A bunch of new sets have been announced recently including the first flagship sets from BBM and Calbee.
- BBM's annual 1st Version set will be released in early April. As always this is a pack based set issued in boxes containing 20 packs of 10 cards each. The set pretty much follows the same pattern as the last few years. The base set contains 372 cards - 324 player/manager cards (27 per team), 12 team checklist cards and a 36 card "Cross" subset that will be continued in the 2nd Version set later in the year. This year's "Cross" cards are called "Cross Universe" and have a space theme. There's the usual assortment of signature parallels for 108 of the player cards (9 per team) plus parallel versions of the rookie cards. BBM is also doing "secret" versions of 12 cards again (1 per team) - these are basically a photo variation parallel. There are three 12 card insert sets - "Japanism", "Gemstore" and "3D Cross Universe" and various autograph and memorabilia cards are available as well.
- Calbee's Series One set is to be released around March 26th. The set will have 72 "regular" player cards (6 per team) along with a 12 card "Draft Pick" subset (featuring the #1 pick for each team from last fall's draft) and four checklist cards. There's two premium subset/insert sets as well - a three card "Legend" set featuring three players who retired at the end of last season (Tadahito Iguchi, Yuya Andoh and Masahiko Morino) and the ubiquitous "Star" set containing 24 cards (2 per team). The checklist for the set is available on-line here.
- Epoch is issuing a somewhat reasonably priced set for the Carp called "Rookies & Stars". Each box contains 20 5 card packs and retails for 8640 yen. The base set contains 90 cards. There is a 45 card insert set and there are 45 autograph cards available. I'm a bit curious how this set is going to be - 90 cards is enough to provide a card for everyone on the Carp's 70 man roster plus the ikusei roster. If that's what Epoch is doing then it may mean that they are going to attempt to take BBM on in the area of comprehensive team sets. There doesn't appear to be any mention of photo variants so maybe that craziness from last year is not going to be repeated this year. The set will be out on April 7th.
- Epoch is releasing their next ultra high-end set in conjunction with the OB Club on March 24th. This one is called "Award Winners" and will run about 16,200 yen for a box containing six cards (at least two of which are autographed). There's 40 cards in the base set and 40 "holospectra" insert/parallel cards available. There are two types of autographed cards for each of the 40 players in the set and a couple "combo autographed ball booklet cards" available as well.
- Hits has returned with "Mini Color Paper" team sets for the Swallows and Baystars. Each set contains two different "papers" for each player/manager - 12 different ones for the Baystars and 13 different ones for the Swallows. Each player has a "normal mini colored paper" and a "gilded print signed special mini colored paper". Both sets will be released on March 31st.