There's a bunch of sets that have been announced recently so let's get to it...
- The final three of BBM's annual "comprehensive" team sets have been announced. The Hawks set will be out in late June (Jambalaya says June 30th) while the Eagles and Dragons sets will be released in mid-July. Each set has a base set of 81 cards which has been the standard size for BBM's team sets for the last few years. The Hawks base set contains 69 cards for the players (and manager), three "Highlight Reel" cards (which includes a card for Seiichi Uchikawa's 2000th hit) and nine "Hawks History" cards that appear to be a continuation of the subset with the same name in BBM's Hawks 80th Anniversary set from a few months ago - I'm guessing they cover the team's history since 1968. The Hawks set also has 30 insert cards split between four sets - Steel Curtain (6 cards), The Hunt (3 cards), Undisputed (9 cards) and Phantom (12 cards) - and the usual bevy of possible autograph cards. The Eagles base set has 70 cards for the manager and players, three "Record Breaker" cards, three "Fans' Favorite" and five "main player(?)" cards. There are also 27 insert cards split between six sets although only one of them (the 9 card "Phantom" set) is named on their web page. The set also has various autograph cards available. The Dragons base set also has 70 cards for the manager and players plus a three subsets: "Winners Never Quit" (3 cards), "Cosmic Attack" (5 cards) and "Lights On" (3 cards). There are four insert sets - "Up Next" (6 cards), "Tough Enough" (3 cards), "Raise High" (9 cards) and "Phantom" (12 cards) and many autograph cards.
- BBM is releasing a "Premium" box set for the Fighters called "Ambitious". This is the second Premium box set BBM has done this year - the first was for the Carp and called "Invincible". Like that set this one contains 29 cards - the complete 27 card base set plus 1 serially numbered "UNLIMITED" insert card and 1 autographed card (odd that a limited edition insert card would be called "UNLIMITED"). The set will be released in early July. And thanks to the title of the set I have this song running through my head:
- The first of BBM's two annual cheerleader/dance squad sets has been announced. "Dancing Heroine - Hana" will be out in early July. It's a pack base set featuring a 99 card base set that has members of the squads from nine different teams - the Hawks (Honeys), the Lions (bluelegends), the Eagles (Tohoku Golden Angels), Fighters Girl (Fighters), M * Splash !! (Marines), Tigers Girls (Tigers), Venus (Giants), Chia Dragons 2018 (Dragons) and Passion (Swallows). There are no members included from the Baystars (Diana) or Buffaloes (Bs Girls) but it looks like that's been the case for the last couple years (and the Carp don't have cheerleaders). There are nine insert cards (I'd guess one member per team) and various cheki and autograph inserts.
- BBM's annual second flagship set - "2nd Version"- will be released in mid-August. This edition pretty much looks the same as the last few editions. There's 216 "regular" player cards (18 per team), 36 "1st Version Update" cards (3 per team), 36 "Cross Universe" cards (3 per team) that complete the subset started in 1st Version and 12 checklist cards (which I'd be willing to bet feature each team's mascot but I'd be happy to be wrong). There are also the usual unspecified number of "Ceremonial First Pitch" cards featuring various Japanese celebrities - I'd expect somewhere around 12 or 13 of them. The player cards have the usual various different facsimile autograph parallel versions plus 12 cards have photo variants called "secret" versions. I think there are also parallel versions of the First Pitch cards and "Cross Universe" cards. There's two 12 card insert sets - one is unspecified and the other is the ubiquitous "Phantom" set - and assorted autograph and memorabilia cards.
- Speaking of second flagship sets, Calbee's Series Two will officially be arriving in stores on July 2nd although Jambalaya says it'll be out on June 27th. There will be 88 cards in the base set - 72 player cards (six per team), 12 manager cards and four checklist cards. There will also be the usual 24 "Star" insert cards (two per team) and a 12 card "Team Highest Win" special box set available as a redemption for "lucky" cards. The checklist for the set is available on-line as usual. Series Two coming out at roughly the usual time is a hopeful sign that last year's potato famine issues are a thing of the past and Calbee will do their standard three Series this year.
- Epoch has announced a new ultra high end set in conjunction with the OB Club entitled "Career Achievement". Each box has an MSRP of 16,200 yen (~$146) and contains two packs of three cards each - not sure of how many autographs that includes. The base set has 40 cards but the main attraction of this set is the large variety of autograph cards available in it - there are six different types including autographed baseballs. I think there are also parallel versions of the autograph cards but I'm not positive. The set will be released on July 7th.
- Hits is releasing another single player "Mini Color Paper" set - this time it's for Yokohama DeNA Baystars outfielder Yoshitomo Tsutsugoh in honor of his 150th home run. The set will contain a total of 16 "cards" for him - 8 "normal" and 8 "gilded print signed" and will be out sometime in July.