The first releases for 2020 have been announced. Here's a quick roundup:
- BBM's annual set for retiring players will be out in late January (Card Fanatic says it will be out on the 29th which is the day after tomorrow). As always I'm not exactly sure what the real name of this set is since it translates to something like "Sorabetsu Kyujin" but as always it features cards of players who announced their retirement last year, whether they were still playing in NPB or not (looking at you, Sho Aranami). It's a 37 card box set containing a 36 card base set plus an autographed card. Some of the players in the set are Shinnosuke Abe, Kazuya Fukuura, Koji Uehara and Kensuke Tanaka. Since it contains an autographed card, an unopened set retails for 7000 yen (around $65).
- BBM's annual draft pick set, "Rookie Edition" will be released in mid-February. This is a pack based set featuring all the picks in last fall's NPB draft. The base set will contain 120 cards - 107 cards for the draft picks, what's essentially a checklist card and a 12 card subset called "Early Days" which features a photo of an established star for each team when he was a draft pick (and it's an excuse to include an autographed card of the player in the set). 74 of the draft pick cards (the non-ikusei picks) have silver facsimile autograph parallels available while the 12 first round picks also have gold facsimile signature parallels along with "secret version" photo variation short prints (which replace a boring pose for the player with another boring pose). There are two insert sets - a 12 card "Next Generation" set and a 2 card "Rookie Of The Year" - and a wide variety of possible autograph cards.
- The Hiroshima Toyo Carp were founded in 1950 so they are celebrating their 70th Anniversary this season. BBM is issuing a set called "Hiroshima Toyo Carp History 1950-2020" in mid-March to commemorate this. The pack based set will have a base set of 90 cards - 6 "History Of Carp" cards, 72 cards of OB players and 12 cards of active players. There will also be an 11 card "Dream Team" insert set and the usual slew of autograph cards of both active and OB players.
- Hits (or whatever they're actual name is - the linked ads list the manufacturer as "Produced 216") are back with another couple of their "mini colored paper" team sets. The first ones announced are for the Baystars and Hawks. Both sets feature 20 players which is an increase from the previous sets which I think only featured 12. There are apparently randomly inserted autographed cards available in the boxes as well. The sets will be released on March 20th.