Friday, August 21, 2015

Parallels Make The World Smaller

I'm not sure how many people are actually aware of this, but with the internet we are more connected to the rest of the world than ever before.

Those of you who were around back before computers became a household item can probably attest to how far away everything used to feel. Did you ever think that you'd ever trade cards though the mail with people based in other cities? Or other countries for that matter?

The internet has truly helped us shrink the world. We all use our blogs to yammer about nothing to complete strangers (many of whom probably don't even live in the same country as us). And we use the internet to help us get in touch with those very same people.

It a sense it's great. I'm 100% confident that my collection wouldn't even be remotely close to where it is today if I didn't have the internet. As my Torrens collection has been helped out by various individuals in the US, Canada, France, Japan, the Netherlands and people from countries like Sweden (unfortunately that person and I couldn't agree on a deal) have offered to help.

However, it's also changed the game and has made collecting a lot more, um, challenging.

In the past/before the internet was invented, I doubt that parallels could exist. Or at least not on the scale that they exist in today. Without eBay, I can't imagine how much more difficult, nay impossible, completing a rainbow would be. Actually I can imagine, Topps Tek!
Currently companies are taking advantage about how every minute detail about their latest product can find it's way onto a site like Cardboard Connect and crank out parallels based on every color and design known to man. And some can only be found overseas.

As many of you know I do put some focus on cards that are exclusive to Asia (read: Japan). Partly because I'm Japanese myself and because I know a lot of folks in my motherland (who range from avid collectors who are native to Japan to non-native collectors who just happen to have teaching gigs in Japan) who can hook me up.

One of my "calling cards" in my trade packages are Sega Card Gens. I try to stock up on these and trade them to people on this blogosphere because how else are people on here supposed to get them? As most people don't even know they exist.

These kinds of cards are cool and horrifying at the same time. They're cool because they're a card exclusive to another country that a lot of people wouldn't have been able to acquire otherwise. They're horrifying because once you realize that cards that are exclusive to foreign markets can exist, you have to start wondering what does exist. And that's not good because most collectors consider themselves people who have OCD and just have to have everything. Or at least want to know about everything.

Anyway, here is where I finally tie all of my rambling together and get into the meat of this post.

As you can probably tell, some of those Asia-exclusive cards that do exist are parallels. And those of you who read my blog on a semi-regular basis knows that I've mentioned a few parallels exclusive to Asia in the past. Like here, here and pretty much most of the 2014 Bowman Draft Clone Breaks.

This happened months ago but when 2015 Bowman finally hit the shelves, there were special editions of it exclusive to Asia. Yep, at this point Topps/Bowman has finally come to realize that there are avid collectors in Asia (some willing to spend oodles of cash) and that it is a highly profitable market. Like 2014 Bowman Draft Asia Edition, the Asian version of 2015 Bowman had an exclusive parallel. Unlike 2014 Bowman Draft however, there were three exclusive parallels. One of which I don't even have yet (it's that exclusive!).

This is a black-red parallel. It's a paper parallel of the base version and is both black and red (duh).
This is of top prospect Dermis Garcia, whose 2015 season debut was slowed by injuries but he's due to really show his superior talent in 2016.

And no this is not numbered and the back looks exactly the same as your normal base card.

This is the black refractor. It's also not numbered and the back looks exactly like the ones on the normal chromes. With the way things are going, I have a feeling that these black bordered parallels are going to be standard parallels exclusive to the Asian market.

The last parallel (that I don't own yet so I can't supply a picture yet) is a black wave refractor. If you really want to see them some can be found on eBay. This caught me by surprise because black wave refractors were previously available here in North America too.

And no I have no idea what the odds on these cards were. Although I vaguely remembering hearing how the black-reds were seeded at one per box, black refs were a few (2 or 3 maybe?) per box and black waves were roughly 5 per box or something.

I briefly talked about the black refs before, but this time I can show off more. As I got one Dermis (seen above) and two of the following four top Yankees prospects.



If Gary Sanchez can be a fraction of what Pablo Sanchez was, he'll be one of the best hitters of all time.

Bird is indeed the word.

All of these were sent to me by a collector named Campos who runs a Japanese blog called Bowman's Best!! We decided to do a trade and they went above and beyond by sending me these beauties. I sent them some US only parallels in exchange for Asia only stuff. Good swap (on paper).

Although chasing rainbows have become a lot harder with all these new parallels (many of which go unnoticed), the internet has allowed us to be more connected and have more access to the world (and cards by extension) than ever before, making the chase seem tedious but not impossible. Like that earworm goes, it's a small world after all.

As always thanks for stopping by and tolerating my rambling. Take care :).


  1. Good post.

    I actually traded cards through the mail during my initial collecting days when a close friend of mine moved from Ptown to Arizona. We didn't know anything about CardSavers or top loaders and you can imagine how beat up the cards were when they arrived.
    Completing anything back in the days before the internet was a challenge and you had to buy TONS of product or have a LCS you could count on or card shows within driving distance. The internet has made collecting much more fun and challenging in different ways.

    1. Thanks PTT. I guess I should've mentioned (or made it more clear) about how just learning about what was out there must've been tougher in the dark ages as well.

  2. so many many cards I'll never never see.

    I hate this post.

    (P.S.: nice post).

    1. Lol, thanks NO. Although you do raise a good question. Is it better to not know about something you can't have? Or better to know that there exists something you can't have?

  3. You are so right. The internet has made tracking down cards or at least getting info on cards so much easier. The black parallels are great looking cards

    1. Thanks Mark. I definitely agree on the getting info part. Imagine trying to keep track of all of these parallels in the pre-internet world. Yikes.