Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2016 In Review - Calbee

Calbee's been generally very predictable from year to year.  Each year since about 2003 or so, Calbee has issued their cards in three separate Series.  While they still did that for what is essentially their "flagship" set this year, they issued two additional sets as well.

First let's talk about the "flagship" set.  The base set for Series One contained 94 cards while those for Series Two and Three were each 88 cards for a total of 270 cards.  Each Series was also accompanied by a 24 card insert set entitled "Star" (and there were gold signature parallel versions of these cards available as well).  Each Series also had a box set that was available if you pulled a "lucky" card from a pack.

Series One was released in mid-March.  It contained 72 player cards (6 per team), an 18 card "Title Holder" subset/non-premium insert set and four checklist cards.  The checklist cards showed highlights from late in the 2015 season and postseason.  The "lucky" box set was a 12 card set entitled "RBI Leader" which I assume had the 2015 RBI leader for each team.

June saw the release of Series Two.  This set also had 72 player cards along with a 12 card subset called "First Win" that celebrated each team's first victory for 2016.  The four checklist cards featured early season highlights.  The "lucky" box set again had 12 cards - this time the set was for the "Wins Leader" for each team.

Series Three came out in September.  It also had 72 player cards plus a 12 card "Exciting Scene" subset and four checklist cards (featuring mid-season highlights).  The 12 card "lucky" box set was called "AVG Leader" - I will confess that I did not verify that each of the "lucky" sets featured the actual team leaders in each of the three categories.

There was a total of 216 player cards combined in the three sets (18 per team).  There was no duplication of players between Series One and Two but Series Three had around 30 players who had been in one of the earlier Series.  The total number of unique players is therefore more like 185.  There were a handful of players who only appeared in a subset and did not have a player card - Kohei Arihara (who actually had two subset cards), Yoshihisa Naruse and Miles Mikolas - this does not include Tigers manager Tomoaki Kanemoto and Giants manager Yoshinobu Takahashi who appear on "First Win" subset cards.

As I mentioned before, Calbee also issued two additional sets this year.  They snuck out a 36 card set in January called "All Stars".  Despite the name, the set did not actually include the All Star teams from 2015.  Instead the set included three players from each of the 12 NPB teams.  The cards were similar in design to the "Star" premium subset/insert set of the regular Calbee sets - they had the player superimposed over a colored background with a "kira" finish to the cards.  There was the standard gold signature parallel available for all the cards.

In late November, Calbee issued a 36 card set for Samurai Japan, the Japanese National Baseball Team.  This set was made up of all the players who appeared for the National team in the 2015 Premier 12 tournament as well as the friendlies last March against Taipei with the exception of Kenta Maeda.  Like the "All Stars" set, the cards in this set were similar to the "Star" cards with a "kira" finish and they had the standard gold signature parallels as well.


SumoMenkoMan said...

Does the third series have any players that were traded and depicted with their new teams or does NPB not do it at that part of the season?

NPB Card Guy said...

There aren't many mid-season trades in NPB and the ones there are usually involve players who usually don't show up in the Calbee sets. Occasionally there will be a foreign player who signed after the season started who ends up in Series Three - the most recent example I can think of is Yulieski Gurriel who joined the Baystars in June of 2014 and was in Series Three that year.