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

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Sunday, January 28, 2018

Oddball: 2004 Kirin Japan Olympic Team Trading Cards

I'm taking a bit of a break this weekend from the KBO posts as I'm rearranging my apartment a bit. It's kind of a disaster area right now, though I guess I could be more active in getting things done. And I guess I could have done a lot of it during that long winter vacation.

My friend lent me her pocket wifi router early this month - they signed a new contract and I'm basically running out the rest of the month's service on this one. I gotta say, it's nice to have reliable internet again. The month is almost over, though, and with my new room arrangement there will be no internet! I just gotta go get my own service, and hopefully I can do that tomorrow after my health checkup. But meanwhile, here's a post that should be pretty quick getting out but interesting nonetheless.

Until the past six years or so, there hasn't be a really reliable Olympic set issued in America. I always look forward to the sets Topps issues every other year for the respective Games. Japan has a similar issue; I think there has been only one real comprehensive Japan Olympic Team set - the 1999 MRM/Upper Deck set for the 2000 Sydney Olympics. (By the way, I need just two cards for that.)

BBM issues small box sets for successful teams - there was a curling box set a few years ago, and gymnastics shows up from time to time. And while I haven't really looked into it in detail, I know at least some of the athletes in Real Venus/Shining Venus have competed in the Olympics.

I'm really hoping something great shows up in two years when the Games come to Tokyo. As always, I'd be glad to help work on such a set! But until then, I have this release:
 For the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, beverage company Kirin issued a five-card set which must have been packaged or distributed with its drinks. Given that each pack has only one card, it's certainly likely that they were free with any of their beer or non-alcoholic drinks. The back of the pack does have a warning about drinking responsibly though, so I'm leaning towards beer instead of soft drinks.

I grabbed a 10-pack lot and ended up with a full set and of course several duplicates. One card I ended up with four copies of, eliminating the possibility of a full set. Here is the full set, front and back.
 Shingo Suetsugu
 Kouji Surofushi (Koji Surofushi)
 Mizuki Noguchi
 Ryouko Tani (Ryoko Tani)
Kousei Inoue (Kosei Inoue)

Come on 2020! Bring me a great card set!

Friday, January 26, 2018

KBO: 2014 Ntreev Superstar Baseball Card Season 1, 2, and 3

The first set Ntreev issued was for the 2014 season, and it was split into three separately numbered series, which they call seasons. Generally, the three series have the same subsets, so I can combine them together here.
 Season 1 and Season 2 have their different subsets skip-numbered throughout the set; each team gets 14 cards. The most common cards are the normal cards, as you see above. The same design would then be used for the Blue Edition set (see yesterday's) post. Each season has 126 cards.
 AS is the most common subset; each team has three AS cards. AS cards all have cropped photos as you see above.
 Next common is BS; each team has two BS cards per series. These use foil stock for shiny awesomeness.

Season 1 and Season 2 has one SS card per team. Each SS card has a facsimile signature on the front.

Here's where it gets a little confusing.

Season 1 was one straight set, with 126 cards. The short printed subsets were part of the base set.

Season 2 had 126 regular cards. The short printed subsets functioned as parallels to the base set. Furthermore, there were nine memorabilia cards (one per team) and 54 autographs (6 per team) that also parallel the base set.

Season 3 saw a departure from the previous two series' checklist styles. In fact, the checklist is similar in arrangement to Blue Edition. Season 3 has 160 cards, numbered as one whole set, but separated by subset.

  • #1-9: SP (memorabilia)
  • #10-18: SS (facsimile signature) - Super Star (Team Captains)
  • #19-41: BS (foil) - Big Star ("Team Korea")
  • #42-82: AS (foil with background logos) - All Star
  • #83-154: normal
  • #155-208: SA (autographs)
As far as normal cards go between the three seasons, apparently there is no overlap in players. Unfortunately, there are no foreigners in any of these sets, leaving out some of the most popular players.

I don't have copies handy of AS and normal types for Season 3 (see above; they have the same design), nor do I have any SP or SA cards, but there are three types of foil BS cards, as you can see below. The first is the "base" version, with the other two being parallels.

 regular foil background
 sparkly foil background
checkered foil background

Thank you again to Dan for the cards! And thank you to Dan again again (that was intentional), and to Jason and NPB Card Guy, for posting information and scans to the Trading Card Database and writing about the cards.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

KBO: 2014-15 Ntreev Duael Superstar Blue Edition

From here on out, all of the cards in Dan's trade package are from Ntreev. As such, I'm going to try to explain each of the sets just like I do for Japanese cards. So, here's a big thank you to Dan for sending the cards, and for his work with the Trading Card Database - I believe Jason has posted some of the checklists to the site but I know Dan has added lots of images and listings as well.

Technically, the Blue Edition set is just one big set; the entire release is numbered as one set, without any inserts or parallels. However, it's broken up into several subsets, and that's where the fun begins.

I should note that while this is my first Ntreev post, it's not the first set they issued; there are three "seasons", which equate to series, which were released throughout 2014.

Generally, the set can be identified by the suffix on the card number. However, there are a few subsets without their own unique suffix. You'll see what I mean.
 This is as normal as it gets - an example of a regular base card. This is SBCBE-176-N. Superstar Baseball Card Blue Edition - 176 - Normal. The backs on regular normal cards are identical. Unfortunately, that means there are no statistics on these cards.
 Card SBCBE-146-GN, or Gold Normal. The only real difference here is the minor use of gold foil.
 SBCBE-137-AS (All-Stars). I'm naming the suffixes but I could be wrong. Anyway, the AS cards actually do have unique backs, with biographical data and statistics. These cards also have a sparkly foil finish on the front. The yellow text at the top of the card front identifies the players as league leaders in various categories.
 SBCBE-207-N. While this is part of the "normal" subset, it's also a sub-subset of team logos. The back has some team history and basic "biographical" data.
 This may seem like the same kind of card as before, SBCBE-210-N is from the team mascot subset. The chart on the back has the same information as the team logo card.
Finally for my collection, but not the set, this is SBCBE-220-N. This is from a subset of team photo cards, but as you can see they're not the same as the team photos Topps used in the past.

Finding everything for this set is probably impossible, though Dan did a great job getting me the basic cards from the release. Here's a breakdown of the entire set:

  • #1-14: SD suffix, dual memorabilia, #/30.
  • #15-65: SA suffix, autographed, #/10.
  • #66-82: SC suffix, coin (manurelic), #/30.
  • #83-97: SS suffix, various serial numbering #/100-600. Highlighting various records.
  • #98-145: AS suffix (All-Stars/League Leaders)
  • #146-172: GN suffix (Gold Normal)
  • #173-199: N suffix (Normal)
  • #200-208: N suffix (Normal - Team Logos)
  • #209-216: N suffix (Normal - Team Mascots)
  • #217-225: N suffix (Normal - Team Photos)
  • #226: N suffix (Normal), apparently a regular card that is serial numbered as 1/1.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Dan's The Man: KBO Trading Cards Part 1

My KBO type collection just about doubled in size recently thanks to a trade package from Dan. But it's also a good indication of how few cards there are actually out there, or at least available.

My earliest KBO cards come from circa 1983, but they're all takji - similar to milk caps (remember POGs?). But the first card below might be just as old.
 This "card" is paper-thin, and seems to be a sticker that would be pasted in an album. It's very reminiscent of the NST stickers released in Japan. The player is Han Dae-hwa. While he played for 15 seasons, only three of those were with the OB Bears: 1983-1985.

The blue-ink back has the player position, name, and then team name in parenthesis. Below that is his date of birth, birthplace, current address (yes, really), height and weight, something I don't understand, and finally where he went to school. Actually, I'm not exactly sure what that last bullet point really is. The starred question translates as "lucky hits?" so maybe the five baseballs can be used in a game.
 This next card is also a paper-thin ... piece of paper. It's blank-backed, and may also have been a stamp or sticker to be placed in an album. This player is Lee Jong-do, who has the distinction of hitting the first home run in the history of KBO. Lee played with MBC Blue Dragon from 1982-1984, so this "card" dates from that era, also making it a contender for my oldest card. I believe the text at the bottom translates as The First Korean Series.
 The next two cards are definitely stickers, more like Panini's stickers from the 1980s. However, these come from 1998. Kim Ki-sung was drafted in 1998 but that's all I can find about him. The back of his sticker has a bit of baseball lingo.
 This is Ju Hyeong-Kwang. He spent his entire 14-season career with the Lotte Giants, leading the league in wins and strikeouts in 1996. But the remainder of his playing time was average at best. This is a foil card; looking at the checklist, the set is sorted by team, so each team must have one foil.
 The oldest true card set I have represented is this 1999 Teleca Premium (actually, I have a card from the regular Teleca set - this is my first card from the Premium set). However, KBO's first documented baseball card is from 1991, a 50-card set issued by Lotte Gum.
 Dan also included a checklist. There are a few insert sets, but I don't have those yet.
 This is the 2000 Teleca set - there was no premium set this year. The Teleca 2000 set had four inserts including a jersey card.
 This card is from one of those insert sets, the '99 Korea Japan Super Games set. While every card has Korean players, several of the cards feature multiple players and some of those include Japanese players. The remaining two insert sets are Golden Glove and Star Rookie.
The final card for today's post is from the 2005 Hanwha Eagles Baseball Sports Cards set. The backs remind me a lot of mid-1990s Fleer.

In my next post, we'll jump ahead a decade and look at the most-recent line of sets!

Until then... Thanks Dan!