As part of the work I do for Sonic and Sega Retro, I spend an inordinate amount of time hunting down rare merchandise and printed artifacts in order to improve the site. Find a Japanese Sonic Advance 3 guide, learn the official names of enemies and bosses, get a boxed copy of Sonic & Knuckles Collection from Korea and suddenly we have quality scans of a rare release, and so on. I was doing some shopping on a Japanese auction several weeks ago and saw a listing for “71枚 セガフリークス” for sale. セガフリークス, or “Sega Freaks,” is a Japanese series of collectible cards released in the Saturn era, featuring individual cards from games of the time like Sonic Jam, Last Bronx, Virtua Fighter 3, and Dragon Force. Collect all of the cards for a particular game, and the reverse side makes a large picture.
So, this auction is going for about one US dollar, and I figure I could scan the cards for the site, so I say “hey, why not?” This is where it gets a bit complicated. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Japanese, 枚 is a counter word for flat objects like pieces of paper or photographs, so I assumed the seller was selling 71 loose cards. The problem? They were using it to refer to 71 packs of Sega Freaks, each of which have 10 cards in them, so the package I wound up receiving?
Far more cards than I could ever possibly need. There are only 60 unique cards total in this entire shipment, so statistically, it won’t take me opening all of these packages to get all 60 cards. This leads to an interesting question: what should I do with all the rest of these cards? “Give them all to me!” is not what I’m looking for. What sort of interesting things could be done with this cheap bounty? The leading private suggestion I’ve received thus far is to film myself opening them all up to make collectors cry, but I’d prefer something more constructive that would benefit everyone.
(PS: Do I love misleading headlines? You betcha.)