 Calbees to really indicate if a particular series is rare or not. I was going to check SCM to see what that card books for but then I remembered that SCM doesn't want to touch attempting to catalogue 1977-79 Calbees either...

    I was going to suggest you attempt to redeem the Home Run card but I guess that is an expiration date on the back (January 31, 1976 or Showa 51). Do you know what the prize was? Was it an album?

    1. Let me correct that to be that us here in the US probably don't know enough about them to determine what's rare or not. If Mint Ikebukuro says they are, I'll take their word for it.

  2. It looks like the prizes are a Baseball Pocket Book or a Card Album. Sumo and Pro Wrestling mini cards from the 1970s were redeemed right with the dealer and the dealer would cancel out the card and give the albums away. I don't know how the lone Sumo Wrestling Calbee album was obtained as I've never seen a Winner Stamp card from that set. Although the albums are very rare and expensive to buy when they do pop up. Very cool cards and congrats on picking them up.

  3. I love that second card. The redemption story behind the card is cool... but the actual photograph is even cooler. Love the fact that you can see the whole player and plenty of fans in the background.

  4. R Laughton: thank you for answering NPB Card Guy. And you're exactly right as to the prize offerings. I can't speak for Sumo/Wrestling cards, but the baseball albums aren't terribly rare. They aren't lying around on the streets, but I see more common years (1975, for example) show up in shops and auctions often enough.

    And this post's formatting is the reason why I haven't been posting. It's pretty tough getting things set right. I do hope to return to actual posts soon.

  5. I was wondering if we'd see some posts soon. Miss reading your stuff!