Monday, January 2, 2017

2016 In Review - BBM

BBM issued 41 sets in 2016, down slightly from the 42 they published in 2015 (I'm counting sets that have "2016" on the front, even if they were actually published in 2015).  23 of these sets were the ones that they issue every year - the 1st and 2nd Version sets, the high end Genesis set, the Rookie Edition (draft pick) set, the "Farewell" set for retiring players, the 12 pack based sets for each team, the Rookie Edition Premium set, the two Cheerleader/Dance Team sets ("Hana" and "Mai"), the Icons box set (with the theme "Speed"), the Classic set (using the 1994 design) and the "Historic Collection" set (which was entitled "The Ballpark Stories").  2016 was apparently the final year for the "Historic Collection" sets and it may have been for the "Farewell" set as well as I have not yet seen a listing for the 2017 edition.  BBM also issued a box set for the Giants Cheerleader/Dance Team called "Original Smile" which is the third consecutive year they've issued a box set for a specific team's cheerleaders.

BBM's biggest new set was Fusion, which replaced the 2017 "Historic Collection" set.  This was essentially a "3rd Version" set which extended the "flagship" set for the year into another set.  They also issued a set called Masterpiece to celebrate BBM's parent company Baseball Magazine Sha's 70th Anniversary.  This set was significant as it was a multi-sport set containing both active and OB baseball players as well as soccer, sumo, wrestling and other athletes.  BBM only did two other OB sets - an 80th Anniversary set for the Dragons and a box set featuring Sawamura award winners called something like "Spirit Of Legends".

Most of BBM's remaining 2016 sets were team based box sets.  Most of these fell into two categories - "Autographed Edition" which were all guaranteed to have autograph cards and "Authentic Edition" which were all guaranteed to have memorabilia cards.  The "Autographed Edition" team sets were for the Fighters (Opening), Dragons (Dragons Dash), Lions (King Of Beast), Tigers (Jet Black) and Carp (Katsukoi).  The "Authentic Edition" team sets were for the Fighters (Climax), Hawks (Fly On) and Baystars (Evolution).  (And your eyes do not deceive you - there was a set of each type for the Fighters this year.)  There was also a box set that did not include any autograph or memorabilia cards to celebrate the Carp winning the Central League pennant for the first time since 1991.

The other four sets BBM issued this year were box sets dedicated to a player or two players.  They issued box sets for both the new and old Giants manager - "24 Karat" for incoming manager Yoshinobu Takahashi and "Warlord Of My Heart"(?) for outgoing manager Tatsunori Hara.  Hiroki Kuroda and Takahiro Arai of the Carp both reached milestones last season and BBM celebrated them by issuing the box set "200 Wins x 2000 Hits".  Finally BBM issued a box set for Shohei Ohtani and Shintaro Fujinami called "Go Higher".

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