Monday, January 30, 2023

Topps Now Samurai Japan Team Set

Topps Japan had a a 30 card Topps Now Samurai Japan team set up for sale between the middle of December and the middle of January.  I had ordered my set around New Year's and was pleasantly surprised that it shipped much fast than the Topps Now Samurai Japan cards they had sold in November - I got the cards today, right around two weeks after the cards stopped being for sale as opposed to about month after the November ones had stopped being for sale.  And that includes the week that the set sat in customs in New York.

The cards Topps sold in November were for 15 members of the Samurai Japan team that played a couple of friendly matches against Team Australia (and two warm up games against the Fighters and Giants).  This team set contains all 28 players from that squad along with manager Hideki Kuriyama and a cover card.  The photos were (obviously) all taken during those four games in November.  Here's some sample cards:








Topps is still committed to putting the least amount of effort into the backs of their Japanese cards as all the player cards have identical backs (except for the card number and the name and position of the player).  They list the dates of all four games but, oddly enough, not the scores.  Here's the back of Koji Chikamoto's card as an example:

The cover card lists all four games on the front (again without giving the scores) and has the entire team roster (including the coaching staff) on the back:

Here's the list of players in the set - Koji Chikamoto, Sosuke Genda, Shota Imanaga, Shuta Ishikawa, Hiromi Itoh, Takuya Kai, Kensuke Kondoh, Shugo Maki, Hiroya Miyagi, Tomoya Mori, Daisuke Moriura, Munetaka Murakami, Yuhei Nakamura, Takumu Nakano, Ryoma, Nishikawa, Kazuma Okamoto, Taisei Ota, Roki Sasaki, Teruaki Sato, Yasutaka Shiomi, Ukyo Shuto, Hiroto Takahashi, Keiji Takahashi, Shosei Togo, Tetsuto Yamada, Soichiro Yamazaki, Kaito Yoza and Atsuki Yuasa.  19 of these players are on the announced Samurai Japan roster for the upcoming World Baseball Classic.  The Topps Now cards in November were for Imanaga, Itoh, Kondoh, Maki, Mori, Murakami (2 cards), Okamoto, Ota, Sasaki, Sato, Shiomi, Shuto, Togo, Yamada and Yamazaki.

I like the set (I'm a sucker for National Team sets) which is good since it cost me around $90 including shipping from Japan.  I'm just a little concerned with how expensive cards for the upcoming WBC are going to be if not only Topps does most of their cards as Topps Now cards (like they did in 2017) but also issues Topps Now cards in Japan as well.  I guess we'll know for sure in a little over five weeks.


Steve Smith said...

Any Aussie make an appearance in background on any cards?

NPB Card Guy said...

I don't think so.