Thursday, October 19, 2017

2017 BBM Carp "Successful Achievement" box set

For the second year in a row the Hiroshima Toyo Carp are Central League champs* and for the second year in a row BBM has issued a box set commemorating this.  Last year the set had 55 cards and had the somewhat unwieldy title of "Realization Of A Great Ambition".  At 46 cards thus year's set is a little smaller but it has a much more succinct name - "Successful Achievement".

*Don't forget that NPB awards league championships based on the team that finished first in the regular season so the Carp are CL champs even if the Baystars beat them in the Climax Series and go on to the Nippon Series.

This year's set is organized a little differently than last year's.  Last year's base set told the story of the season in chronological order - card #1 commemorated about Opening Day while card #54 celebrated winning the pennant.  The set had no subsets.  The base set of this year's set is broken into two subsets - 36 "regular" player cards and 9 "name scene" cards (which appear to be highlight cards).

When I say "regular" player card in this case, I mean that the card clearly identifies the player (or manager Koichi Ogata) on the front.  The back of each of the cards however is highlighting a particular game from the season that the player had a contribution to and includes the line score for the game.  There's no biographical information for the player on the back.  Here's an example - Tsubasa Aizawa's card that commemorates him hitting a walk off two run home run to beat the Baystars on April 18th:


Back of #27
You can see that this photo's a little better than the run of the mill BBM batters batting and pitchers pitching shots that I'm always complaining about.  There's some other good shots in the set as well and even the routine photos look pretty good.  BBM used a horizontal format on more cards than the vertical format (about 21 horizontal to 15 vertical) and it works really well.  Here's some more examples:




The players highlighted are pretty much everyone you'd expect.  Beyond the players I've already shown there's Takahiro Arai, Ryosuke Kikuchi, Kosuke Tanaka, Kazuki Yabuta, Yoshihiro Maru, Brad Eldred, Jay Jackson, Kris Johnson and Xavier Batista (only Batista's second card that I know of). 

The "name scene" cards are really more of the same - cards highlighting a particular game.  The photo on the front of the card shows either a player or several players and the players aren't as prominently identified as they are on the "regular" cards.  The backs are nearly identical to the "regular" player cards in that they are giving details about the particular game and don't have biographical information for the player.  Here's a card of Ryosuke Kikuchi scoring against the Giants on April 13th as an example:


Back of #38
Both last year's and this year's set contained a special card as well as the base set.  Last year the special card was one of four oversized 3-D cards.  This year the special card could either be one of five normal sized "Great Heroes" 3-D cards or an autographed card.  I think the autographed cards were extremely rare (which is why the MSRP for the set was only 3000 yen).  I ended up with the "Great Heroes' card.  All the "Great Heroes' cards feature two players.  The one I got had Takehiro Arai and Brad Eldted on it:

It looks much better in person than it does in the scan.

As you might have guessed I like this set.  My only real disappointment with it (other than not getting an autographed card) is that none of the photos on the box front appear on any of the cards. 

As always you can see the whole set over at Jambalaya.

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