When it come to FIFA World Cup cards and collectables, I sometimes am very disappointed in what the USA produces - or in most cases, what it doesn't produce.
In a trade that was worth the wait, Ryan over at Japanese baseball cards sent over a reminder what other countries do for soccer's big event:
Limited Edition 2002 World Cup Panini boxed set
A numbered limited edition boxed set of Panini cards features the Japan National Team. Inside are cards of the players, high lights of the qualification games and special foil cards.
Inside the box in a slotted divider for the cards and a numbered insert post card. Only 20,000 sets were issued. For a national population of 128 million, I'd say its pretty desirable.
Also included were two sets of cards made by Cablee. A smaller pre-World Cup set from 2001 and a larger boxed set from 2002 when they hosted the tournament. The 2002 issue is Limited Edition for some reason its numbered to 21,664 sets.
Few things go together better than beer and soccer. So the Japanese have smartly produced these bottle hangers of Japanese National Team jerseys. I have an example of the 2004 shirt and the 2014 shirt.
Japan has a wonderful record of marketing collectibles with drink products. Ryan threw in four bagged PEPSI STAR WARS caps. I need 3 out of the 4 of these for my collection.
Now its time to watch the World Cup with 3 games on tap today.