Hiroshima is getting very excited about local the Hiroshima Carp’s prospects for the coming season baseball season. Much is expected of new manager Koichi Ogata. News of Hiroki Kuroda taking an 80% pay cut to return to Hiroshima after 8 years in the US major leagues caused huge excitement over the winter holiday. The plucky team also seem to be capturing the zeitgeist; “Carp Girl” (カープ女子) made it into the top buzzwords of 2014 list.
The organization is also gearing up its marketing and merchandising efforts. News of a whole new range of “Carp goods”, including many limited editions made its way around the internet over the past week and a hardcore few even camped in front of the stadium overnight in freezing temperatures to be the first in the door of the Carp shop when it opened its doors this morning.
— YUKO ◟̊◞̊ ◟̑◞̑ ◟̆◞̆♡ (@rainbowt0706) January 31, 2015
This morning, as the team were getting started with their spring training camp in balmy Okinawa, the lines outside their home stadium had grown considerably longer.
— 爺さん (@F14A10rqlY) February 1, 2015
At home Kotatsu Carp fans around the country had their mouses at the ready, to hit the online store when the new Carp website was launched at 10am.
— sat0124 (@sat0124) February 1, 2015
When it promptly crashed.
So, while we wait for the server monkeys to do their thing, let’s take a look at some of the items on offer.
My favorite has to be the Carp mascot Slyly zip up face hoodie for ¥8000. Limited to 300 medium and 300 large sizes.
And who wouldn’t want a Slyly butt stool?
One of these will set you back ¥10,000 and you’ll have to sit by yourself as there only one allowed per customer. Limited to 200.
Among other limited Slyly themed items are these knit hats for kids (¥2800)
and adults (¥3000)
One of the weirdest has to the carp traffic cone megaphone (¥2500), which is not even allowed in the stadium. Perhaps its aimed at fans cheering from the Costco car park. There are only 100 of these and sales are limited to one per person.
One of the most expensive items is a ¥14,000 kendama!
These ¥4000 ume-boshi tote bags are quite cute and with 1000 up for grabs, you might have a chance of getting one.
One wonders how many of these items are going to true fans. Limited edition Carp G-shock watches which sold at ¥16,000 were on Yahoo Auction within 90 minutes, with bids already up to ¥38,000.
Whether you want to support the local team or make a quick buck, you’ll find more limited edition hats, jerseys, watches, clocks, bags, accessories and trinkets on sale in the Carp online shop here.