I'd seen these cards being offered on Ebay and I just kind of ignored them. But I bought some Calbee cards from the same seller and he included a handful of them as a bonus. I looked them up for the first time then and realized that Engel had given them a scarcity rating of "R5", the most scarce rating he has. It indicates that only "3 or fewer copies are known of most cards". I still wasn't sure I was that interested in them but when the seller put the complete 30 card set up for sale at $30 (with free shipping from Japan), I was intrigued. When he put them on sale for $27, I decided to go for it.
And I'm actually glad I did. I get a kick out of the cartoon drawings of the players. The cards are small, less than an inch and a half in diameter. The drawings of the players do not include the team logos. Of the 30 players in the set, there's only one gaijin player (Carlos Ponce). With the exception of a handful of players from the Seibu Lions (Koji Akiyama, Kazuhiro Kiyohara, Hiromichi Ishige, Taigen Kaku), all of the players in the set are from the Central League. Most of the big names from the time are in the set - Hiromitsu Ochiai, Kazuyoshi Tatsunami, Tatsunori Hara, Norihiro Komada, Masumi Kuwata, Takehiro Ikeyama among others.
Engel mentions that there's a metallic parallel issue for the set. Most of the cards I got in the complete set are actually the parallel issues. Some of them have gold foil on them and some have silver - I don't know if there are two different parallels or just the one.
Here's some examples:
|Regular and Silver Parallels of Meishi Ro of the Giants|