Monday, September 14, 2015

2015 Epoch Red Helmet 40th Anniversary set

In 1975, the Hiroshima Toyo Carp unveiled a new uniform design that included a red hat.  This coincided with the team winning their first ever Central League pennant and the "Red Helmet" era had begun.  Over the next 17 seasons, the Carp would win five more Central League pennants and three Nippon Series...hey, wait a minute.  This all sounds really familiar.  I feel like maybe I've written about a set like this once or twice before...

So yes, Epoch's (relatively) new set entitled "Red Helmet 40th Anniversary" covers similar ground to Epoch's "Carp The First Victory 40th Anniversary" box set from last year and BBM's Carp Legend set from earlier this year.  The biggest difference is that this new set contains active players as well as OB ones.  This is actually the first of the box sets that Epoch has been doing since 2009 that contains active players (Epoch has done some odd little cards that are sold in capsule machines that feature active players).

Each box contains 64 cards - 61 cards in the base set and three "special" cards.  As always, I got an opened set that only contained the base set.  There are 32 cards for the current Carp team (including the manager Koichi Ogata and the mascot) and 29 cards for OB players.

The active players include Kenta Maeda, Hiroki Kokubo, Ryosuke Kikuchi, Takahiro Arai and Daichi Ohsera along with foreign players Kris Johnson, Duente Heath, Jesus Guzman and Mike Zagursky.  Curiously, Brad Eldred, Rainel Rosario and Shota Dohbayashi are not included in the set.  The OB players include pretty much everyone you'd expect - Koji Yamamoto, Sachio Kinugasa, Manabu Kitabeppu, Tomonori Maeda, Kenjiro Nomura, Tomoaki Kanemoto, Yoshiro Sotokoba, Yutaka Ohno and Yutaka Enatsu.  Here's what the cards look like:






Taken by itself, this is an attractive set.  The design is attractive, especially compared to some of the other recent Epoch sets.  The biggest issue I have with the set is the simple redundancy with the two other sets.  Only four of the OB players (Kanemoto, Kojiro Machida, Ken Takahashi and Yasuyuki Yamauchi) did not appear in Epoch's set last year and the BBM set included all the OB players except Enatsu, Machida, Takahashi and Yamauchi.  On the other hand, almost a third of the active players don't appear in either BBM's 1st or 2nd Version sets this year - Soichiro Amaya, Keisuke Imai, Yoshiyuki Ishihara, Takahiro Iwamoto, Shogo Kimura, Tetsuya Kokubo, Yoshikazu Kura, Aren Kuri, Yuki Mima and Katsuhiro Nagakawa - although all ten of them appear in BBM's Carp team set.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that I like the set but I think this theme has now been done enough for while.

You can take a look at all the base set cards here and some of the "special cards" here.

I'd like to thank Ryan for picking up the set for me.  And I just now realized that he did a post on this set today as well - as usual he has much more detail on the special cards than I do.

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