Saturday, May 20, 2017

c1977 Sumo Tonton Game Cards (New Set G771)

I've been eyeing this set for a while and pulled the trigger the other day as I have never held a card in hand before.  It is a late 1970s Tonton unopened taba bundle with 55 packs (50 regular + 5 bonus packs).  I am assuming there are 5 winner packs randomly in the bundle so you would get a bonus pull if you pulled one of these winner packs...thus the 55 total packs.  These cards are awesome in hand and the bundle is quite thick.  The manufacturer is unknown, but likely one of the big companies from the late 1970s like Yamakatsu, Marusho, or Bull Mark.  Each pack contains two game cards which are intended to be folded and used to play Tonton sumo.  The likeness of each wrestler is used and their shikona is written on their mawashi along the middle. Tonton sumo is a tapping game where you place the pieces in front of each other and tap the table or playing board and the wrestlers move and push each other.  The first piece to fall over is the loser.  Each card is about 3 3/4" x 3 3/4" unfolded.  I was particularly attracted to this bundle because it has the famous Takamiyama card attached to the front which was used to show kids and example of the card they could pull from the packs.  I opened up one of the packs and folded the piece to show you what they look like.  The arms can be folded into different positions as well to try and gain an advantage over your opponent.  Good stuff!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

2017 BBM Sumo Tamashii Checklist

Here is the translated checklist of the second sumo set to come out in 2017 "Tamashii".  They release in Japan this week so hope to have some examples in hand next week.  Checklist and photos courtesy of Mint.

Regular Cards #1 - Yokozuna Hakuho
#2 - Yokozuna Kakuryu
#3 - Yokozuna Harumafuji
#4 - Yokozuna Kisenosato
#5 - Ozeki Goeido
#6 - Ozeki Terunofuji
#7 - Sekiwake Tamawashi
#8 - Sekiwake Takayasu
#9 - Sekiwake Kotoshogiku
#10 - Komusubi Mitakeumi
#11 - Komusubi Shodai
#12 - Maegashira Takekaze
#13 - Maegashira Ikioi
#14 - Maegashira Sokokurai
#15 - Maegashira Takanoiwa
#16 - Maegashira Shohozan
#17 - Maegashira Takarafuji
#18 - Maegashira Yoshikaze
#19 - Maegashira Arawashi
#20 - Maegashira Endo
#21 - Maegashira Hokutofuji
#22 - Maegashira Chiyonokuni
#23 - Maegashira Aoiyama
#24 - Maegashira Ichinojo
#25 - Maegashira Chiyoshoma
#26 - Maegashira Kaisei
#27 - Maegashira Okinoumi
#28 - Maegashira Kagayaki
#29 - Maegashira Kotoyuki
#30 - Maegashira Tochinoshin
#31 - Maegashira Tochiozan
#32 - Maegashira Daieisho
#33 - Maegashira Ishiura
#34 - Maegashira Sadanoumi
#35 - Maegashira Ura
#36 - Maegashira Takakeisho
#37 - Maegashira Daishomaru
#38 - Maegashira Myogiryu
#39 - Maegashira Kyokushoho
#40 - Maegashira Chiyoo
#41 - Maegashira Tokushoryu
#42 - Maegashira Nishikigi
Fighting Men Cards
#43 - Yokozuna Hakuho
#44 - Yokozuna Kakuryu
#45 - Yokozuna Harumafuji
#46 - Yokozuna Kisenosato
#47 - Ozeki Goeido
#48 - Ozeki Terunofuji
#49 - Sekiwake Tamawashi
#50 - Sekiwake Takayasu
#51 - Sekiwake Kotoshogiku
#52 - Komusubi Mitakeumi
#53 - Komusubi Shodai
#54 - Maegashira Endo
Kisenosato Career Cards
#55 - Yokozuna Kisenosato
#56 - Yokozuna Kisenosato
#57 - Yokozuna Kisenosato
#58 - Yokozuna Kisenosato
#59 - Yokozuna Kisenosato
#60 - Yokozuna Kisenosato
#61 - Yokozuna Kisenosato
#62 - Yokozuna Kisenosato
#63 - Yokozuna Kisenosato
New Yokozuna Dohyo Iri
#64 - Yokozuna Kokutoumi
#65 - Yokozuna Onokuni
#66 - Yokozuna Asahifuji
#67 - Yokozuna Takanohana
#68 - Yokozuna Musashimaru
#69 - Yokozuna Hakuho
#70 - Yokozuna Harumafuji
#71 - Yokozuna Kakuryu
#72 - Yokozuna Kisenosato
Technique Cards
#73 - Yokozuna Hakuho
#74 - Maegashira Takekaze
#75 - Maegashira Okinoumi
#76 - Maegashira Ishiura
#77 - Maegashira Ura
#78 - Maegashira Ura
#79 - Juryo Kotoeko
#80 - Juryo Satoyama
New Juryo Card
#81 - Makushita Takagenji
Special Insert Autograph Cards
Komusubi Mitakeumi
Maegashira Sokokurai
Maegashira Hokutofuji
Maegashira Chiyonokuni
Maegashira Kagayaki
Maegashira Daieisho
Maegashira Ishiura
Maegashira Ura
Maegashira Takakeisho

Sunday, May 14, 2017

2011 Topps Pro Debut Color - Brandon Laird

Another quick update to my Brandon Laird collection.  The Nippon Ham Fighters continue to struggle, but the struggle is less than earlier this year.  If they keep their win percentage up like they have recently, they might be contenders.  Here are the three I have for the 2011 Topps Pro Debut:

This is the checklist for this series:

- #138 2011 Topps Pro Debut
- #138 2011 Topps Pro Debut Blue #ed to 309
- #138 2011 Topps Pro Debut Gold #ed to 50
- #138 2011 Topps Pro Debut Red #ed to 1
- #138 2011 Topps Pro Debut Printing Plates - Black/Cyan/Magenta/Yellow #ed to 1

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A Guide to Japanese Sports Card Magazine (SCM) Sumo Insert Cards

Sadly, SCM's last publication was a few months ago after a glorious 21-year run.  We'll see what venue BBM insert cards get distributed, if any, from here on out, but over the years there have been a fair amount of sumo wrestling cards issued with the magazine.  It looks like in the 2000 timeframe the cards went from being marked "sample" and of the same cards you would get in sets, to SCM Original formatted least for the sumo cards.  Here are the 12 that I have....not sure if there are any others and there could very well be variations of these so any assistance with this checklist would be greatly appreciated.

Issue #5: #1 1997 BBM Yokozuna Takanohana (Marked 見本(Sample))
Issue #7: 1998 BBM East Series - Maegashira Konishiki (Marked "Life Goes On! Never give up! 1997-12-9)
Issue #10: #01 1998 BBM West Series - Yokozuna Wakanohana (Marked Sample)
Issue #12: #1 1999 Upper Half Series - Yokozuna Takanohana (Marked Sample)
Issue #16: #117 1999 Lower Half Series - Yokozuna Musashimaru (Marked Sample)
Issue #19: #8 2000 BBM - Demon Kogure and Juryo Mainoumi (SCM Original)
Issue #44: #36 2004 BBM - Maegashira Takamisakari (SCM Original)
Issue #44: #36 2004 BBM - Maegashira Takamisakari Foil Signature Parallel (SCM Original)
Issue #55: #100 2006 BBM - Ozeki Kotooshu (SCM Original)
Issue #99: 2012 BBM - Yokozuna Chiyonofuji (SCM Original)
Issue #103: #235 2014 BBM - Maegashira Endo (SCM Original)
Issue #111: #01 2015 BBM Essence - Yokozuna Hakuho (SCM Original)
Issue #111: #67 2015 BBM Essence - Ozeki Kisenosato (SCM Original)
Issue #116: #03/366 2016 BBM - Ozeki Kotoshogiku (SCM Original)
Issue #116: #03/366 2016 BBM - Ozeki Kotoshogiku Purple Foil Signature Parallel (SCM Original)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Sangokushi Taisen Cards

Every few years when I go back to Japan to visit, I am always fascinated by something new that wasn't there the last time.  This year there were a couple of things.  First was the interactive arcade game called Sangokushi Taisen (三国志大戦).  The general premise of the game is you have cards that interact with the video game.  Each card represents a military unit: calvary, archers, swordsmen, etc...and as you move these cards around the battle field the video game senses it and moves the units on the video screen.  It is a real-time strategy game so how many units and types you use as well as attack points all matter.  I was unsuccessful in getting some cards while in Japan so I bought some online to see what they looked like.  I wasn't brave enough to interrupt anyone, let alone ask anyone if they had a few extras they could lend a foreigner, but I did ask at the card shops and got the "that is a video game card" answer.  Evidently, I was looking in the wrong place to buy.  It looks like this game has been out for a while in various iterations, but all the arcades we went in to all the machines were full.  I must have stared at kids playing for an hour or so.  There was an interactive terminal that you also could pay money and manipulate your card....I guess to add abilities or level it up.  Possibly even keep in in your online collection...I am guessing at this point.  Here are a couple of YouTube videos of the screen action as well as the cards being manipulated on the game board:

Here are 8 of the cards that can be used on the game...I really have no idea of they are good, strong, weak, etc or if they are even made recently.  I have no ideal what it all means on the Japanese isn't that technical and I haven't had time to study it all, but I assume it is all the technical abilities the card unit has: speed, defense, offensive, attack distance.  I imagine the game board reads the back of the card and determines what unit your are playing with.  I don't see any RF sensor in the least that I can tell.

The artwork on these is pretty amazing!

Does anyone have anymore information on these?

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Japanese BBM B.League Basketball Card 2nd Half Mail Day!

The new B.League Sets continue to fascinate me.  I recently picked up a complete 2nd Half Set (minus Card #79.....Grrr, hopefully Billy can help me fill in this hole) and have scanned it here in its entirety.  These cards continue to do well on the secondary market and very few boxes show up for sale at auction.  There is also a boxed set that comes out on the 12th called High Five.  I'll review that as soon as I get one imported.

Here is the complete checklist over at Trading Card Database.

The B.League season is wrapping up with Quarter-Final games next weekend and Semi-Finals the week after that.  The Final game will be on 27 May.  It looks like 8 teams will be playing for the Championship Trophy:

#1 Seed: Toshiba Kawasaki Brave Thunder
#2 Seed: Seahorses Mikawa
#3 Seed: Tochigi Brex
#4 Seed: Alvark Tokyo
#5 Seed: SAN-En NeoPhoenix
#6 Seed: Osaka Evessa
#7 Seed: Chiba Jets
#8 Seed: Hitachi Sun Rockers

Monday, May 1, 2017

Taste the Rainbow - Brandon Laird 2011 Bowman Draft and Draft Chrome

I've been following Brandon Laird since he went over to Japan in 2015 to play for the FightersFuji got me started on my Laird collection last year and I have been going nuts these past few weeks rounding out holes in my collection for his American cards.  Soon I'll be diving into his Japanese cards.  I never was one for autos, refractors, or parallels, but to be honest it has been fun chasing these down.  I am a rookie when it comes to all this so if there are any errors or holes in my story, I'd love to know about it so I can get it fixed.  I'll show the set collections as I "finish" them....can you truly ever finish some of these with all the 1/1s floating around?

Here are Laird's 2011 Bowman Draft and Draft Chrome cards that I have accumulated so far.  If I am reading the Trading Card Database correctly, here are all the cards available in this series:

- #26 2011 Bowman Draft
- #26 2011 Bowman Draft - Blue S/N #ed to 499
- #26 2011 Bowman Draft - Gold
- #26 2011 Bowman Draft - Red
- #26 2011 Bowman Draft Printing Plates - Black/Cyan/Magenta/Yellow #ed to 1
- #26 2011 Bowman Draft Chrome
- #26 2011 Bowman Draft Chrome - Purple
- #26 2011 Bowman Draft Chrome - Red
- #26 2011 Bowman Draft Chrome - Superfractors
- #26 2011 Bowman Draft Chrome - Blue #ed to 199
- #26 2011 Bowman Draft Chrome - Gold #ed to 50
- #26 2011 Bowman Draft Chrome - Orange #ed to 25
- #26 2011 Bowman Draft Chrome - Gold Canary Diamond #ed to 1
- #26 2011 Bowman Draft Chrome Printing Plates - Black/Cyan/Magenta/Yellow #ed to 1

After writing the checklist out it seems I still have a ways to go. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

3 More Airport Trading Cards

A huge thanks to Steve K. for hooking me up with three more Airport Trading Cards.  My passion for flying made these an instant set I needed to collect.  A few people are actively trading and selling these cards, but Steve K. went above and beyond with a few of his extras.  I have 49 of these out of about 70 total in the set.  These last 20 are going to be tough!  If anyone lives near any of these airports, I'd be more than willing to pay for your time and shipping for any of these cards.

21D - Lake Elmo Airport, MN
ANE -  Anoka County - Blaine Airport, MN
AVL - Ashville Regional Airport, NC
BNA -  Nashville, International Airport, TN
BOS - Logan International Airport, MA
FCM - Flying Cloud Airport, MN
GSO -  Piedmont Triad International Airport, NC
MDW -  Chicago Midway International Airport, IL
MIC - Crystal Aiport, MN
MKE - General Mitchell International Airport, WI
MSN - Dane County Regional Airport, WI
RDU - Raleigh-Durham, NC
SJC - San Jose International Airport, CA
SLC - Salt Lake City International Airport, UT
SSF - Stinson Municipal Airport, TX
STP - St. Paul Downtown Airport, MN
YLW - Kelowna Airport, Canada
YOW - Ottowa/Macdonald-Cartier International Airport, Canada
YTZ - Toronto/City Centre Airport, Canada
YYC - Calgary International Airport, Canada,

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Not Quite a Postcard - New Set / 1936 Large Bromides (BB362)

It was common in the 1920s and 1930s to issue pictures of sumo wrestlers on postcards.  Someday my collecting will focus on these postcard sets, but the sheer number of these postcards has kept me from diving into them head first.  With the advent of radio in the 1920s and 1930s, sumo wrestling matches were broadcast around Japan.  The Sumo Association needed a way to enable the listeners out in rural Japan, who couldn't make the tournaments in person, to visualize the wrestlers as they were absorbed with the broadcasts.  Thus, numerous sets of wrestlers were issued in the 1920s and 1930s to help.  Most of these are blanked back and are categorized under the Stadium, or S-Series, of cards.  This new set might very well go under that category someday, but for now I have classified it as a Black and White Bromide, or BB-series.  It is from 1936 and so far there are only three cards I have been able to unearth....Yokozuna Minanogawa, Maegashira Kasagiyama, and Maegashira Tamanoura.  These measure about 3.5" x 5.5" and are printed on a thin, paper or photographic stock.  I'm always still amazed that stuff like this was able to survive the war.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

New Set / 1940 Rikishi 7 (R4010)

    I love "discovering" new sets and being able to catalog them....there is something that strikes a chord with the collector inside me that brings great satisfaction in documenting these older sumo menko sets.  This particular set was issued during the pre-WWII era when R-Series menko were extremely popular.  Surprisingly, this set doesn't have any war-themed pictures on the front of their kesho-mawashi (Ceremonial Aprons)....since the Japanese were in the middle of the war with China, but these war-themed pictures were quite common on many other sets.

Yokozuna Terukuni (Photo courtesy of Sumo Reference)
     On an interesting note, this set does contain Yokozuna Terukuni's Debut fact, he had only been in the top ranks for a year on his way to a meteoric rise to the top rank of Yokozuna and was lucky enough to be captured in this set at the relatively low rank of Maegashira.  I was fortunate enough to probably get the 6 perfect menko in order to identify the year these menko were made.  The Ozeki, Sekiwake, and Komusubi menko all point to this set being produced at the beginning of 1940.....not only that, but 3 of the wrestlers went on to reach the Yokozuna rank....pretty cool.  Given that this set is the 10th R-series set from 1940 the Catalog Number is locked in at R4010.

The fronts are fairly generic with the name of the wrestler or a nature scene drawn on their kesho-mawashi and with a hand-drawn head that somewhat resembles the wrestler.  This set would have originally been printed in sheets with perforations in order for the kids to pop them out. 

The backs have the rank at the very top with the wrestler's name right under that.  Height and weight are along the right side and a war-themed word on the left with the wrester's favorite technique below that.  Along the bottom is a 7-digit Fighting Number inside a blue, rectangular box. 

Good stuff!