Just to be clear - what I mean by a team set is a set of cards that feature mostly current players from one particular team. I know that sounds pretty obvious but I want to make a distinction between team sets and OB team sets which feature mostly retired players from one particular team.
It's actually kind of appropriate that I'm doing this post this year as it's the 25th year that BBM has been doing team sets and the 15th year that BBM has done a pack based set for all 12 NPB teams.
What follows is a somewhat rambling litany of BBM team sets. This is not meant to be a complete list of all the team sets the company has done - I'm just trying to highlight several firsts and also list all the pennant winner box sets.
|1994 BBM Tigers box|
|1995 BBM Orix BlueWave I box|
The 1996 Tigers box set was the first team set that BBM included random insert cards - the set contained three of nine possible cards of former Tiger greats.
|1997 BBM Giants "Black" box|
|1997 BBM Giants "Orange" box|
|1998 BBM Hawks box|
|1998 BBM Baystars "Get The Flag" II box|
1999 had a couple milestones for BBM team sets. The company issued their first pack based team set. It was a "comprehensive" set for the Tigers and featured a 90 card base set along with two insert sets - a five card Minoru Murayama set and a nine card OB Tigers "Refractor" set. Also for the first time BBM issued sets to commemorate the two pennant winners - the Dragons and the Hawks. Both sets had 41 cards in their base sets and had no insert cards. Both sets were issued after the team had clinched the pennant as both sets include a card showing the celebration.
In 2000 BBM issued "comprehensive" sets for the Tigers and Giants as pack based sets. The Tigers set had possible Tsuyoshi Shinjyo batting glove cards while the Giants set had possible Hideki Matsui bat cards as well as autograph cards. BBM only issued a set for one of the two pennant winners that year - the Giants - and it was a unique issue - BBM sold the 36 card set in four plastic sheets in a binder.
BBM again issued pack based sets for the Tigers and Giants in 2001. They also went back to issuing box sets for both pennant winners - the Swallows and Buffaloes. As in 2001 both sets had 41 card base sets but for the first time the sets included possible memorabilia cards.
|2002 BBM Giants Central League Champions box|
|2003 BBM Hawks Pacific League Champions box|
|2004 BBM Carp #C06, 2004 BBM BlueWave #BW28, 2004 BBM Swallows #YS19|
|2004 BBM Pacific League Playoff box|
BBM approached the Pacific League playoff teams a little differently in 2005. They issued a 37 card box set for both the first place team (the Hawks) and the second place team (the Marines). I'm guessing that it was too difficult to predict the third place team when they were going to press with the sets. The Hawks set was subtitled "Go" while the Marines sets was subtitled "Takumi". Each set had a possible film card included. The Tigers won the Central League pennant that season and so BBM issued a 46 card box set in commemoration. Each set could possibly contain a "photo" card as a premium.
|2006 BBM Dragons Central League Champions box|
|2007 BBM Dragons "The Climax" box|
|2016 BBM Carp "Realization Of A Great Ambition" box|
The one other milestone I want to mention here about BBM's team sets is that they standardized on the size of the base set for their pack based "comprehensive" team sets in 2015. Before that the base set sizes had ranged anywhere from 81 to 141 cards. Starting in 2015 all the sets would have 81 card base sets.