I've gotten a bit behind in listing the upcoming releases as usual so it's time to catch up...
- BBM has announced information about the next three of their pack-based team sets - the Carp, the Lions and the Giants. All three sets have 81 card base sets. The Carp's base set has 69 cards for the manager and players (and probably the mascot), a three card "Youngsters of Expectation" subset and a nine card "Title Holder" subset. 27 of the "regular" cards have a foil signature parallel. The Carp set also has 36 insert cards split amongst six sets - "Starting Pitchers" (3 cards), "Faine of Carp"(?) (3 cards), "Reputable Veterans" (3 cards), "Relief Pitchers" (4 cards), "Scoring Sources" (5 cards) and "Phantom" (18 cards) plus four possible memorabilia cards (jersey cards for Yusuke Nomura, Kris Johnson, Ryosuke Kikuchi and Yoshihiro Maru) and many autograph cards. The Lions' base set has 70 "regular" player cards and three subsets - Mega Impact (5 cards), High Velocity (3 cards) and New Energy (3 cards). It also has 30 insert cards divided into four sets - "Bright Light" (6 cards), "Shutdown Relievers" (3 cards), "Center Stage Heroes" (9 cards) and "Phantom" (12 cards) plus the usual selection of autographed cards. The Giants base set is split between 68 player cards, 1 mascot card, 6 "New Strength" cards, 3 "Seasoned Veterans" cards and 3 cards for a subset getting translated as "Pillars of Young Hit". The player cards have gold, "holo foil" and red signature parallel versions. The set also has a whopping 66(!) insert cards split between 6 separate sets, some of which are only available as serially numbered cards. The unnumbered insert sets are the 14 card "Giants Pride 2017" and 4 card "Giant Future" sets - there's a parallel version for both of these sets. The limited sets are "Cross Foil Signing" (18 cards numbered to 15), "Super Metallic Giants" (9 metallic cards numbered to each player's uniform number), "TripleX" (3 3-D cards numbered to 25) and "Phantom" (18 cards numbered to 25). It looks like there are memorabilia cards but autograph cards are not specifically mentioned (the "Cross Foil Signing" cards appear to be facsimile autographs). The Carp set will be out in mid-May and the Lions and Giants sets will be out in late May.
- The next team based box set from BBM is for the Dragons and will be out in early June. It's called "Heat" and it appears to be the latest "Autographed Edition" set although I'm not sure BBM is still calling their sets that. The set will contain 29 cards - a 27 card base set and 2 autograph cards. The retail price for the set is 10,000 yen (roughly $100).
- Epoch is issuing several pack-based team sets of their own over the next couple months. The twist here is instead of the ridiculously expensive high end sets they've been doing recently, these will actually be much more affordable - they will be issued in boxes of 20 4 card packs for 4,490 yen (roughly $45). The first of these sets is for the Lions and is scheduled to be released on May 27th. Epoch will release a set for the Hawks on June 3rd, the Baystars on June 17, and the Swallows on June 24. The Lions, Hawks and Baystars sets will have a base set of 27 cards while the Swallows' base set will be 30 cards. It looks like all the cards in the base sets have photo variant versions - the Lions ad sheets shows three different Yusei Kikuchi cards - one of which is a recropping of one of the other ones. There's a parallel version of the base set cards as well but it's not clear to me if that means the photo variants or if there's some other parallel. I think there are insert cards available for all four sets although I'm not positive what they are. There also appears to be some sort of scratch off cards that give you points that can be redeemed for autograph cards.
- Nippon-Ham, the company that owns the Fighters, is again releasing baseball cards in conjunction with "Home Run Sausage". Like last year's set, this year's cards are basically a Fighters' team set. There are 72 cards in the set - 1 card for manager Hideki Kuriyama, 67 cards for Fighters' players and four cards for the Fighters' mascots. I suspect that there will be more cards issued later in the season the way there were last year. It looks like the pictures were all taken during early training camp so (again like last year) there are pictures that were taken in Arixona. This set is already out - Deanna got some cards a few weeks ago at the Fighters' ni-gun ballpark in Kamagaya (and reported that the sausage was not very tasty). Many of the cards can be seen at Jambalaya.