Saturday, February 6, 2016

2002 BBM Menko Set

This is a great set that mixes vintage and modern designs and is actually very difficult to find. Back in 2002 for 1500円 + tax you could get this set which comes in a cardboard sleeve package.  The most notable name in this set is then Sekiwake Asashoryu who, until he started getting in trouble with the Sumo Association and eventually retiring early, was on his way to breaking the all time tournament win record.  That has since been eclipsed by Yokozuna Hakuho, but Asashoryu was truly a great rikishi to watch in the ring and he definitely had a presence about him.  The other big name in the set is American Henry Miller who managed to break into the top division for just a few tournaments one of which coincided with the release of this set.

There are 40 menko in this set and all measure approximately 1.25" x 2.75".  They are secured on a solid cardboard backing and once popped out, the backing reveals the rank of the rikishi.

  The front of the menko shows the rikishi in their kesho mawashi as well as shikona.  The color of the menko indicates which side of the banzuke the rikishi is ranked (January 2002 tournament in this case).  Red indicates East and Green West.  The back of the menko is filled with statistical information about the rikishi such as total wins, birthplace, height, weight, highest rank, etc...  Each is numbered from 1-40 in the upper right corner.  I have only seen one set of these in the past 3 years when I first found out about the set and of course I had to buy it since I figured it would be a while before I found another one.

 Pick this set up if you can!


  1. I wouldn't know any of these guys... but these are very, very cool nonetheless.

  2. I love these oddball sets! The 2014 copy of SCM that I have doesn't have a checklist so I am wondering if the set is even more rare than I am imagining.

    1. Is it possible that these were issued with a magazine? I've seen the occasional BBM baseball card that's not in a set listed in SCM (like the 2009 Legend set and I've figured that they were an insert to a magazine or mook.

  3. I wish BBM would do something like this for baseball

  4. Interesting thought. I'll have to see if there are additional clues on the cardboard sleeve. The 2014 SCM I was using has the set mentioned, but didn't checklist it which I found rather odd. The set had been out for several years at that point. The cardboard sleeve does have price sticker residue on it...not sure if that was original or from a resell.