Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Delayed Perennials And Other Items

It's time for a quick round up of some recently announced sets including two of BBM's perennial sets that had their release dates pushed back a few months.

- First the big new - BBM's 2nd Version set will be released in October, two months later than normal.  BBM has made a couple changes to the base set this year.  The set has its usual 36 card "1st Version Update" and "Cross Something" subsets ("Cross Blossom" this year) plus the 12 team checklist cards but the number of "regular" player cards dropped from 216 (18 per team) to 180 (15 per team).  But the set will have the same number of cards because BBM has added three 12 card subsets - "Proud Ace", "Big Archist" and "Ground Master".  These are the first subsets in a 2nd Version set (beyond the "1st Version Update" and "Cross Something" ones) since 2014.  The other big change involves the "Ceremonial First Pitch" cards.  If I'm understanding the translation correctly, BBM is doing "historic" first pitch ceremony cards and tying it in with their 30th Anniversary.  There will be cards of celebrities throwing out the first pitch at games from the 1990's to the present (or at least last year).  As usual, BBM does not yet know the number of "Ceremonial First Pitch" cards that will be in the set.  There are three insert sets - "Breaking Now" (12 cards), "Soul Of The Team" (12 cards) and "Phantom" (24 cards).  The "Soul Of The Team" cards apparently use "special hollow paper" while the "Phantom" cards are serially numbered to 25 (I think) and feature both active and OB players.  There are also a large number of autograph and memorabilia cards available in packs.

- The other annual set that is having a delayed arrival this season is the "Dancing Heroine - Hana" set.  This is the first of BBM's two annual sets for the cheerleaders and dance squads of most of the NPB teams.  This set normally comes out in late June but will be released in early September this year.  The base set will contain 89 cards of members of the "bluelegends" (Lions), "Honeys" (Hawks), "Tohoku Golden Angels" (Eagles), "M☆Splash!!" (Marines), "FIGHTERS GIRL" (Fighters), "VENUS" (Giants), "Tigers Girls" (Tigers), "Cheer Dragons 2020" (Dragons) and "Passion" (Swallows).  I don't know why the cheerleaders for the Buffaloes and Baystars are not included (the Carp don't have cheerleaders) - this doesn't seem to be a COVID related thing because they weren't include in the sets last year either.  Each card in the base set has a parallel version and there are autographed cards and "cheki" available in packs.  The second set, "Mai", hasn't officially been announced yet but the website for "Hana" says that it will be released a short time later.

- BBM is releasing an OB team set for the Giants called "Giants History 1934-2020".  The base set will contain 90 cards - 7 "Team History" cards, 71 OB players and 12 active players.  There are two 12 card insert sets - "Legend Of The Giants" and "Team Records" - along with several different insert sets that feature "foil" facsimile autographs - "Cross Foil Signing" (27 OB players), "Combo Foil Signing" (6 OB/Active players), "Triple Foil Signing" (3 OB/active players) and "Special Foil Sign" (12 active players).  There's also the usual assortment of autographed cards available.  The set will be out in mid-September.  I haven't seen any images from the set yet but I'm hoping it's as attractive as the "Carp History 1950-2020" set that BBM released earlier this year.

- The Saitama Seibu Lions have produced a card set with BBM.  The set contains 20 cards - 14 active players plus 6 "Legend" kira cards - Daisuke Matsuzaka is one of the 14 active players AND one of the 6 "Legend" players.  I think this set is only available at the Lions team store out at Seibu Dome but I'm a bit confused as to how it's being sold.  I suspect that a card pack that contains just one card is 300 yen.  Packs could contain "lucky" cards that can be redeemed for autographed baseballs or cards.  The sets went on sale last week.

- Epoch has announced another in their "Stars & Legend" series of OB/active team sets, this time for the Baystars.  This is one of Epoch's "ultra high end" sets - a box containing four cards retails for 14,850 yen (~$141) - although two of those cards are guaranteed to be autographed cards.  The base set has 55 cards - 31 active players and 24 OB players.  Epoch is apparently unveiling some new insert cards called "DECOMORI SIGNATURE" which is some sort of processed foil facsimile signature card that has a 1-of-1 parallel.  There are three of these along with 6 "Gem" insert cards plus three different varieties of autographed cards - each of which has a "black" 1-of-1 version.  The set will be out on September 19th.

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