Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Sega Card Gen: "Rare" Foil Cards

So as we've established, Sega Card Gen is a pretty unique set that's not quite like anything else Topps has ever put out. That said however, Sega Card Gen does have some elements that your typical modern day Topps set has. Variations and redemptions.
The latter will be a topic for another day but I would like to talk about the former today, more specifically the foil cards in Sega Card Gen.

Now "variations" might not be the right word to call these cards as the foil cards are so different from the normal base cards that they might as well be classified as separate entities. Plus prior to 2011 these cards weren't even foil cards. So I'm going to call them what the Japanese call them, "rare(s)." (Note, in Japan people refer to base cards as "commons" and notable cards as "rares")

Base (left), Rare Foil (right)

These rares are just a 60-card subset in Sega Card Gen.
In order to have a rare card, the player on it must have 7 or 8 stars. Meaning that the subset is limited to only the elite and top players currently in the game. Although there are unique exceptions (we'll get to those later).
If the few photos of Sega Card Gen cards during it's planning stage that have managed to leak online are any indication, these rare cards were going to be a part of the game from the very get go. After all, you can't have a set of gaming cards needed to play an arcade game without power ups.

As mentioned before, these rare cards are pretty different from the normal base cards. Here's why.

On the left we have a normal base card of Hanley Ramirez from 2013 Sega Card Gen. On the right we have a rare foil card of Hanley Ramirez from 2013 Sega Card Gen.
Notice how the pictures are different. One's an awesome dugout shot (seriously, that photo is amazing) and the other is HanRam fielding with a big ass Sega Card Gen logo (that's hard to see in person unless you're in the right light) plopped right behind him. The designs are a bit different too. On the base card the player name, position and team name are written on the bottom and "SEGA CARD-GEN 2013" is written on the top. On the rare foil card the player name, position and team name are written on the top and "SEGA CARD-GEN 2013" is written on the bottom.
Now let's look at the backs.

On the left we have a normal base card of Hanley Ramirez from 2013 Sega Card Gen. On the right we have a rare foil card of Hanley Ramirez from 2013 Sega Card Gen.
For the most part they look pretty similar but the two cards have two different bios written on them. The base card on the left talks about how HanRam is a 5-tool player and how he got traded to the Dodgers in mid-2012. The rare foil card on the right talks about how HanRam is one of the biggest names in the MLB and how he racked up 92 RBIs, how fast he is and complements his defense.
You'll also notice that the rare foil card is better than the normal base card by one point (78 vs 77). That's because the foil cards adds one point to one of the five categories. In this case HanRam has level 17 speed instead of level 16 speed.
Oh and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention how the card number on the base card is J13-265/390 while the card number on the rare card is R38/60.

And this is how it is with every rare foil card.
Other than that, these rare cards also give you a small advantage in the arcade game. Sega has yet to issue an official explanation about what these rare cards actually do in the game but anybody whose played the game with some rares will tell you that they work a lot better than the normal base cards. Most notably how the players are much more likelier to get a hit or get more strikeouts (especially when you're not operating them).

Earlier I mentioned that there were some players who had foil cards under unique circumstances. We'll let's look at some of them.

These particular rare cards are special limited edition cards given out to people who win Sega Card Gen tournaments. Yes, you read that correctly, there are Sega Card Gen tournaments. People (usually like 16 people) come into an arcade where the tournament is being hosted, compete with a few other people and the grand prize winner gets one of the special rare foil cards seen above. There are runner up prizes for the other participants too but I'll get to those another day.
These special rare foil cards are all Japanese players (which makes sense since the game is being played in Japan by mostly Japanese gamers).

Unfortunately I never got to pick up any of these because the price tags were ridiculously high (one retailer was selling a Dice-K rare foil prize for $200). But luckily saved images from Yahoo Auction! will save us.

This is a Big Hirok rare foil card prize from 2012. And every time I look at it I break out into a rash and feel sad and empty that I didn't get to get one for myself.
Anyway, you can see that there's a small trophy printed on the front.

The back is quite extravagant. Look at the big ass "Congratulations!" on it.
Ugh, I should've picked this card up! GAH!

Alright, I'm going to end this post before I need anti-depressants. I'll close out this post by showing how the rare cards have evolved since 2009.

As always, thanks for stopping by and take care :).






Some of these images were courtesy of Mint. Japan's second biggest second hand market for Sega Card Gen cards. Others were courtesy of the official Sega Card Gen website.


  1. This set keeps getting cooler and cooler. I'm sure Topps is itching to bring back past designs and call it "archives".

    1. Man that'd be quite something. Although I'd hate it if the crummy card stock that Archives uses ruins this card design.

  2. Those are some awesome cards. It's like those MLB Showdown cards in a way, but much cooler!

    1. It's hard to come up with a counterpart to this set (except for maybe Baseball Heroes and WCCF) MLB Showdown is a lot more similar to another Japanese set I'm writing a post on called Konami Powerful.

  3. Love these cards, and it's a challenge to find some of them. Makes me wish I lived in Japan.

    1. Thanks for stopping by my blog BCS :).

  4. Those are interesting. Really wish I could track down that Junichi Tazawa.