Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 In Review - Calbee

I thought I'd start a tradition at the end of the year of reviewing the releases from Calbee and BBM for that year, because, hey, I don't have enough posts waiting to be done, let's add a couple more...

Luckily, the Calbee review is pretty straight forward.  As they have done for a number of years, Calbee issued their cards this year in three Series.  Each Series contained 72 base player cards (6 per team) for a total of 216 for the entire set (18 per team).  Series Three contained 32 cards of players who had already appeared in Series One and Two, so the total number of players represented in the set was 184.

Calbee also had a number of subsets - two of which spanned all three Series and three of which were unique to each Series.  Series One contained 22 "Title Holder" cards which commemorated players who had led their league in one or more categories or who had won a major award.  It's the equivalent of the "Leaders" subset in the BBM 1st Version set.  Series Two contained 12 cards commemorating the twelve Opening Day starting pitchers (obviously one for each team).  Series Three contained a 22 card subset featuring the players who were elected by the fan voting to be starters in the All Star series.

Calbee celebrated their 40th Anniversary by adding a "Memorial Card" subset to each of the Series.  This subset featured reprinted cards from Calbee's past.  The earliest card represented was Shigeo Nagashima's card from the 1973 set which was the first Calbee card (#1 in the set).  The latest card included was Hirotoshi Kitagawa from the 2002 set.  The Memorial cards from Series One were for Shigeo Nagashima and Sadaharu Oh plus the managers from each of the teams.  There was a problem with this, however, as Swallows manager Junji Ogawa had never actually had Calbee card made of him during his playing days.  Technically Ogawa's card is a base card (it's numbered as such and has a back consistent with the base cards) but the picture on the card is from his playing days in the 1980's.  The Memorial cards from Series Two featured players who are now coaches from each of the 12 teams.  The Memorial cards from Series Three featured one active player from each team.  There were a total of 37 Memorial cards (plus the "regular" card of Ogawa).

The final subset shared between the three Series is the checklists.  There were four checklists for each Series for a total of 12 altogether.  Each card depicts some event - the Series One cards show events from late in the 2011 season or the 2011 post-season while the cards from the other two Series show events from the 2012 season.

Calbee also included an insert set that spanned all three Series - the Star cards.  Each Series contained 24 of these cards (2 per team) which were sparkly kira type cards.  There were 72 of them in all (6 per team) and there was a gold signature parallel version of them as well.

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