Sunday, July 24, 2016

1994 Calbee Hideki Matsui

I`ve been doing a lot of posts about 1970s era cards recently, but I`ve also added a few beauties to my early 1990s Calbee collection, including a 1994 Calbee Hideki Matsui.

The 1994 Calbee set is, along with most pre-1998 Calbee cards - kind of a hard one to collect since there isn`t a huge supply of them out there.  Yahoo Auctions only has 115 listings for 1994 Calbees at the moment, and these actually come from two different sets.  The main set, which this one is part of, has the player and team names written in diagonal stripes on the lower left and upper right corners of the card.  A second set, which I think was only sold regionally and is thus even harder to find, lacks these stripes, has colored backs (the main set has a black and white back) and each number begins with c. 

This Matsui card (#47) isn`t his rookie card since he appeared in both BBM`s 1993 set and also on a 1993 Calbee card (which has a similar design to this one), and he also has a couple of more cards in the 1994 set.  This makes it a reasonably affordable buy, they seem to go for around 500-1000 Yen each when they show up in auctions (which is how I go this one).  Not sure how much they go for on Ebay.

Anyway, its a cool card - showing Matsui when he was barely out of high school - and is the earliest calbee card I have of him so I`m glad to add it to the collection!


  1. It seems since BBM came along the 1990s Calbee cards get shuffled to the back. Nice pick up!

  2. Yeah it kind of is like that, probably since BBM cards follow a more familiar format to those in the US. The Calbees are way more interesting to me though, partly because of the challenge they present in terms of tracking them down.

  3. I really wish Asian markets in the US carried Calbee Potato Chips, so maybe we could get an easier shot at the cards than ordering whole cases from overseas.

    Another relatively easy to find source of early Matsui cards are from the Hideki Matsui Home Run set. I've got a few of those from 1993.

  4. I agree...I'd be collecting them now if I could buy them here. I've checked numerous Japanese stores while traveling and no luck.

  5. Yeah, it is too bad that they don`t try to take advantage of the overseas market more. In fact that seems to be a problem with all things NPB in general - there is a pretty big latent overseas market for Japanese baseball but zero effort is made to tap into it (one could probably do pretty well offering English language streaming broadcasts of games for example, but you can`t even get Japanese language ones in Japan for most games in the Central League).

  6. FIOS offers English-language broadcasts of sumo tournaments...all 15 days for all 6 tournaments throughout the year. I love it! Would watch NPB baseball if they had it available. I shop a ton on Yahoo Auctions so could start picking up sets here and there,but sumo takes priority.

    1. That is great. NHK offers English language broadcasts of the tournaments too and I love watching them, the only problem is the schedule (I`m still at work when they are broadcast on weekdays, wish they would push the schedule back a bit). Actually the Nagoya basho that just finished last weekend takes place just a few blocks from where I live, though I haven`t gone in person here yet (though I have gone to the Kyushu tournament in Fukuoka and the Spring tournament in Osaka before)

  7. There was a guy on Ebay a few years ago selling unopened packs of the regional series (sold only in Hokkaido) and I bought a bunch of them. As a consequence I have many more cards from the rare series than I do of the regular cards. I think the only regular 1994 Calbees I have are ones I picked up in Tokyo. For some reason, the 1992-97 Calbees don't seem to show up on Ebay very often.

  8. Oh wow, those Hokkaido regional ones are pretty rare, that was a good find!

    The Calbee sets from those years are pretty hard to find on Yahoo Auctions too. From 1998 they seem to have bumped production considerably since from that year on they become considerably more available (including in bulk lots). I`m not sure why the mid 1990s were off years, though possibly it is because Calbee was putting out more J-league soccer products in those years.