Monday, October 20, 2014
In the Mail this Week: 1995 Calbee Tokyo Snack Cards
In other words, in each decade Calbee had one basic design philosphy and applied it almost uniformly to every set year after year. Except the 1990s.
If you look at Calbee sets from year to year in the 1990s you`ll notice that it is the only decade in which the design of the cards changed, sometimes radically, from year to year. This gives Calbee cards from the 1990s a degree of uniqueness not found in other decades.
It is kind of interesting to speculate why this was so. My guess would be that the introduction of serious competition from BBM from 1991 forced Calbee to respond and they experimented with a series of design changes in a trial and error process. In 1998 they seem to have had that "Eureka!" moment since from that year on they have kept pretty much the same design.
The 1995 set is one of the more interesting ones from this period. The shape and size are the same as that used from the latter half of 1990 through the 1996 set, but the design, which is quite colorful and distinctive, was only used in this one set. Though I generally prefer the full bleed design they usually use, I kind of like this set. It looks very 1990s.
I got a half-dozen cards in this lot. Prior to that I only had one card - one of the low number Ichiros. I will add this to my list of "sets in progress that I will hopefully one day finish but probably not." The high number cards in this set are notoriously hard to locate, having been sold in very limited quantities and containing a couple of quite expensive cards of Ichiro (who, incidentally, had his first regular Calbee card in this set, though he had been featured in a regional set in 1994).