Thursday, October 1, 2015

Sports Card Magazine #113

Issue 113 of Sports Card Magazine was published last Saturday in Japan and my copy arrived at my house on Tuesday.  As always, there's not a lot that's in English in it but there's some interesting tidbits that can be deciphered.

The main article in the color section is a list of what I think are the results of a poll of the top 50 rookie (or first BBM) cards of the quarter century BBM has been doing cards.  I'd be curious what the parameters of the poll were, as the most recent cards are from 2007.  It's possible that the poll was actually for the most popular players of the past 25 years and SCM simply was showing each player's first BBM card.  Here's the list:

1. Michihiro Ogasawara (1997 #454)
2. Hideki Matsui (1993 #423)
3. Nobuhiko Matsunaka (1997 #478)
4. Atsuya Furuta (1991 #195)
5. Tomoaki Kanemoto (1994 #363)
6. Ichiro Suzuki (1993 #239)
7. Norihiro Nakamura (1995 #376)
8. Daisuke Matsuzaka (1999 #413)
9. Kazuhiro Kiyohara (1991 #257)
10. Daisuke Miura (1994 #124)
11. Kazuo Matsui (1994 #506)
12. Yoshinobu Takahashi (1998 #345)
13. Akira Etoh (1991 #283)
14. Shinya Miyamoto (1995 #553)
14. Motonobu Tanishige (1991 #200)
14. Atsunori Inaba (1995 #554)
17. Masahiro Yamamoto (1991 #67)
17. Alex Ramirez (2001 #339)
17. Hirokazu Ibata (1998 #389)
20. Shinnosuke Abe (2001 #28)
21. Tuffy Rhodes (1996 #456)
21. Takesi Yamasaki (1991 #117)
21. Takuro Ishii (1993 #362)
21. Tomonori Maeda (1991 #14)
25. Hiroki Kokubo (1994 #531)
25. Fumiya Nishiguchi (1995 #526)
27. Kimiyasu Kudoh (1991 56)
28. Kazuhiro Wada (1997 #458)
28. Kenshin Kawakami (1998 #385)
30. Norichika Aoki (2004 1sr Version #308)
30. Yoshitomo Tani (1997 #446)
32. Kenji Johjima (1995 #558)
33. Alex Cabrera (2001 #414)
33. Toshiya Sugiuchi (2002 1st Version #235)
35. Hitoki Iwase (1999 #311)
36. Seiichi Uchikawa (2001 #321)
37. Takahiro Arai (1999 #374)
37. Masahiro Araki (1996 #484)
39. Hiroyuko Nakajima (2001 #426)
40. Kenta Maeda (2007 1st Version #391)
41. Koji Uehara (1999 #329)
41. Kazuya Fukuura (1994 #529)
43. Yu Darvish (2005 1st Version #116)
44. Masanori Ishikawa (2002 1st Version #24)
45. Kosuke Fukudome (1999 #310)
46. Tsuyoshi Nishioka (2003 1st Version #304)
47. Masahiro Tanaka (2007 1st Version #211)
48, Hisashi Iwakuma (2000 #388)
48. Hideaki Wakui (2005 1st Version #37)
50. Kazuyoshi Tatsunami (1991 #288)
50. Tadahito Iguchi (1997 #477)

It's kind of an odd list, because there's any number of popular players who are missing - Tsuyoshi Shinjo, Hayato Sakamoto, Hideo Nomo, Shuichi Murata and Takeya Nakamura immediately come to mind.  So I'm probably missing something here.

Their list of "Best Cards" for the issue is:

Best Card Of This Month:  2015 BBM Fighters Shohei Ohtani autograph 1of1
Best Item Of This Month:  2015 BBM 2nd Version

Hot Card Lists
1. 2013 BBM 1st Version Shohei Ohtani (#183)
2. 2015 BBM 1st Version Hayato Takagi (#188)
3. 2015 BBM 1st Version Yasuaki Yamasaki (#291)
4. 2015 BBM 1st Version Takayoshi Noma (#237)
5. 2015 BBM 1st Version Shun Lin Haru (#111)
6. 2015 BBM 1st Version Kona Takahashi (#131)
7. 2015 BBM 1st Version Tomohiro Anaraku (#156)
8. 2015 BBM 1st Version Shogo Nakamura (#102)
9. 2015 BBM 1st Version Kazuma Okamoto (#186)
10. 2015 BBM 1st Version Daiki Osama (#075)

Autograph & Memorabilia:
1. 2015 BBM Fighters Shohei Ohtani autograph card
2. 2015 BBM Baystars Yasuaki Yamasaki autograph card
3. 2015 BBM 2nd Version Hideaki Wakui autograph card
4. 2015 BBM Giants Undershirt/Bat card for Taishi Ohta, Seiji Kobayashi, Tomoyuki Sugano and Tetsuya Utsumi
5. 2015 BBM Carp Authentic Edition Hiroki Kokubo autograph card
6. 2015 BBM Dancing Heroine Mai(?) Reika autograph card
7. 2015 Epoch Japan Baseball Promotion Association National Record Holders Yutaka Enatsu autograph "booklet" card
8. 2015 BBM Tigers Shintaro Fujinami autograph card
9. 2015 BBM Lions Kona Takahashi autograph card
10. 2015 BBM Dancing Heroine Mai(?) Mayu autograph card

The remainder of the color section consists of ads for new and upcoming releases by BBM - six(!) pages for Genesis, half page ads for Tigers Authentic Edition Batters Version, Fighters Sky High, Buffaloes Autograph Edition and Rookie Edition Premium and full page ads for the 25th Anniversary set, Hippy Hippy Shake (Dragons cheerleader set) and Hanabi (gymnastics set).

The highlights of the "newsprint" section of the magazine include "BBM Dream Card Collection" (which shows a ton of autograph cards), an interview with Dragons cheerleader Rika Honda and four competing box breaks of 2nd Version.  My two favorite articles, however, are a display of all the BBM "flagship" cards of Motonobu Tanishige (SCM included the 1999-01 Preview cards as well as all the ones I showed) and a "Card Shop Navi" article on Quad Sports.  The "New Card List" section contains the checklists for all the sets advertised in the color section and the "old card" checklist and price guide lists soccer cards.

I was a bit disappointed in the insert cards with this issue - there are only six cards and they are all "bonus" cards from the "Ceremonial First Pitch" subset for this year's 2nd Version set.  They are numbered #FP13-18 (along with their SCM numbers) and feature model Nonoka Ono, model/actress Ayame Goriki, singer (and former AKB48 member) Mai Ohshima, actress Ami Inamura, singer Rurika Yokoyama and snowboarder Tomoka Takeuchi.

SCM #347
There was a great Toyota commercial earlier this year that featured people playing baseball in the street.  I was amused to discover that Inamura is the final batter in the commercial:

Warren Cromatie is also in the commercial.

This was the first issue of SCM to have less than 12 cards since issue #102 almost two years ago.  Consequently, the issue was "only" 1620 yen, the cheapest an issue has been since that same issue.  However, that issue was 1000 yen so the price is still a bit inflated.


kndynt2099 said...

The first thing I noticed was:

a) How they packaged the cards this time around
b) How it made the magazine look sooooooooo thin compared to previous issues.

But while I like Ceremonial First Pitch Cards....I'm wondering if they are going to go with this format.

Ryan G said...

I picked up this magazine specifically for the First Pitch cards, on Saturday. I didn't realize it had just came out because I just wandered in to the local bookstore.

I wonder if the magazine cost is related to licensing costs for the "free" cards. Fewer cards, lower cost. The little "envelope" package is pretty common; the stiff, thick cardboard brick BBM has been using is bulky, especially if you just take the cards out and want a price guide. And I'm sure it's costly, too - lots of stiff, strong cardboard there.

I haven't really looked through the magazine at all, but the pages and pages of Genesis images is good. Except I'll never have any of the great cards shown.

kndynt2099 said...

I wonder if they are non-baseball athlete related, they go with the envelope packaging? I started collecting the magazine since March, so not sure how previous magazines were in the past.

I like the bulky packaging if they include hard-to-find cards and protect them from bending. Great we got some foil-based signed cards.

The unusual thing is that for a magazine, they charge quite a bit compared to others that give out swag (ie. Street Jack or Smart Magazine, which comes with wallets, sunglasses, etc., which I usually order alongside Sports Card Magazine)

I personally enjoyed the Ceremonial First Pitch because I tend to be unlucky when I buy the BBM 2nd version

NPB Card Guy said...

Issue 113 is actually the same number of pages as Issue 112 - it's just that since 113 doesn't have the thick cardboard "brick" to hold the cards, it's physically thinner

This is pretty much how the cards were packaged prior to issue 103 (the first issue from 2014). Issues 103 to 112 had the "brick".