Sunday, February 22, 2015

New Non-BBM Stuff

I've seen announcements about seven upcoming BBM sets in various places around the net but since they haven't listed them on their website yet I will instead just catch up on the non-BBM releases that have been announced.

- Front Runner Trading Cards (Frontier International) is apparently renaming their "Rookies & Young Stars" team box sets this year as "Heroes & Rookies" (with a new "HR" logo on the cards).  Given that it was a hard sell on some of the players being "young stars", this makes a lot more sense.  (Not that there's any need for the set name to be literally true.)  The first two of these sets are for the Lions and the Buffaloes.  The sets are smaller than in the past - I think there are only 18 cards in each base set.  Each box will contain the base set plus one of a bewildering variety of autograph cards - including ones that have two or three signatures on them.  Both sets will be out in late March and have an MSRP of 9990 yen (~$84).

- The Tigers are gearing up to celebrate their 80th Anniversary this year (BBM will be doing an 80th Anniversary set).  But 2015 is also the 30th Anniversary of the first (and so far only) Nippon Series championship for the Tigers and Epoch is doing a box set to celebrate the milestone.  Each box will contain 52 cards - 45 cards for the base set, five parallel cards and two autograph cards.  Some of the autograph cards feature two or three signatures.  The set will be released in early March.

- Details (and checklist) for Calbee Series One were released last week.  It looks like the base set (player cards plus subset/non-premium insert sets) has actually grown a little from the 100 per Series last year to 103 this year (at least for the first Series).  Once again there will be 84 player cards (seven per team) which will include several players returning to NPB from MLB (Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hiroyuki Nakajima and Kensuke Tanaka) and at least one player who switch teams over the winter (Yoshihisa Naruse).  There will be three subsets (or non-premium insert sets):  a 12 card (one for each team) "Exciting Scene" set, three "Legend Retirement Player" cards (for Atsunori Inaba, Makoto Kaneko and Tomoya Satozaki) and four checklist cards (which appear to have a theme of the 2014 post season).  The ubiquitous Star (premium) insert set is back which will have (as usual) 24 cards - two for each team.  There is also a 24 card "Title Holder" set that is available as some sort of mail in premium (the 24 cards are not divided evenly between the teams) and a "lucky card" of Tomoyuki Sugano - I think it's a 3D style card.  I believe that he "lucky card" is available as a redemption from a special card found in the packs.  As usual, the cards will be distributed with potato chip bags and will hit the stores on March 23.

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