Tuesday, February 4, 2014

2002 Japanese Topps/Topps Kanebo

Back when I was living in Japan I was lucky enough to come across this.

Now I know that most of you just went "big deal, that's just an ordinary 2002 Topps card of Jorge Posada" but it's far from ordinary.
You see, if you look on the back...

It's actually a Japanese version of Jorge Posada's 2002 Topps card.
Back in 2002, the MLB was getting very popular in Japan after Ichiro-mania took both Japan and the US by storm. And at the height of MLB's popularity in Japan, Topps and a company called Kanebo Foods released a product called MLB Gum.

As the name suggests these cards came with a stick of gum and a raffle-ish sticker which would let you know if you had won a special binder and/or a semi-creepy bobblehead (I've never seen a pack so I'm not 100% sure how these were actually distributed).
There were 2 sets of Topps Kanebo (aka Japanese Topps) that were released. One in 2002 and one in 2003. And, as far as I know, there were 2 different kinds of parallels released as well. A greyish/silverish parallel and a black border parallel. I'm not sure about the 2003 set but the 2002 set had a total of 55 cards and I was actually lucky enough to find a full set of 2002 Topps Kanebo in Japan for aprox. 10 bucks.

Some highlights

I originally intended on keeping this set intact and eventually selling it in it's entirety once I came back to the US but I could never agree on a price with potential buyers (that's a problem when you're dealing with foreign cards with undefined value) so I decided to keep it. There may come a time when I decide to break this set up (I'm keeping the Yankees & A-Rod though) as I know quite a few player/team collectors who could use these. But for now I don't mind keeping it around.

Some more highlights

Even more highlights

As always, thanks again for stopping by and take care.

Let it haunt your nightmares for a week!


  1. Wait. What? This set is awesome. If you ever decide to break up the set... I'd love a chance at the Nomo and Ichiro singles.

    1. Sorry Fuji but I really want to keep the Ichiro. Although I'll keep you in mind for the Nomo and other Japanese players in this set.

    2. no problemo... thanks for keeping me in mind.

  2. I came across a bunch of these once but the store doesn't seem to have them anymore. I need to ask, I suppose. Given all the "Asia exclusives" Topps releases now I'm surprised we don't see more of this. I guess it's only important for the high roller sets these days...

    1. True, wasn't there an Asia-exclusive high end product (not Sterling) released a while back?
      Anyway I was also surprised to see that most of the stores in Japan didn't have these. But at the same time this is/was a pretty obscure product like Konami Powerful so I don't really expect it to show up in anything but a box filled with random cards from the late 90's/early 00's.

  3. This set would make for an awesome Group Break. There are enough team collectors that you could probably sell off just about the entire thing. I would love to have the Red Sox team set if you ever broke it.