Here's a quick round up of some recently announced sets:
- I have good news and bad news about Calbee. The good news is that Calbee is releasing a Samurai Japan set that is very similar to the one they released last year. The set will have 36 cards (35 players plus a checklist card) featuring what I think are all the players who played for Samurai Japan either last November in the "friendly" games against Mexico and the Netherlands or in February and March in the World Baseball Classic (and pre-tournament games) with the exception of Nori Aoki since he's in MLB and not NPB. So it's kind of a WBC team set but it's got Shohei Ohtani in it. Unlike last year's set, it does not have a card of the manager as Hiroki Kokubo is no longer manager of the team. The cards will be released on November 27th. The bad news is that I think that since Calbee is releasing this set they will not be releasing a Series Three set this year.
- Epoch is doing several more high end team based sets. There are "Season Achievements" sets being issued for the Lions, Fighters and Baystars. Each box has an MSRP of 12,960 yen (~$114). The Lions set will be out on November 11th. Each box will contain just six cards but two of them are guaranteed to be autograph cards. I think that the base set contains just 14 cards but there's a some sort of parallel/insert sets of 18 cards available and a ton of different types of autograph cards. The Baystars set will be released on November 18th and each box will contain 10 cards. Two of these cards are also guaranteed to be autographed cards. The base set has 15 cards and there's a 15 card insert/parallel set as well. There are also three types of jersey cards available. The Fighters set comes out on November 30th and like the Baystars set, each box will contain 10 cards. Two of the cards are guaranteed to be "special" cards - autograph and/or jersey cards. The base set has 36 cards and there's three insert sets - "Holo Spectra" (24 cards), "Holo Spectra Collage" (24 cards) and "Silk Embossed" (18 cards). There are parallel version of the insert cards.
- Epoch is putting out another high end set with the OB Club. This one is called "Title Holders" and will be issued in boxes of six cards with an MSRP of 16,200 yen (~$142). The base set will contain 40 cards featuring retired players like Shigeo Nagashima, Yutaka Enatsu, Koji Akiyama, Norihiro Nakamura and Hisashi Yamada. There will also be 40 "Holo Spectra" insert or parallel cards, various autographed cards and "booklet" cards featuring an autograph and a jersey or patch. The set will be released on December 9th.
- The Tokyo Yakult Swallows are issuing their fourth "Fan's Choice" set. This year's set will feature nine players - Tetsuto Yamada, Kotaro Yamasaki, Tomotaka Sakaguchi, Nobuyuki Okumura, Yuhei Takai, Takahiro Araki, Ryota Fujii, Yoshinori Sato and Juri Hara. The set will be issued in boxes of 12 packs of six cards each. The base set will have 81 cards - nine per player. There will be 18 "foil" cards (2 per player) available as well as "photo" and autographed cards. The set will be out on November 25th.