Tuesday, March 17, 2015

JBR 22 "Box" Break

I picked up an odd item recently (actually two odd items - I'll get to the other one later this week) - it's a group of unopened packs from an odd bromide set from the 1988 that Engel calls JBR 22.  There were 32 packs on a string with a cardboard cover on it - I think the term for this is a "taba".  I think the intent is that the buyer would pull a pack off the string to buy it but I'm not entirely sure of that.  Here's some pictures of the whole thing:




The cards themselves are pretty basic.  The fronts are borderless color photos and the backs are blank (except for the occasional prize notation).  Probably more than most bromide cards, these feel more like photographs on heavy paper stock than baseball cards.  The cards are a little longer and narrower than the standard size - about 2 1/4 inches by 3 3/4 inches.

Engel lists around 40 cards in the set.  I got 32 unique cards out of the 32 packs in the taba, so I now have roughly 80% of the set (although I am not positive that all the cards I have match cards Engel lists - I may have a couple uncataloged ones).

Player selection for the set is a bit odd.  Only eight of the 12 teams are represented in the set - Chunichi, Hanshin, Hiroshima, Kintetsu, Nippon Ham, Seibu, Yakult and Yomiuri (so no Hankyu, Lotte, Nankai or Taiyo).  Five of those teams (Chunichi, Hanshin, Hiroshima, Kintetsu and Nippon Ham) are only represented by a single player.  There are 18 Seibu Lion cards in the set but three players (Koji Akiyama, Kazuhiro Kiyohara and Kimiyasu Kudoh) are on 13 of those.  There are 10 Giants cards but six of them are Tatsunori Hara or Masumi Kuwata.  Finally there are seven Yakult Swallows cards and six of them are of Kazushige Nagashima (Shigeo Nagashima's son).  1988 was the younger Nagashima's rookie season so this is one of the few times that cards were made of a rookie player.

For the most part the photos on the cards are pretty good.  Here's some examples:

Yasushi Tao

Koji Akiyama

Lions players

Kimiyasu Kudoh

Kazushige Nagashima

Sadaaki Yoshimura
Some of the cards have writing on the front of them and that writing actually looks awfully familiar...

Tatsunori Hara
Hmm, I've seen this image before somewhere.  Looks an awful lot like card #1 from the 1988 Calbee set over at the Calbee Collector's site:

I suspect but I'm not positive that the cards that have text on the front are unauthorized copies of Calbee images.  I also suspect that at least a couple of the cards without text may be unauthorized copies as well.

1 comment:

Ryan G said...

You are correct in that these are ripped out of the bundle when they're sold individually. I've bought a few intact non-sport tabas and several "packs" ripped from tabas. They are still sold in traditional candy shops.

Today's bromides, like these, are like heavy paper stock or thin photo paper. I have seen some thicker ones for larger bromides (usually for very popular J-Pop/K-Pop artists/groups).

I'm sure you're right about the image source for many of the cards. And unlicensed bromides for major Pop groups continue to be made. Today they might be ripped from the internet, or possibly magazines/mooks. I'm really surprised how easily they can be found!

One final note: the back of the taba usually has a sample card from the set glued to it. For issues with rare subsets it's usually a rare card or sticker.