Wednesday, January 1, 2014
2013 In Review - Other Card Companies
I'm doing this a little out of order - I did BBM yesterday and I'll do Calbee later this week. I could be imagining things, but it seemed like there were a lot more card sets being done by outfits other than BBM or Calbee this past year. There were 12 sets that made it onto Jambalaya's page for 2013 - that's twice as many as were listed in 2012 and three times as many as 2011. I'm assuming that this indicates that more card sets are getting made and not that Jambalaya has simply started listing these after ignoring them previously, but I have to admit that's a possibility. (Although I didn't see these cards listed at Niki or AmiAmi, so they would have to have been ignoring them also...)
Epoch and the OB Club (formerly known as the All Japan Baseball Foundation, also known as the Japan Baseball Promotion Association) continued to produce sets in 2013. They put out two box sets - the "History Of Best Nine Part 2" set (which was a follow up to "Part 1" which was released in late 2012) and "Rookie Of The Year Biography" set which featured 40 former Rookie Of The Year award winners. Ryan of This Card Is Cool did a nice post on the Rookie Of The Year set back in August. (The card at the top of this post is a promo card from the "History Of Best Nine" set).
The other returning players for 2013 were Sports Graphic Number and Hiroshima Athlete Magazine. Like their previous issues, Sports Graphic Number (which is also a magazine) did a pack based set featuring a single player - this time it was Kenta Maeda of the Carp. As you would expect from their name, Hiroshima Athlete Magazine did a box set dedicated to the Carp - "Carp Stars And Legends". Hiroshima Athlete Magazine had previously done a box set for the Carp in 2012.
One of the new outfits putting out sets in 2013 has a difficult name to figure out. It could be "ry Stars", it could "14 Stars", it could be "rl Stars" - I have been unable to figure it out. Whatever their name is, they did box sets entitled "Rookie And Young Stars" for three teams - the Lions, the Buffaloes and the Baystars. I asked Jason if he could use his amazing search skills to find out more about these sets but all he was able to figure out was that the sets were printed by an outfit called "Frontier International" which he suggested might be a company like Multi-Ad who is simply hired by the team to produce the set. Ryan did another nice post about the Buffaloes set in October. (And now, looking at the logo on the cards again, I wonder - is it possible that that's a very stylized "FI" for Frontier International and the logo is really "FI Stars"?)
Frontier International also produced box sets entitled "Season Summary" for three teams - the Baystars, the Buffaloes and the Carp. As you might expect from the name, all three sets were released after the end of the season - in fact the Buffaloes and Carp sets just barely made it into stores before the end of the year.
There were two additional non-BBM or Calbee sets released last year. Early in the year, a company called Sakura (I think) put out a box set featuring members of the Meikyukai. Midway through the season, it appears that the Eagles produced a pack based team set called "Heat!" (which was the team's motto this past season). Once again, Ryan did a nice post on the set back in August.