Tuesday, March 12, 2019

March/April Releases

Here's a quick roundup of some sets that will be released over next six weeks or so:

- BBM's annual Icons box set will be released in late March.  The theme this year is "Teenage Memories" which sounds like it should be an OB set (and in fact there was one called "Brilliant Teenagers" a few years back) but it instead features active players who I think are all still in their teens (hard to tell since I haven't seen a checklist), including a couple of rookies.  Each box contains 37 cards which - you already know the drill on this - includes a 36 card base set plus one "special" card that could be a die-cut card, a printed autograph card or an actual autograph card.

- BBM announced their third "comprehensive" team set for 2019 - this one's for the Baystars.  As has been standard for the past 5 years, the set will have an 81 card base set that is split up into 70 "regular" cards for the players and manager and 11 subset cards split between "Limelight" (5 cards), "Lockdown" (3 cards) and "Hop Step Jump" (3 cards).  There will be 36 total insert cards split between four sets - "Catch The One" (9 cards), "Yokohama Pedigree" (5 cards), "Sail Away" (4 cards) and "Phantom" (18 cards).  There will also be autograph cards available in the packs.  The set will be released in mid-April.

- Speaking of "comprehensive" team sets, Epoch is returning to that realm again this year.  They've announced "Rookies & Stars" sets for Lions and Tigers.  I think that each set has a base set of 68 cards - it looks like Epoch is not doing multiple cards for players to pad their sets out to 90 cards like they did last year.  Each set has several associated insert sets but I'm not entirely sure what they are.  Both sets also feature various autograph cards.  The Lions set will be out on April 13 and the Tigers set will be out two weeks later on April 27.

- Epoch seems to have taken over doing the kind of Anniversary sets that BBM used to do.  Just last year Epoch did sets for the 40th Anniversary of the Whales moving to Yokohama, the 40th Anniversary of Seibu buying the Lions and moving them to Tokorozawa and the 15th Anniversary of the Fighters moving to Hokkaido.  Already this year Epoch had done a set for the 40th Anniversary of the Yakult Swallows' first Nippon Series Championship and now they're doing a set for the 50th Anniversary of Lotte buying the team that then was the Orions and now is the Marines.  Like the sets from last year, this is one of Epoch ultra high end sets - each box retails for 12,700 yen and only contains six cards although I think that two of those cards are autographed.  The base set has 32 cards and there's a parallel version of each one of them.  The set will be released on March 23.

- Hits has announced two more of their "mini colored paper" team sets.  The new ones are for the Hawks and the Carp.  The Hawks set has 12 "cards" in its base set while the Carp set has 16.  All the cards in each set have a gold facsimile signature parallel.  The Hawks set comes out on April 6 while the Carp set will be released on April 27.

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