Wednesday, January 3, 2018

2017 In Review - Epoch

Epoch significantly upped their game in 2017, going from 15 sets in 2016 to 23 this past year.  As is common for them, many of these sets were in the high end category but they also issued nine "reasonably" priced sets.

Let's start with the "reasonably" priced sets.  Epoch issued team sets for 8 of the 12 NPB teams last year.  Each set was sold in boxes of 20 packs that contained 4 cards each.  The teams were the Lions, BaystarsSwallows, Hawks, Carp, Dragons, Tigers and Giants.  In addition, Epoch also issued a Pacific League set that featured nine cards for each of the six Pacific League teams.  The big new "feature" in these sets was that Epoch issued variant versions of cards - there are anywhere from two to five variant types for each team set (and the Pacific League set) - Epoch basically took BBM's "secret" version idea and went overboard with it.

Moving on to the high end sets... Ryan did a really good round up of these a few weeks back so I'm pretty much going to just list the sets here.  If you want more details, check out his post.  Like last year, the high end sets are split between "lower" priced team sets (12,000 to 13,000 yen for a box with six to ten cards) and higher priced sets done in conjunction with the Japan Baseball Promotion Association (JBPA).  Each box regardless of the level is guaranteed to have autograph and/or memorabilia cards in it.

The team sets may feature only active players, only OB players or both.  They are "Seibu Lions First V 35th Anniversary" (OB players celebrating Seibu's first Nippon Series championship in 1982), "Hankyu Braves Greats" (OB players obviously), "Chunichi Dragons Stars & Legends" (OB and active players), "Tokyo Yakult Swallows Premier Edition" (active players), "Buffaloes Holospectra" (active players), "Pacific League Premier Edition" (active players - not really a team set obviously and Epoch did one of these last year so how's this the "Premier" edition?), "Softbank Hawks Stars & Legends" (OB and active players), "Saitama Seibu Lions Season Achievements" (active players), "Hiroshima Toyo Carp Stars & Legends" (OB and active players), "Yokohama DeNA Baystars Season Achievements" (active players) and "Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Season Achievements" (active players).  (I had mentioned recently that there was a "Tigers Season Achievements" set that was scheduled to be released last week.  It apparently has been pushed back until the end of January.)

The three ultra high end sets done with the JBPA were "Opening Day Starting Lineups", "Uniform Number Evolution" (for whatever reason I had this translated as "Biography") and "Title Holders".  Each of these sets only feature OB players.

I was disappointed that after all the set Epoch published this year they didn't do another set for the Japan Women's Baseball League.  I head really liked the 2016 set and was looking forward to another one.

UPDATE - changed a poor choice of words to "overboard"

1 comment:

Ryan G said...

I'm disappointed about the JWBL set too. Even today there are very few JWBL cards out there - sets were swallowed up. It's obviously a successful product, at least as far as I can tell. Maybe JWBL will go with Hits/Produce 216/whatever their name really is.