Sunday, May 31, 2015

Calbee Baseball Chips in the Wild

 When I look around baseball card websites, blogs and magazines I see a lot of pictures of baseball cards.  Pretty much any baseball card out there you can see a picture of it in an instant.

What there are a lot fewer photos of out there are baseball cards in their everday context, particularly in the time at which they were issued. I can see a picture of any 1952 Topps card, for example, but it is almost impossible to find pictures of shops in 1952 with wax packs of Topps cards available for sale.

This latter thing is much more interesting from a historical point of view but for some reason nobody ever thinks to actually take pictures like that and post them.  I`d be really interested to see what a counter display with 1952 Topps packs would have looked like back in the day. We can easily find out what the packs and boxes looked like, but what did the rest of the shelf look like?  What kind of products were being sold next to them?  Candy and the like?  Or toys?  I`m sure for people old enough to remember buying packs of 1952 Topps cards (like my dad) this sort of thing seems second nature, but for the rest of us its a bit of a mystery.  Heck, you don`t even need to go back to 1952, try finding pictures of interiors of baseball card stores from the 1980s and there aren`t that many of those on the internet either.
 Anyway, I thought I`d do my own extremely small part to alleviate this lacunae in internet image search engines by putting up some pictures of this year`s Calbee cards as they appear in shops near my place in Nagoya, for posterity`s sake. 

As you can see, they generally get put on shelves with potato chips and other snacks on them. If you live in Japan this probably seems ridiculously obvious, but I suppose for any collectors out there who have never been here this might be at least a bit interesting.  The top photo here is from a supermarket (AEON), while the lower two are from convenience stores.  They all charge 98 Yen per bag, plus tax.  The bottom photo is my favorite display, not only are the bags sold on the candy shelf rather than the chips shelf (some convenience stores do that, others don`t, I am not sure why), but they also have a cool hand-written sign for them.  Its kind of a nice touch.


  1. Not only do I rarely see pictures of Calbee chips in the wild, I don't often see what the bags themselves look like. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Glad to help :) I think I`ll try to do this everytime a new Calbee series comes out!

  3. sean
    nice article
    can u help me. i am looking for someone in japan who can help me obtain autographs of 11 former NY Mets from Japan