For the last several years, the Joshi wrestling promotion Stardom has released a card set to highlight their wrestlers. To celebrate their 5th Anniversary, Stardom released a special set with 144 cards. The best wrestlers in Stardom both past and present are in the set, including Io Shirai, Kairi Hojo, Taiyo Natsuki, Act Yasukawa, and more. The latest round of Gaijins are in the set as well, including Kellie Skater and Kay Lee Ray.
I opened two packs of cards so I could get a good sampling of what the set has to offer. First, the basics.
Card Set: Stardom Collection Card “5th Anniversary Special”
Cards per Pack: 10
Number of Cards in Set: 144
Cost per Pack: ¥1000
Where to Purchase: Stardom Website
The easiest way to review a set such as this is to weigh the pros and cons. I am a major card collector, both wrestling and American sports, so I know what I look for in card sets to figure out if they are worth purchasing.
- 10 cards per pack. This is an extremely high number of cards to have in one pack, as other packs of wrestling cards range from 3 to 7 cards per pack. With so many cards, the chances are pretty good that you’ll pull a wrestler that you like, especially since the bigger wrestlers have multiple cards available.
- High quality card stock. These cards are not made cheaply and are higher quality than the BBM wrestling cards. They don’t bend easy and are very well made.
- 15 different autograph cards. While I do not know the odds of pulling an autograph (more on that below), for a 144 card set the number of autograph cards is high. This ensures every major wrestler in Stardom has an autograph, so if someone is determined enough they can get a very complete set.
- Only way to get Stardom wrestler cards. Since Stardom does not participate in BBM True Heart, this is the only way to get current Stardom wrestlers in card form, including their autographs. That makes the set much more essential for fans of Stardom.
- High cost (including importing). I am combining this into one “con” since they are related. Purchasing a pack of these cards is very expensive as currently they are not sold anywhere in the United States. Depending on the buying agent used and the number purchased, buying just one pack of Stardom Collection Card costs between $12 and $15 after shipping. That is really high for a pack of cards without a guaranteed hit, which leads me directly to my next point (EDIT: Stardom now ships Internationally, see the updated link above)
- No guaranteed hit. A “hit” in the card collecting world is an autograph card or memorabilia card, something more special than the normal base card. In past Stardom Collection Card sets, every pack had an autograph card, but not this year as I opened two packs without getting an autograph. After spending up to $15 for a pack of cards, getting 10 base cards can be a bit disappointing. It would make it easier to determine the true value if we knew the odds of pulling an autograph, but…
- No listed odds of autograph cards in packs. What percentage of packs have a signed card? How many autograph cards were made? These are questions we don’t know the answer to which makes it harder to estimate the value. If on average every other pack has an autograph, that would make the packs a decent value. If one in ten packs has an autograph, that would hurt the value. Without that knowledge one has to assume the worst, giving some type of odds is a staple of card sets so its disappointing that nothing is stated.
Card Set List:
This set is a real mixed bag for me. As a big fan of Stardom, I did enjoy the cards I got, and the fact they are high quality really helps. But it is hard to get past the cost of the cards, paying $15 for 10 base cards is really high, especially not knowing the odds of pulling an autograph which is the main special attraction of the set. For fans of Stardom there will be something to like in each pack, which is helped by the higher-than-average number of cards in them, but after a few packs there would likely be card duplicates. Some room to grow but not a bad set overall if you can stomach the cost.