I used to make April Fools' jokes here on the blog. Most of them weren't particularly clever and I ran out of ideas after a couple years. But I still think try to think of ones and this year I considered trying to make some joke about BBM doing a version of Topps Now. I just really couldn't come up with anything funny to say about the idea - other than maybe BBM publishing them within 30 minutes of the game ending and each card having some ridiculous number of parallels. As I said, I really couldn't come up with anything good - which is why I didn't do a post for it.
It probably good that I didn't try to joke about it because it turns out that Epoch is actually doing it! I got a tweet from Kenny (aka Zippy Zappy) the other night telling me that Epoch had launched something called Epoch One which was their version of Topps Now. There's a couple nice differences though - the cards are only 500 yen (about $5) and they are available for about three days. There are discounts for ordering several cards at one - 3 cards are 1350 yen, 5 cards are 2000 yen and 10 cards are 3500 yen. There doesn't appear to be a shipping charge.
On the negative side however - they don't ship to the US. Kenny already sent them an email and asked. So the only way to get them outside of Japan would be to use a proxy company (although none of them are set up to buy from them automatically so you'd need to contact them to ask if they'd do it) or have a friend in Japan who can order them for you. They also apparently only have licenses with seven teams to do cards - the Lions, the Dragons, the Tigers, the Marines, the Giants, the Carp and the Fighters.
As of right now there's 35 cards so far through the games of April 4. I swiped the image of the front and back of the first card from their site:
Each card has a couple numbers on the back. The number at the upper left is the overall card number. There's a number at the lower right that is the team-specific number. This particular card is "NF-001". The card will also have the number of cards in the print run on the lower left side.
I think this is a cool idea and I wish there was an easy way for me to get some of them. I don't want to get all of them - I mean even at 350 yen a card we're already looking at over 10,000 yen for what they've put out just in the first week of the season.