BBM put out information about a number of new sets this week:
- As a follow up to last year's All Star Memories 80's set, BBM is releasing an All Star Memories 90's set. As you've probably guessed, this is a pack based set featuring players in All Star games during the 1990's. It's got 90 cards in the base set - 81 "regular" player cards and 9 combination cards ("2 Stars Meet"), a nine card insert set called "Mr All Star Game" and various autograph cards. There's a handful of events from All Star games in the 90's that I can think of that would be fun to see show up in these cards - an extra inning game and an injury causing the Pacific League to have to play Kimiyasu Kudoh in the outfield and have Hideo Nomo bat in one of the 1990 games; Atsuya Furuta hitting for the cycle in 1992 and (of course) Ichiro pitching to Shingo Takatsu in 1996. Looking at the sample cards, I think Furuta's covered but Kudoh is shown pitching for the Hawks - he was with the Lions in 1990. I fear there's probably less than a 50% chance that Ichiro is in the set and probably a 0% chance Nomo is. Too bad. I'm still looking forward to the set which will be released in late July.
- The Giants team set will be out in mid July. Like the other team sets BBM does, this is a pack based set. At 108 cards, the base set is a little bigger than most of the other teams' sets. There are 80 cards for the managers and the players, a single mascot/checklist card, five combinations cards, four future star cards and 18 "Giants Pride cards". There's also a nine card insert set (not sure of the theme) and a bunch of possible autograph and bat cards. There's also some possible metallic cards. I'm not a huge fan of either the Giants or the team sets, but this actually is kind of an attractive looking set.
- Continuing the theme of having a box set containing both OB and active players that BBM has already done this year for the Carp and Lions, BBM has announced a Hawks box set called "Futures And Legends". There are 37 cards in the set - 36 base cards and one special card. There's no information on how the base cards are split between the "Futures" and the "Legends". It looks like the special card could be a facsimile autographed card, a real autographed card or a jersey card (it's says Nankai but I suspect it's a jersey from one of the games the Hawks wore throwback uniforms rather than an original Nankai jersey from the 1980's or earlier). The set will be out in late June.
- BBM is also doing a box set for the Fighters called "We Love Hokkaido". It will have 27 cards in its base set and one special card. There's absolutely no information on what's in the base set but the special cards will be facsimile autographed cards, real autographed cards and die cut cards. There apparently is an autographed card of ski jumper Noriaki Kasai available but I don't know if there will be card of him in the base set. The set will be released in mid-July.
- The second of BBM's sets dedicated to the cheerleaders and dance teams for various teams - Dancing Heroine Mai - will be released on July 28. Like the earlier Hana version, this is a pack based set containing 96 cards in its base set (split unevenly between 10 different teams - the Tigers and Carp are not included in the set). There is a "hologram" parallel of the base cards, some form of insert that is not described and also autographed cards available. I don't know for sure but I think that the checklist for both the Hana and Mai sets are identical but the cards themselves are different.
In addition to the BBM sets, there are a couple new Front Runner Trading Card sets that showed up at Discount Niki's website. As usual, these are team specific box sets - this time for the Lions and the Buffaloes. These particular ones are a new type for Front Runner called "Signature Edition". From what I gather, there are 22 cards in each box set, 20 base cards and two autographed cards. As you might guess with two autograph cards, these sets are expensive - Niki is listing each set at 11,300 yen apiece, which is basically $113. The sets will be out at the end of July.