Monday, November 9, 2015

Last Of The 2015 And First Of The 2016 Sets

A month ago I speculated that we'd seen the announcements for the last sets for 2015.  I was wrong.  There's at least a couple more coming out.

- BBM is releasing a set for Hiroki Kuroda called "Homecoming".  This will be a 19 card box set featuring (you probably can already guess) 18 cards in the base set plus a "special" card that could be a memorabilia card (jersey or undershirt) or an autographed card.  The set will be released on November 27.

Every time I read the set name, this starts running through my head:

- Epoch is putting out a box set for the CL Champion Swallows.  I'm not entirely sure, but it looks like there's 32 cards in the box - 30 cards for the base set and two "special" cards.  The "special" cards could include (I think) parallel cards and both facsimile and real autograph cards, including autographs from OB players like Tsutomu Wakamatsu and Atsuya Furuta.  The set will be out on November 28.

- I'm a bit confused about another box set that Epoch is releasing in December.  It's called something like "Dragons X Mizuno" and if that sounds kind of familiar, that's probably because Front Runner did two sets last year called "Carp X Mizuno" and "Marines X Mizuno".  I'm confused because I don't understand why Epoch is doing this and not Front Runner.  I wonder if Front Runner has been bought out by Epoch?  Front Runner has not released any sets since spring of this year.  Anyway, the Dragons set will contain 25 cards - 24 in the base set plus one "special" card that could be one of a plethora of autograph cards.  The set will be released in late November.

- Epoch is also releasing another super high end set in conjunction with the Japan Baseball Promotion Association (aka the OB Club) called "MVP Of The Year".  Like their "National Record Holders" set from earlier this year, this set is sold in one pack boxes.  Each pack contains five cards - two "regular" cards, one "shadowbox" cards and two autograph cards.  There are 27 "regular" cards available along with 27 "shadowbox" cards (I assume then that the "shadowbox" cards are a parallel of the "regular" cards but I don't know that for sure).  All the cards are serially numbered.  The box's MSRP is supposedly 15,000 yen (~$121) although the OB Club's own website is selling them for 16,200 (~$131).  It will be released on December 12.

- BBM's first set for 2016 will also be released on November 27.  It's their annual "Historic Collection" set which is traditionally their first set of the "model" year.  This year's theme is "Stadium Story" which the website says will highlight old stadiums like Korakuen, Kawasaki, Nagoya, Fujidera, Nishinomiya and Heiwadai.  There will be 144 cards in the base set (which has been the standard size of the "Historic Collection" sets since 2003) and 24 insert cards split into two 12 cards sets - one featuring OB players and one featuring active players.  There will also be numerous autograph cards available.  I've been hoping for some sort of set or subset highlighting ballparks for a while - I'm just not sure how they're going to pull this off.  I guess I'll find out in less than three weeks.

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