This year's edition of BBM's Classic set (the fourth edition overall) was released just over two weeks ago. Classic is BBM's version of the Topps Heritage and Archives sets - it contains cards of current players using an older (i.e. "classic") card design.
There's actually two parts to the set - the current players and the OB players. There are 72 current players in the set (six per team). All of their cards use BBM's set design from 1994 (last year it was 1993, the year before was 1992, etc). There are 36 OB players in the set (3 per team). Their cards use the card design from BBM's All Time Heroes set from 2002.
Here's a sample card from the 1994 set and one from this set (there are two guys from the 1994 set who are still active in NPB - Kazuya Fukuura and Kazuo Matsui, Only Kukuura is in the set)
|1994 BBM #529|
|2016 BBM Classic #017|
|1994 BBM #529 Back|
|2016 BBM Classic #017 Back|
The checklist for the current players contains pretty much the top stars that you'd expect - Shohei Ohtani, Yuki Yanagita, Tetsuto Yamada, Shintaro Fujinami, Shogo Akiyama, Takeya Nakamura, Seiichi Uchiyama, Hideaki Wakui, Hayato Sakamoto, Yasuaki Yamasaki and Yuki Matsui are all in the set. There's a number of rookies - Shun Takayama and Louis Okoye probably being the biggest two - and their cards are denoted by the same "Rookie" symbol that the 1994 rookie cards had (as seen on the Fukuura card above).
The photography is...ok. While each individual photo is attractive, I have my usual complaint about the lack of interesting photos in BBM's recent sets. Once again, most of the photos are simply of pitchers pitching and batters batting. I think there's only one card in the set showing a current player fielding. Here's some examples:
Here's a comparison between Yoshida's actual 2002 All Time Heroes card and his card from this set:
|2002 BBM All Time Heroes #096|
|2016 BBM Classic #098|
|2002 BBM All Time Heroes #096 Back|
|2016 BBM Classic #098 Back|
I pretty much feel the same way about this set as I've felt about the other three - it's a nice idea that BBM doesn't execute very well other than the cards for the current players. I'd prefer a larger set or at least replacing the OB players with additional current players. It'd also be a little more interesting to do the OB players in the same format as the current players - kind of like what Topps Archives does. Having some subsets that harken back to the original set would be nice as well - the 1994 set had some multi-player cards that BBM could have emulated for this set. But it looks like BBM isn't planning on changing the format of this set so we can look forward to another round next year using the 1995 design.