Just wanted to take a minute to cover some recent announcements of new sets by both BBM and Epoch...
- BBM's annual Rookie Edition Premium box set will be released in late October (Jambalaya says it'll be out on October 26th). Each box contains 38 cards - the 36 card base set plus 2 "premium" cards. The base set highlights the top three rookies for each team. The "premium" cards can possibly be autographed cards, memorabilia cards or "booklet' cards. Some of the cards could have more than one autograph on them - there's one both of the likely Rookies Of Year - Yota Kyoda of the Dragons and Sosuke Genda of the Lions - has signed. MSRP for the set is 15,000 yen (roughly $135).
- Last year BBM released a mult-sport set called "Masterpiece" to celebrate their 70th Anniversary as a magazine published. It apparently was popular enough that they are releasing another multi-sport called "Infinity". There aren't actually a whole lot of details about the set on BBM's website - it's a pack-based set but I can't tell you how big the base set is or what the insert sets are for sure. There are both active and OB baseball players in the set including Yuki Yanagita, Shinnosuke Abe, Takahiro Arai, Kosuke Fukudome, Shunsuke Watanabe, Norihiro Nakamura and Daisuke Miura. Other sports include sumo, soccer, rugby, track and field, wrestling, tennis, gymnastics, boxing, curling and softball. There will be autographed cards available which will include Shohei Ohtani. The set will be out in late October (Jambalaya says the 29th).
- Another set BBM did for the first time last year that they are apparently turning into an annual issue is the Fusion set. The breakdown of this set looks pretty much the same as last year's set - the base set is split into four subsets - "1st Version Update" (9 cards), "Ceremonial First Pitch" (BBM doesn't list the number of cards here but I'm betting there will be 9), "Hall Of Fame" (102 cards that include both active and OB players who aren't necessarily Hall Of Famers) and "Title Holders" (24 cards for the leaders of 12 different statistical categories for each league). The total number of cards in the base set will probably be 144 depending on how many cards are in the "Ceremonial First Pitch" set. BBM will once again be doing "secret" versions of one or more of the "Hall Of Fame" cards and Ami Imamura will once again be appearing in the "Ceremonial First Pitch" set. There will be two insert sets - "Great Records" (24 cards) and "Legendary Players" (12 cards) and assorted autograph cards available. The set will be released in late November.
- Epoch is releasing two high-end team based sets in November. On November 4th the Hawks Stars & Legends set will hit the streets. Each box has an MSRP of 12,960 yen and I think contains two packs of three cards each (6 cards total). But the box is guaranteed to include two "special insert" cards including one autographed card. The other possible "special insert" cards include jersey and jersey letter cards. The base set itself is only 24 cards and includes both active and OB Hawks players. The other set is the Carp Stars & Legends set and it will be out on November 18th. Each box of this set also has an MSRP of 12,960 yen but I think it contains two packs of FOUR cards each (8 cards total). As with the Hawks set, each box is guaranteed to contain two "special insert" cards which includes one autographed card. Other possible "special insert" cards include jersey, jersey letter and patch cards. The base set contains 55 cards which I assume include both active and OB Carp players.