Cabin fever. Off-season madness. Call it what you will. When a man is driven to purchasing 2003 packs of something called Hamtaro, you know that the opening of the 2008 card season could not come any sooner.
Let's tear in.
(I'll do my best trying to describe each of the cards, as they are almost completely non-verbal.)
Top to Bottom:
006 Sticker (What appears to be a mouse and a hamster, the latter of which is holding a sunflower seed. Speaking of which, have you ever owned a hamster? My younger sister did, and feeding time for that thing was high comedy. Those critters have no off switch, they just keep stuffing whatever you give them into their cheeks. Hilarious.)
002 (Some sort of angrier-type rodent powering a railroad hand-cart, while a locomotive filed with creatures cruises by in the background. What looks to be a baby is being towed in the foreground. She has a horn.)
010 (An act of racial hegemony is depicted here. A large group of carefree, bourgeois hamsters are living out their middle-class existence while outside, the angry-type rat suffers a more Dickensian fate, all of his worldly possessions bundled up in a hobo's sack tied to a shovel. He truly embodies the spirit of the working poor.)
016 (A group of hamsters frolic in a tree. One is in a sock or, perhaps, a sleeping bag. Sunflower seeds are the currency of this strange community. They own dogs despite their much smaller and less-threatening size.)
013 (Well, maybe it's not a dog. I'm not sure. Sunflower seeds are the hammer and sickle of these socialist rodents. Asian-type rodents do all of the sweeping.)
SR002 Chrome: (It's bedtime for Snoozer. The back of the card fills in some of the blanks.)
Yes, it was a sock. And no, the fun is not over yet.
The backs of these cards can be turned into a fun, interchangeable village. Here's how I organized mine:
Okay, so there are train tracks that end abruptly and fractions of houses, but that's life in Hamtaro Land. This was easily the best product of 2003.
Oh, and if anybody runs across this and wants to pay me for writing stuff like this, you can get in touch with me here.