BBM announced a couple of new sets this past week, each of which caught me by surprise.
- I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised that BBM was putting out a Softbank 10th Anniversary set but I was, especially since I would have thought that such a set would have come out last year. (Softbank bought the Hawks from Daiei following the 2004 season so 2015 is actually the 11th year Softbank has owned the team. The Eagles started in 2005, the first year Softbank had the Hawks and their 10 year Anniversary set was last year.) Anyway, it looks like it's pretty much a run-of-the-mill OB team set. The base set is 81 cards which breaks down to 63 OB players, 9 active players (don't know if that's a "Best 9" or not) and 9 "highlight" cards (which apparently includes a card for the signing this off season of Daisuke Matsuzaka). There's a nine card "Best 9 Of The Decade" insert set and the usual assortment of autograph cards available. The set will be out in late February.
- The other set BBM announced last week simply surprised me with its audacity. The new "Master Of Insert" set is a pack based set that features a base set of 55 cards - 54 cards of OB players plus a checklist card. Each of the cards of the players is limited to (and I assume serially numbered to) 75. There are three separate 18 cards insert sets - Elite Nine, 3d Royale and Jet Black. Each of the insert cards is serially numbered to 25. There are three different types of authentic autograph cards availabe - Master Of Auto, Hall Of Fame and Neo Legend. What really gets crazy on this set is the price - BBM is recommending a 15,000 yen (roughly $127 at today's exchange rate) per box (although Discount Niki is charging 16,200 yen or around $138). Each box only contains a single pack of cards. Each pack contains six (really five) cards - 3 base set cards, one insert card, one autograph card and one checklist card. There will be only 1350 boxes available (which makes sense if you do the math - 3 18 card insert sets limited to 25 a piece = 3 * 18 * 25 = 1350). Yu Darvish is one of the players in the set - this marks the first time he's made an appearance in a BBM set since he left for the US after the 2011 season. The set will be released in late February. I'll be interested to see how much of it Jambalaya is able to display on their website.