Thursday, January 3, 2019

2018 In Review - Calbee

2018 was a return to normalcy for Calbee.  From 2003 to 2015 Calbee issued their flagship set in three separate Series and that was all they put out each year.  In 2016 they issued two other sets - an All Star set in January and a Samurai Japan set in November - along with the three Series,  In 2017 the Hokkaido Potato Crisis forced Calbee to limit their flagship set to just two Series although they did also issue a Samurai Japan set.  For 2018 though it was back to a three Series flagship set with no other sets.

As usual Series One was released in March.  It had 88 cards in its base set - 72 player cards (six per team), a 12 card "Dora-ichi" subset featuring the first pick for each team from the fall 2017 draft and four checklist cards.  There were two insert sets - 24 "Star" cards and 3 "Legend" cards (featuring three players who retired after the 2017 season - Tadahito Iguchi, Yuya Andoh and Masahiko Morino).  The "Lucky Card" box set (available as a mail-in redemption) was a 12 card set called "AVG Leader".

Series Two came out in June and followed a similar pattern.  The 88 card base set broke down into 72 player cards, a 12 card subset featuring the managers for all the teams and four checklist cards.  The only insert set was 24 more "Star" cards and the "Lucky Card" box set was another 12 card set - this one was called "Wins Leader".

Series Three hit the shelves in September and continued the same pattern as the first two Series.  Once again there was an 88 card base set split into 72 player cards, a 12 card "Exciting Scene" subset and four more checklist cards.  The "Star" insert set was rounded out with 24 more cards (for a total of 72 across all three Series) and there was yet one more 12 card set available through "Lucky Card" redemption - this one was called "RBI Leader".

Across the three Series there were 216 player cards.  24 players had more than one card so the total number of players represented in the set was 192.  There are a couple big name players who did not have regular player cards and only appear in the "Exciting Scene" subset in Series Three - Tomoyuki Sugano, Norichika Aoki and Daisuke Matsuzaka.

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