Sunday, October 23, 2016

Calbee Card Albums

I've been wanting for a while to talk about Calbee card albums.  Calbee has offered card albums as redemption prizes ever since they first started publishing cards in 1973.  Based on posts from Ryan and Sean it looks like the albums had photos on them in the 1970's, moved to more generic graphics in the 1980's and nowadays just have the team logos on them.  I have a couple from the 1970's and one from the 1980's.

This first one is from 1974 and depicts scenes from Shigeo Nagashima's retirement ceremony.  The album features 12 3 pocket cellophane pages so it could hold 36 cards if you wanted to read the backs or 72 if you put the cards in back to back.  It is held together by two metal "eyelets" and lies flat.

Front Cover

Inside Front Cover

Inside Back Cover

Back Cover
The next one is one that Ryan just sent me last month.  It's from 1976 and features Sadaharu Oh on the occasion of his 715th home run (which pushed him past Babe Ruth).  The interior covers contain a biogrpahy of Oh.  Like the Nagashima album, this one has 12 3 pocket cellophane sheets and lays flat.

Front Cover

Inside Front Cover

Inside Back Cover

Back Cover
The last album I have that has photos on it is from 1979.  Calbee made some changes between 1975 and 1979.  The album is not as wide as the earlier ones and contains 12 2 card cellophane sheets (dropping the number of cards it can hold to 24 or 48 back to back).  It also has a spine so it doesn't lay flat like the others.  The front is kind of an odd photo - there's two Sadaharu Oh's standing next to each other.  One of them is finishing swing a bat and looks like he's about to clock the Tigers catcher.  Calbee like this photo enough that they apparently used it on a least four different albums in 1979 (with four different border colors - red, yellow, green and blue) and at least one album in 1980 (with a yellow border).  The inside covers have a sequence of pictures of Tigers pitcher Shigeru Kobayashi and the back cover features a photo of Masayuki Kakefu of the Tigers (with Mike Reinbach in the background) and Koji Yamamoto of the Carp.

Front Cover

Inside Front Cover

Inside Back Cover

Back Cover
The 1988 album I have is roughly the same size as the 1979 album and also has a spine.  Instead of 12 2 pocket cellophane sheets, however, this album has four paper pages that unfold from the album.  Each page has 12 cellophane pockets on it so the album could take 48 cards total - but you wouldn't be able to read the backs of the cards without taking them out.  Sean has this album as well as the 1987 one which is nearly identical.  The only way I (and he) have labelled this one as being from 1988 is because the inside covers list all the Nippon Series winners up to 1987.  A previous owner of my album must have used it for his 1987 cards as someone has written "1987" on it in a couple places.

Front Cover

Inside Front Cover

Inside Back Cover

Back Cover
The 1973 Calbee book I picked up a few months back has photos of a number the 1970's albums in it:

pp 4-5

p. 7

pp. 8-9

pp. 10-11
The albums show up on Ebay every so often and usually aren't terribly expensive.  It is hard for me to decide to pick one up rather than get more Calbee cards however.

3 comments:

R Laughton said...

Very cool! I am always fascinated by the non-card parts of the sets, especially these albums! The sumo set has an album as well, but I've yet to secure on. They rarely come up and when they do they are usually between $100-$200. I am in the same boat, do I buy more cards with that money or do I get the album!? Thanks for sharing!

Sean said...

Nice write up. I have some of those 70s albums, though I`d never seen a 1979 one before (they seem to be harder to find than the ones for earlier years for some reason). That photo of Oh jumping up in celebration I believe is the same as one used on one of his cards from that set.

I wish they would go back to something like their 1970s era ones, printed on cardboard with nice looking photographs on them. The current plastic ones with the generic logos that almost never change are just really unappealing.

NPB Card Guy said...

It wouldn't surprise me if most of the photos on the albums are used on cards as well. I have at least one card using one of the images on the Nagashima album.