OK, I'm going to pat myself on the back for a second here. When I wrote up the Yokohama 30th Anniversary set last month, I had some comments about possible future Anniversary sets that BBM could do. Well, I nailed at least one of those. On BBM's website today came news of a 40th Anniversary Lotte set.
In 1969, the Korean company Lotte bought the Tokyo Orions. (I'm trying to figure out who actually owned them before that - it looks like it might be a combination of Daiei and Mainichi. The team was known as the Daimai Orions for a couple of years after the Daiei Stars and Mainichi Orions merged in 1958.) The team was kind of nomadic for a few years after Lotte bought them, playing in Tokyo, then Sendai (in the stadium the Eagles play in now), then Kawasaki (after the Whales moved to Yokohama) then finally to their current home in Chiba City in 1992. Upon arriving in Chiba City, the team changed its name from the Lotte Orions to the Chiba Lotte Marines.
The set looks kind of like the other anniversary sets. There's a six card "history" subset, 75 cards of OB players (which I'm going to assume may include former Lotte players still active in either NPB or MLB but I don't know that for sure) and 18 cards of current (2008) Marines. There's the usual assortment of insert and memorabilia cards also. The set hits the stores on November 22.
Also newly listed on the BBM website today is their 2009 entry in the "Historic Collection" series. If you recall, last year's set was "Back To The 70's" which featured OB players who starred in the 1970's and current players who were born in the 1970's. This year, BBM has decided to continue in that vein with "Back To The 80's", featuring 72 OB players who starred in the 1980's and 72 current players who were born in the 1980's. The set will also have the usual inserts and memorabilia cards and will be in stores on November 28.
I really want to like the "Historic Collection" cards, but BBM has been making it hard. This year's theme is the dumbest they've had since...well, last year. It wouldn't be so bad if it was just the OB players - stars of the 70's and 80's makes sense. Doing a "Stars of..." for earlier decades would be kind of cool too. But insisting that the same number of current players as OB players fit whatever the theme is is a recipe for a lousy set. (That said, I'll probably still pick up the set if I can get it reasonably cheap or at least get some packs.)
On the plus side, I don't think BBM will be able to do a "Back to the 90's" set next year unless they want to only have a 50 card set.