April 16, 2014

Panini offers Japanese versions of Masahiro Tanaka Donruss card

How very 2001 of you, Panini?

Panini Donruss baseball cards had another wrinkle thrown into it this year. Panini offered a wrapper redemption program where collectors would get back a few cards, including Yankees rookie Masahiro Tanaka.

These cards have done well on the initial eBay wave – going for about $20. 

However, Panini snuck in Japanese versions of the card with everything on the front and back written in, well, Japanese. Panini didn’t reveal how many of these cards were made but called them “extremely rare” on its blog. The only Japanese Donruss card that has sold so far has gone for close to $100.

These are the first ‘Yankee’ cards of Tanaka on the market. I use Yankees in quotes because the Donruss cards are not licensed by Major League Baseball Properties and therefore cannot use team names or logos.

This is reminiscent of the 2001 Bowman Chrome Ichiro that featured and English and Japanese version of these cards. 

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