Four new sets have been announced in the past few days, three from BBM and one from Epoch.
- The big announcement was this year's 2nd Version set from BBM. This set is looking pretty much like most of the recent 2nd Version sets. There's 216 player cards (18 per team) plus 36 "1st Version Update" cards (3 per team) featuring players who for whatever reason didn't appear in the 1st Version set - the sample card shown on the web page is Frederich Cepeta [sic] who didn't join the Giants until early May. There are two 12 cards subsets - "Birth Of Hero" which looks like it features either a rookie or young player from each team (similar to the "Limitless Hope" subset from this year's 1st Version) and "Power Team" which (I think) will feature a foreign power hitter from each team. There will also be 12 team checklist cards (don't know the theme yet) and an as yet unknown number of celebrity first pitch ceremony cards. There's an insert set but I'm not sure what it is - I think there's only six cards in it so I'm guessing it shows two players so that all 12 teams are covered. It could be related to inter-league but that's really just a wild guess on my part. There will be some memorabilia cards available as well but it's not clear to me what they are either. The set will be out in early August.
- BBM is releasing another active player/OB team box set (following the recently released Pitchers Spirit Of Carp or "Totomashi" Carp set). This one is called "Impact Of Lions Blue" and features the Seibu Lions (obviously). It's a 28 cards box set featuring (say it with me now) 27 base cards plus one "special" card. I think the base cards will break down as 9 active players and 18 OB players but I'm not quite sure. The website lists 9 active players but only 14 OB players which may mean a couple players have more than one card. Or it may mean BBM is still finalizing some contracts. The OB players appear to all be from the 1980's (when the Lions wore all blue uniforms). The "special" cards appear to all be autographs - either facsimile or real. It may be the case that all the real autographs are OB players but (as usual) I'm not sure. The set will be out in early July.
- The first of BBM's two now annual cheerleader/dance team sets was also announced. The "Dancing Heroine - Hana" set is a pack based set that contains 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. The set will be out at the end of June.
- The last new set is the latest from Epoch and the Japan Baseball Promotion Association (JPBA) aka the OB Club. This box set celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the JBPA. I'm not complete sure how many cards are in the set - it looks like there are 39 base cards and either two or three "special" cards which include either "insert" cards or autographed cards. I had been wondering after Epoch released the new Carp First Victory 40th Anniversary set independent of the OB Club if they were no longer working together - this answers that question. The set will be released on July 26.