Some information about the next batch of upcoming releases:
- I missed this one when I did my last roundup of new team sets - Epoch's got a "Rookies & Stars" team set for the Buffaloes coming out in a couple days. Most of the details for the set are the same as for the previous eight "Rookies & Stars" sets this year so forgive me if I more of less just copy and paste what I've previously written. The set has a base set of 36 cards, each of which has a parallel hologram version. There are 12 different insert sets for each set as well. There are four "Regular Printed Signature" sets ("Silver", "Gold", "Hologram" & "Variation Hologram") - there are 9 "Variation Hologram" cards and 18 each for the other three sets. The "Variation Hologram" cards are serially numbered to 10. There are three 18 card "Metal Power" insert sets: "Silver", "Gold" (serially numbered to 50) and "Hologram" (serially numbered to 10) and three six card "Time To Shine Hologram" sets: "A" (serially numbered to 50), "B" (serially numbered to 15) and "C" (serially numbered to 5). Finally there 6 "Gem" insert cards (each serially numbered to 15) and 6 "Black Gem" insert cards (each serially numbered to 5). There are four varieties of autographed cards There are four different types of autographed cards - "Authentic" (35 cards), "Authentic 1-of-1" (35 cards), "Rookies" (12 cards) and "Stars" (8 cards). As far as I can tell, Epoch is only doing "Rookies & Stars" sets for the same nine teams they did last year - the Baystars, Buffaloes, Carp, Dragons, Fighters, Hawks, Lions, Swallows and Tigers which means they are again not doing sets for the Eagles, Giants or Marines.
- The "Rookies & Stars" sets are Epoch's more affordable team sets while the "Stars & Legends" line fall into the "ultra-high end" territory. The first one of these for 2021 is for the Baystars and it will be released on July 24th. Boxes will contain four cards (one of which I believe is guaranteed to be an autograph) and retail for 16,500 yen (around $150). The base set contains 40 cards which I think are split between 18 active players and 22 OB players. The web page doesn't fully define the insert cards available but there will at least be the ubiquitous "Gem" and "Black Gem" ones (six cards in each set). There are five types of autograph cards - "Authentic" (40 different), "Legendary" (22 different), "Star" (7 different), "1-of-1" (21 different) and "Baseball" (14 different). I think these last ones are autographed pieces of baseballs.
- Epoch has also announced their annual "Pacific League Rookies" set. This is a 38 card box set that includes a 35 card base set, two "foil signature" parallel cards and an authentic autograph card. The 35 cards in the base set feature all the non-ikusei players taken by the six Pacific League teams in last fall's draft. The set will be released on July 17th.
- The next to last of BBM's "comprehensive" team sets for the year is for the Eagles and will hit the shelves in mid-July. As always the base set will contain 81 cards split between 70 cards for the manager and players plus a five card subset simply described as "pitchers" and a six card one described as "spindle batters". There's four non-premium insert sets that again are not fully defined - "main players" (9 cards), "relief pitchers" (4 cards), "2019 Draft Pick" (3 cards) and "Grand Masters" (2 cards). There are three different serially numbered premium insert sets - "Phantom" (12 cards), "Esperanza" (15 cards) and "Hyakka Ryoran" (I think) (9 cards). There are also memorabilia cards for Takehiro Norimoto and Hideaki Wakui and a couple different types of autograph cards.
- Calbee's Series Two set will be released on June 28th although I expect that as usual they might be showing up a few days earlier. According to the online checklist it's pretty much what you'd expect it would be. The base set has 88 cards - 72 player cards, 12 "Opening Pitcher" cards and four checklist cards. There will also be 24 "Star" insert cards along with a limited edition 12 card "RBI Leader" box set available only through Calbee's Amazon.co.jp store.