I wanted to do a quick post on a couple recently announced sets...
- Calbee's Series Two set will be released on or around July 1st (it seems like it's usually available a few days before the official release date). The base set will contain 88 cards - 72 player cards (6 per team), a 12 card "Opening Pitcher" subset featuring the Opening Day starter for each team and the ubiquitous four checklist cards. The set also features the standard 24 cards premium subset/insert set called "Star". There's also a 12 card box set available via "Lucky Card" redemption called "Hits Leader" which features one of the top batters for each team (not sure if they are the actual 2018 team hit leader or not). The checklist is available on-line here.
- BBM has announced two more of their annual "comprehensive" team sets - these two are for the Buffaloes and the Fighters. The Buffaloes set has a base set of 81 cards which breaks down to 69 player cards (including the manager), a mascot card, two "Supernova" cards, three "Winning Formula" cards, three "Just Do It" cards and three "Orimen" cards. The set also has 30 insert cards split amongst five sets - "Buffaloes Spirit" (nine cards), "Messiah" (three cards), "Revolution" (three cards), "Stay Gold" (three cards) and "Phantom" (12 cards). The Fighters set also has a base set of 81 cards - 71 player cards (including the manager) plus three subsets - "King Is Coming" (three cards), "Quick Boost" (three cards) and "Early Impact" (four cards). There are a whopping 51 different insert cards split between five sets - "North Pole" (nine cards), "Shock The World" (six cards), "Jewelry Ice" (three cards), "Esperanza" (15 cards) and "Phantom" (18 cards). I think that the "Esperanza" cards and the "Phantom" cards for both sets are serially number to something like 25. Both sets include autographed cards and the Fighters set has jersey cards available. BBM says that both sets will be out in late June. Card Fanatic's schedule has the Buffaloes' release date as June 19 and the Fighters' release date as June 27.
- I'm not completely sure that they are the card company involved here but it appears that Hits, the manufacturer of "mini colored paper" team sets, is releasing two actual trading card sets that are called "Used Ball Card" sets - one for the Baystars and one for the Swallows. It looks like each set has a base set of 81 cards but only 15 players for each team are included in the sets. There's a variety of inserts and special cards available that include printed signatures and (as you would expect from the name) game used balls. The Baystars set also appears to have real autographs available as well (although boxes of the two sets are the same price - 5450 yen - which I wouldn't expect if one set had real autographs and the other didn't). The Baystars set will be out on July 12th while the Swallows set will be out August 3rd.