Friday, March 3, 2017

Getting oh so Close....My 1987 Calbee Set Saga Continues

 The 1987 Calbee set is getting closer and closer to completion.....yet despite years of effort the finish line remains frustratingly elusive..

I picked up two more cards on my want list last week, #254 (Rick Lancelotti, known as "Lance" in Japan) and #299 (Eiji Kanamori).

According to my trusty hand-made checklist here:
That leaves me 31 cards short of the full set, or 91.9% of the way there.  Except for my complete 1990 low number set, which at 55 cards is a relatively easy one, this is by far the vintage Calbee set I am closest to completing.

This is what the same checklist looked like 3 years ago when I made my last post about putting the 87 set together:

I was about 100 cards short of the set then, which means I have only added about 70 cards in three years.  The closer you get on these sets, the harder it is to find the few that you need.  There are usually 300-400 or so 1987 Calbee singles available on Yahoo Auctions at any given moment,though there is heavy duplication of some of them so you can probably find less than half of the individual cards and not one of my 31 out there.  When the cards I need pop up, I have to swoop down fast since a lot of the remaining ones are pretty hard to find.

10 of the cards that remain on my want list (82, 83, 84, 86, 88, 89, 92, 97, 98 and 99) fall between 75 and 100, which supports the statements I have seen suggesting that run was short-printed.  Its extremely hard to find cards from that series on Yahoo Auctions (and needless to say impossible to find them on Ebay).  So if you have any cards from that series, hold onto them!

I am hoping that this year will finally be the year that I complete this thing and shift attention to some other sets (1975-76 is another major Calbee project underway, but its nowhere near completion.  1984 and 1986 are also works in progress).  The 1987 set is a great one - cool photography and player selection throughout.  And it will be a major mark of pride to have put one together, there are probably only a handful of collectors out there who have done it so this is one of those little niches in the hobby where you can brag about stuff like that (in part because so few even bother trying, though this is legitimately a very hard set to piece together regardless).


  1. Good luck! Hard to believe a modern set like this is hard to find....if only the late 1980s American sets were like this, we'd all be sitting on gold.

    1. LOL, yeah, the 1987 Topps set is ever so slightly easier to put together....

  2. I have to believe that there is a wealthy person, or group of people, who get their fun from buying up print runs or parts of print runs from random products, just to drive collectors crazy. They probably have a warehouse somewhere with stacks of 2004 BBM True Heart wrestling cards and 1987 Calbee, but only cards 75-100. That's who I blame every time I can't find something that should be relatively common.

    1. LOL, yeah! Actually I know of one guy who is doing that, albeit with one card rather than a whole series. The 1964 Topps Curt Flood card is basically a common, but because of one guy buying them all up they sell for ridiculous prices on Ebay.

  3. Have you checked out the Tokyo-area card shops yet? And what are you willing to pay per card? I can keep an eye out if you'd like. There's a card show up here in April, too, by the way. But it might not be so big and it could have a lot of the dealers who go to the Nagoya show.

    1. I have never been card shopping up in Tokyo, whenever I go there I am either on business with no time, or with a 2 year old in tow who has no interest whatsoever in going to a card shop (maybe in a few years though!)

      If you don't mind looking out for some of them, I would pay up to 500 Yen each for singles in the 75-100 series that I need, and 100-200 Yen each for the other ones (assuming they are in nice shape, about Ex or better. Minor corner wear is OK).

      The ones I need are:
      29, 48, 67, 73, 82, 83, 84, 86, 88, 89, 92, 97, 98, 99, 177, 183, 187, 197, 198, 205, 222, 252, 253, 255, 346, 367.

      I also have a lot of 1987 doubles for trade if you are interested. I would give 2 singles for 1 on my want list for the non-short print ones, and 5 for 1 for the short printed ones.