There are a bunch of upcoming team sets that have been announced in the past few weeks:
- BBM has announced their annual pack-based team sets for the Baystars, Fighters, Carp and Giants. I've started referring to these as "comprehensive" team sets because they contain most if not all of the players on each team's 70 man roster at the time the set went to press. The base set for each of these sets contains 81 cards.
- There's not a lot of details available for the Baystars set other than it will have 33 associated insert cards - 15 "Phantom" cards and 18 others - and various autographed cards. It will be released in mid-April.
- There's a little more detail on the Fighters set (which will be released in early May). The base set is broken into 71 "regular" cards for the manager, players and probably mascots, a three card "Fresh Breeze" subset, a four card "The Beginning" subset and a three card "Centerpiece" subset. There's a whopping 48 insert cards available - three "Thunder & Lightning" cards, six "Future Is Born" cards, nine "Diamond Dust" cards, 18 "Phantom" cards and 12 "Royal Purple" cards. There are jersey cards available for Hirotoshi Takanashi, Go Matsumoto, Kensuke Kondoh and Kohei Arihara as well as a bunch of autographed cards that are not fully defined.
- The base set for the Carp set breaks down to 69 cards for the manager, players and mascot (probably), three cards for "Youngsters Of Expectation", four cards for "Main Pitchers" and five cards for "Main Hitters". Like the Fighters set there are 48 insert cards - six "Starting Pitcher", three "Relief Pitcher", two "Main Types Of Defense", three "Hits Production Machines", four "Kinds Of Weight Bowing Line", 12 "Royal Purple" and 18 "Phantom" (most of those are probably not the real names of the insert sets). There are jersey cards available for Akitake Okada, Yoshiharu Maru, Ryusuke Kikuchi, Kosuke Tanaka and Kazuki Yabuta as well as an undefined as of press time batch of autograph cards. The set will be out in mid-May.
- The Giants base set breaks down to 67 "regular" cards for the manager and players, a single checklist card that also features the mascots, a four card "New Arrivals" subset, a three card "Giant Guns" subset, a three card "High Quality Triangle" subset and a three card "Young Sinergy" subset. There are three different parallels of each of the "regular" cards - gold leaf, holo foil and orange foil - I'm assuming these are all facsimile signature parallels but I could be wrong. There are 66(!) insert cards - 15 "Giants Pride" (which have serially numbered parallels), three "My Generation" (which also have serially numbered parallels), 18 "Cross Foil Signing" (serially numbered to 15), nine "Super Metallic Giants" (serially numbered to the player's uniform number - so there's only six Hayato Sakamoto cards for example. These are available via an exchange card), three "Triplex" (these are 3D cards that are serially numbered to 25) and 18 "Phantom" cards (serially numbered to 25). There will also be memorabilia and autographed cards but what they are were not listed at press time. There set will be out in mid-May.
- In addition to the Carp "comprehensive" team set, BBM is also releasing a "Premium" box set for the team called "Carp Invincible". This is a 29 card box set. Each box contains the entire 27 card base set plus one "Invincible" insert card (one of six possible) and one autographed card. The autographed card may be of a player who is not in the base set. This set reminds me quite a bit of the "Premium" team sets BBM did last year for the 2016 pennant winning Carp and Fighters so it wouldn't surprise me to see a similar set for the Hawks be released in the next month (and before you email me to correct me, keep in mind that in NPB the pennant winner is the team that finished first, not the team that wins the Climax Series, so the 2017 Central League pennant was won by the Carp, not the Baystars). The set will be released in late April.
- Epoch has announced three more of their team based "Rookies & Stars" sets. The newly announced ones are for the Swallows, Dragons and Buffaloes. Each of these features a 90 card base set along with various insert and autograph cards. I'm more convinced than ever that Epoch is attempting to challenge BBM in the "comprehensive" team set arena. This is now five announced "Rookies & Stars" sets and one of these (the Buffaloes) is a team that Epoch did not do an inexpensive team set for last year. The first of these sets (for the Carp) is due to be released this weekend and then we'll know for sure if it is a comprehensive set (potentially including the ikusei players who have not been included in BBM's team sets for the past few years). The Swallows set will be released on April 21st, the Buffaloes set will be out on May 12th and the Dragons set will be released on May 19th.
- Hits has announced another "Mini Color Paper" team set this year - this time it's for the Hawks. There are 12 players represented in the set and each player has two versions of a "card" - a "normal mini colored paper" and a "gold foil signed special mini colored paper". The set comes out in early April.