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

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Friday, July 28, 2017

New Release: 2017 BBM Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters

The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters annual team set was released by BBM almost one month ago in the standard six cards per 400-yen (about $4) pack. 20 packs come per box. If you're familiar with BBM's team sets, you won't find anything new here.
 All of BBM's team sets this year are 81 cards. The regular Fighters cards are #1-69. My scanner messed up the back scan; the design copies the front.
 The first subset is '16 Crowns. There are seven cards in this set which feature award winners - Nishikawa above was a Best Nine player in the outfield. I like the vote total on the back.
 Two Fresh Face cards come next. Stats are included for the first 6-7 weeks of the season, meaning the cards were finalized about one month before their release date.
 Finally, '17 Spring Smash rounds out the final three cards in the checklist.

Eighteen of the regular cards have parallels with gold foil signatures on the fronts; those parallels are serial numbered out of 100.
 Moving on to the inserts, the Fighters offerings are simple. Ready to Breakout is a nine card insert of... who knows. There's nothing that tells you why the players were selected or what the name means.
Northern Lights is a nine card insert set of... who knows. Yup, no idea. At least this set is a nod to the team's location in the northernmost prefecture of Japan.

Both Northern Lights and Ready to Breakout have parallels: a gold version #/100, holofoil #/75, and gold holofoil #/50.

Phantom continues in the Fighters set, a #/25 insert found in all of the team sets this year.

There are four memorabilia cards, each #/200 with signature (facsimile?) #/100, patch #/20, and patch signature #/10 parallels.

As always, sticker autographs (#/60 or less) can be found. There are combo autographs #/10, silver foil card autographs #/10 or less, 1/1 gold foil versions, and rookie autographs #/10.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

One Box, One Post: 2017 Topps Series 2

Maybe I would have been better off posting this a month ago, back when I first picked it up. But here I am with actual, real internet, so uploading images is easier and I can do it on weeknights, too!

I piecemeal-patchwork built the Series 1 set via a bunch of jumbo packs followed by a Sportlots order or two. That certainly wasn't productive, so I decided that I'd grab a jumbo box when Series 2 hit shelves. And here we are!

At this point, nobody cares about base cards. So it's inserts-only for you.

I got two of the silver bonus packs, which gave me the following:
 The red Babe Ruth is great, and Ichiro's a nice addition. It would have been better with a bigger rainbow of colors.
 The inserts from the first pack brought a nice black parallel. Why is A-Rod getting cards? I thought everyone hated him. Except for maybe a couple people.
Derek Jeter makes appearances in this year's set, too. Is that going to be an annual thing now? Jeter, Nolan Ryan, Ted Williams, and Jackie Robinson, in every set.
 I don't know what to do with the code cards. I'm not using them. That was a boring pack.
 There's nothing better than a 1991 Topps buyback card, right? Well, except maybe that 1989 Topps buyback card earlier. Much like Night Owl wants to do with the '75s, maybe I should build the 1989 Topps set in buyback form.
 There's a Nolan Ryan! Williams and Robinson can't be far behind. The jersey card is a dud, but at least it goes into my type collection, right?
 Hey, Teddy Ballgame! I'm 3 for 4 so far! Seriously, I scanned these a month ago and completely forgot who was in the packs. I'm really hoping for a Jackie Robinson now. And getting an Ichiro feels special because his cards are just so expensive here.
 That Adam Frazier is a throwback logo version. That's pretty cool.
 There's the autograph! Check out the serial numbering: 09/10. A rare pull, though Nunez isn't exactly valuable. Again, it's a great addition to the type collection. I love the Bob Costas though, and I wish that had been my autograph.
 A baseball card with baseball cards? Okay. For collectors, I guess that's a memorable moment? I got another Ichiro, too. And nobody seems to realize he has stolen bases, because everyone talks about hits.
Aww, no Jackie Robinson. How depressing. But I did get a Bonnie Hunt, that means something. Oh, and that Joe Mauer is a 1/1.

A 1/1.

A. One. of. One.

This isn't such a bad box after all. And that Mauer was actually in the last pack I opened! A nice finish to the box.

As for the 2017 flagship set, I got a full set of Series 2. I'll definitely have the First Pitch set by the end of the year one way or another.

So my next box will be Update! Until then, hopefully I'll make some nice finds around Japan. When is Update coming out, anyway? In three months? Gah....

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

New Hotness: The Sweetness

Let's get back into the swing of things... at least, kind of, I guess... with some fun cards for my collections.

First, some basic good news: I've managed to update (at least mostly)  my database with Epoch's releases for the past five years, something that's been lacking. And I have cataloged the 2017 MLB sets that have been released so far. I've also spent some time, effort, and money these past few days getting caught up on type collection, player collection, and set collection efforts. It's the small things, right?
 Why this card is sweet: It's a cartoon rendering of my favorite AKB48 girl, Mayu Watanabe. And I love cartoon/art cards. And it's actually a sticker. It's from the new (and probably already sold out) AKBikkuriman sticker set. No, I won't be chasing the whole set; my money is better spent elsewhere.
And here's an image of her from February to see what she really looks like in person. (photo credit)
 Rami-Chan (Alex Ramirez) is one of two players I collect NPB cards for. I added this second autograph, from BBM's 2015 Classic set, last month. I've made great strides on my Ramirez and Tanishige collections, needing mostly obscure cards at this point. Hopefully I'll find some good ones over summer vacation!
This bowling autograph from the 2015 BBM P-League set is one of my newest additions to my Women in Sports collection, and it's super-low numbered for Japan: the green autograph is numbered out of 35, as you can see on the scan of the card's back!

Well, that's it for today! Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Epoch Shigeo Nagashima Baseball Card Game

 This oddball set has Shigeo Nagashima's floating head on the back of every card, but other than his photo, the game doesn't have much to do with actual baseball players. My set includes just the cards, all with the same back you see above. I'm not entirely sure if my set is complete, but the cards I have are below.

There are duplicates of many of the cards, and while I don't have instructions, I would guess that the cards are shuffled and then drawn to decide plays. The line drawings are color-coded, so it's possible that different colors were in different stacks based on move choices by the player.

Yellow cards are batting-oriented, pink are pitchers. Green are baserunning plays while blue are fielding. If I were playing, I'd shuffle the yellow and pink together, and blue and green together, and choose a yellow-pink card to determine most plays.
This card is labeled "Steal Out".
 These are Double Play.
 "Touch Out" (tag-out). Fielding cards are all outs.
 Batter Out.
 Strike. There are a lot of these. I guess this gives chances for strikeouts and stolen bases. Speaking of which...
 Double Steal.
 Bunt. I guess these are successful.
 Home run.
 "Three-base hit" (triple).
 "Two-base hit" (double).
 "Single hit" (single).
 Dead ball. There's one of these, I guess it's a random no-play card. Does it count as a balk? Catcher's interference?
 Wild pitch. Great when runners are on base!
 Ball. Again, lots of chances for steals and walks.
There's one green game card and a blank card for replacing missing cards. Or making up your own play? I wonder if this set came with little game pieces to track balls, strikes, outs, and baserunners. Plus, you'd need a sheet of paper or something to keep track of runs.

It's a basic game, but it could be fun for younger kids who can't handle more-complicated trading card games.