Size: 372 cards numbered 1-336, CF01-CF36
Cards Per Team: 28 (team card, manager + 26 players)
Team Card Theme: Spring Training
Number Of Leader Cards: N/A
Subsets: Cross Freeze (36)
Inserts: Infinite Talent(12), 3D Cross Freeze(12)
Memorabilia Cards: Jersey cards for Tetsuto Yamada and Yuki Yanagita (as well as a combination card with both of them). Each individual jersey card is serially numbered to 200 plus some sort of parallel version numbered to 20. Not sure of the counts on the dual card. There are a large number of autograph cards available as well.
Parallels: 108 of the regular player cards have facsimile autograph parallel versions - silver, gold (#'d to 100), holograph (#'d to 50), red (#'d to 25) and green (#'d to 10). There is also a parallel to a number of the rookie cards (looks like the top seven for each team) that's #'d to 100 plus a "1of1" parallel for the top pick for each team. There's also parallel versions of the insert cards. The Cross Freeze cards have two parallels - one that's serially numbered to 100 and the other that's a "1of1".
Notable Rookies: Shun Takayama, Louis Okoye
This year's 1st Version set is an awful lot like last year's 1st Version set - same size set (smallest ever 1st Version set), same number of players per team (27), same kind of cross set subset ("Cross Freeze" this year instead of "Cross Plasma" last year). Even the parallels look pretty much the same as last year's.
None of which is necessarily a bad thing, although I still would like there to be more players per team and I really miss the perennial "Leaders" subset that's been gone for the last three years. I'll repeat the complaint I made last year - with the 27 cards for each team including the manager and all the non-ikusei draft picks for each team, there's bound to be significant players left out of the set (although most of the guys I can think of off hand like Daisuke Matsuzaka and Tony Blanco haven't played at the ichi-gun level this year yet).
The cards themselves are up to BBM's usual high standards. There's a little more fluff in the design than BBM usually has with this curly-cue thingy with the team's initial in it but the design doesn't take away from the photos. Here's some examples:
|Back of #125 (T-Okada)|
I noticed an odd thing in the Lions cards. The Lions kinda-sorta have new uniforms this season. Their uniforms last year were made by Nike but this year they are made by Majestic. The design of the uniform is pretty much the same, however (H/T to Graveyard Baseball for pointing this out to me after I did my Lions uniform post last week). The big difference in the uniforms is that last year's jerseys had the Nike swoosh in the upper right (as seen here) and this year's have the Majestic logo in that location instead. What's odd is that it looks like almost all the photos of Lions players that were taken last year have the Nike logo removed, as you can see in Kona Takahashi's card:
I do want to mention that this is the first BBM flagship set in which Motonobu Tanishige does not appear as a player. He is only in the set because he's the Dragons' manager, which puts his streak of appearing in BBM's flagship sets at an even 40 (11 "regular" sets between 1991 and 2001 and 29 1st and 2nd Version sets since 2002). Unless BBM adds manager cards to the 2nd Version set this year (which they haven't done since 2005), his streak will end with this set.
For the first time since 2012 (and only the second time since 2008), the theme for the team cards is NOT mascots, which makes me very happy. This year's theme is training camp and there's a number of really good photos - so many that I couldn't pick just one card to show:
The sole subset in the set is the umpteenth cross set sub set that BBM has done. It's called Cross Freeze and has the usual image of a player projected on a repeated background with the full picture on the back. I assume that like last year this subset will be continued in only the 2nd Version set and not Genesis but I don't really know that for sure. I personally am getting a bit tired of these types of subsets (this is the fifth one in the last seven years) but someone must like them since BBM keeps doing them.
|Back of #CF28|