When the 2017 BBM True Heart wrestling cards came out, I ordered three boxes right away. While I got some good autographs from those boxes, I missed out pulling signatures from most of my favorite wrestlers. So I headed off to Buyee, a purchasing service that allows me to get things from Yahoo! Auctions in Japan. With the cards being a recent release, there were plenty of listings, and I picked up just about everyone I wanted from the set. I'll probably still wind up ordering a couple more boxes during the year in hopes of pulling a cheki (instant photo/Polaroid) autograph, but now I've got the base set and most of the autographs I really care about. BBM made it easier on me by doing away with the short-printed autographs they tested out last year. I did think those were pretty fun, though, so it's a mixed bag. I don't have to chase them down, but I felt like they added value to the product.
Command Bolshoi (top) is the primary Japanese wrestler I collect, so her autograph was near the top of my list of signatures to chase. I've been building a run of Makoto (bottom) autographs, too. She usually signs her cards with a lot of flair, and her Twitter account is where I got my first look at the 2017 cards.
Dump Matsumoto (top) has been wrestling since around 1980, and even spent some time in the WWE back when it was called the WWF. She's a pretty big name in wrestling, so I was happy to land her card. DASH Chisako (middle) is a wrestler I like, so her signature card was on my list of cards to chase. She's wrestled in America recently as part of the Chikara King of Trios events. I don't know much about Chesca (bottom), but her Wonder Woman-inspired costume meant I had to chase down her autograph. The internet tells me that she was trained by Makoto and is the first Filipina wrestler in a Japanese promotion. She also really likes selfies.
Cassandra Miyagi (top) is also a Chikara King of Trios participant. I am not really a fan of her gimmick, but she's definitely got a striking look. Her autographs get pretty wild, and usually seem to feature something similar to the design on this one. Another wrestler I enjoy collecting is Rabbit Miu (bottom), but she retired last year and gets a Hall of Fame autograph instead of a regular autograph. It has the same print run as a regular autograph, but wrestlers who have retired in the last year usually get a Hall of Fame subset card and a Hall of Fame designation on their autograph cards. It's too bad that she is retiring after just a few years, but that's how it goes.
The final autograph that I really wanted to get was Ray. She is a high-flying wrestler who has stepped away from the ring due to an inoperable tumor in her head. Her autograph run in the 2017 set was about half of what the other wrestlers signed. A fellow True Heart fan who lives in Japan and knows many of the wrestlers personally said he was surprised that she signed at all, given how her health has been lately. While I was building this order up in my Buyee cart, I also came across a Ray autograph from 2009, so I went ahead and got it.
There are probably still a couple more autographs I'd like to get from this year's set, but this order took care of the bulk of my wish list. I'm glad that I was able to get so many of these checked off of my wish list all at once. The various fees that Buyee charges mean that this was not a cheap venture, but it was probably cheaper than busting boxes or hoping that all of these cards would eventually pop up on eBay. You can't beat the selection that comes from shopping for Japanese products in a Japanese marketplace.