Thursday, September 2, 2010
2010 BBM All Star set
Got this year's edition of BBM's annual All Star set in the mail today. It's a 67 card box set featuring 58 cards of the players on the All Star teams (29 for each league), six cards for the managers and coaches, 2 cards featuring the MVPs of the two 2010 All Star games (Shinnosuke Abe and Yasuyuki Katoaka) and one card for the number 1 vote getter (Kenta Maeda).
I give the set a hearty "meh". The cards themselves look kind of like last years - there's a big red (Central League) or purple (Pacific League) border that's thicker on the bottom (and non-existent on the top). There's big "Fan Selected" and "1st Time All Star" decorations for the appropriate players. There's some sort of weird shadow added behind the silhouette of the player - kind of like some of the Team Best minor league cards from the late 90's. I'd say the cards are slightly less busy than last year's but still kind of ugly for my tastes. Here's Hitoshi Tamura's card (#A60) as an example:
BBM made a big deal about how the pictures for this year's set would actually be taken during the All Star games - which is why the set wasn't released until late August unlike earlier editions which usually came out in mid July (and why the MVP cards are for this year's MVPs and not last year's). Well, I'll tell you - you'd be hard-pressed to tell that these pictures came from an All Star game. On most of the cards, you can only see the player who's card it is. For example, none of the cards showing batters batting show the catcher. I only found two cards where you could tell the photo was from an All Star game - Chang-Yong Lim (#A13) where you can see a Hanshin Tiger (Craig Brazell?) playing first in the background and Junji Ogawa (#A03) where you can see him fist bumping players from the Dragons and Giants:
The cards of Tatsunori Hara, Masataka Nashida and Marty Brown show them wearing league jerseys rather than their team jerseys - not worn during the games but in the workout and home run hitting contests maybe? Here's Marty Brown's card (#A34):
One other gripe I have is that about half the cards of the pitchers show a shot taken from in front of them while they were pitching, so you can see second base behind them. It's not a bad shot, but it's overused in the set. Here's Kazuki Yoshimi's card as an example (#A11):
The MVP and Number 1 Vote Getter cards can possibly be memorabilia cards with pieces of baseballs embedded in them. I only got the non-ball versions. Here's Kataoka's MVP card (#A67) and Maeda's Number 1 Vote Getter card (#A65):
There are also gold embossed parallel issues of the "Fan Selected" players available - numbered to 150. I don't know if every box has either a ball card or a gold parallel card. I do know that I got the parallel card for Norichika Aoki.
As I said last year - I used to really like the All Star sets, but I've been less and less enamored of them as time goes by. This is the 20th edition of the set - it might be a good round number for me to stop buying them at.
I do want to point out that I bought the set through AmiAmi. It took about a week for me to get the set after paying for it. It was on the steep side cost-wise: the set itself was only 1995 yen, but EMS shipping was 1500 yen. The total was about $42. (I'm ordering the 2010 BBM Tokyo Big 6 Fall Version set from them also and I'll be paying about the same again - next time I don't preorder so I don't have to pay shipping twice!). I know Bill Ellis had reported some problems trying to order through AmiAmi - I didn't have any issues. I will say that sometimes their website isn't very responsive, but that wasn't the problem Bill said he had. All I can suggest is that they fixed whatever was wrong when he tried to order.