Thursday, January 4, 2018

2017 In Review - Everything Else

By my count there were 11 sets issued in Japan by outfits other than BBM, Calbee and Epoch in 2017. 

Actually one of the sets I'm listing here is a joint issue between BBM and Nippon-Ham, the owners of the Fighters.  For the second year in a row Nippon-Ham gave away baseball cards of the Fighters team with packages of  "Home Run Sausage"The checklist is on-line and it looks like there's a base set of 144 cards that may have been issued in two 72 cards series (including cards of players who joined the team mid-season like Yadir Drake and Toshihiro Sugiura).  There's also 60 "rare cards" that are split in three groups - "WE LOVE HOKKAIDO" (28 cards), "Legend" (12 cards) and "HOKKAIDO be AMBITIOUS" (20 cards).

Unlike last year Epoch did not do a Central League gum card set with Kabaya but there was apparently one more food related set issued.  I don't know much about this set but Jambalaya has a listing for what appears to be cards that were issued with something that translates as "Family Stadium Potato Chips".  Instead of photos the cards feature what look like old video game images of players.  This appears to be some sort of tie-in to the Family Stadium video game.  The only cards shown on Jambalaya's web site are for the Fighters and the "Namco Stars" (which are not real baseball players).  Oh and there's a card for the ubiquitous Ami Inamura because of course there is.

Sports Graphic Number only issued one set this past year - a single player set commemorating the retirement of Hiroki Kuroda of the Carp called something like "Goodbye"

An outfit called Hits issued six sets of "trading mini colored paper" this past year.  According to Ryan, Hits is a company that usually does idol cards.  These sets were a departure for them as they depicted full clothed men rather than mostly undressed women.  Each of these sets were very small - 16 to 24 cards depending on the set (and how you count the parallels).  There were sets featuring players from the Hawks, Carp, Swallows and Baystars.  The Hawks, Carp and Swallows sets only featured 8 players each.  There were two different versions of the Baystars set - 1.0 (which had 8 players) and 1.4 (which added four more players).  There was also a set commemorating the retirement of Daisuke Miura of the Baystars.

There were two team issued sets that appear to have been marketed nationally - an Eagles team set and the fourth edition of the Swallows "fan vote" set which featured nine players this time around.  One interesting thing that Ryan pointed out in his write-up of the Swallows set is that the set and the Sports Graphic Number set were actually issued by the same outfit that prints the Hits sets.

The total count of sets issued in Japan this year is 72, which beats the 70 issued in 2014 for the most ever in a year since I've started counting (which to be fair was only 2013!).

On the other hand, there wasn't much issued in the way of Korean cards this past year.  The outfit that had published KBO cards in 2014-16 (SMG/Duael/Ntreev) lost their license last year and as a result the only official KBO set was "Black Edition" that was released last winter (and covered the 2016 season).  The only other KBO set was Dan Skrezyna's self published "Foreign Attack" set which featured the foreign players in the KBO in 2016.  (Dan's blog has posts about two 2017 team issued sets - Bingo cards given away at Samsung Lions games and postcard sized cards included with the NC Dinos 2017 calendar.)  Hopefully there will be a new licensee of KBO cards in 2018 (and a new self published set from Dan for the KBO foreigners of 2017).


Brady Dicarlo said...

Are you going to do a memorial post for Senichi Hoshino? He just died yesterday.

NPB Card Guy said...

Yes. I'll do one this weekend