I wanted to do a quick post about several recently announced sets that will be released in September.
- Epoch will be releasing their latest collaboration with the OB Club, Career Achievement, on September 4th. This is another of their ultra-high end sets with boxes of six cards selling for 16,500 yen (around $150). The base set has 45 cards - all players who have at least 500 home runs, 2000 hits, 1000 RBIs, 400 stolen bases, 200 wins or 250 saves. There are 45 serially numbered parallel cards and six different varieties of autograph cards which are also serially numbered. I think there's a parallel version of each autograph card as well.
- The latest of Epoch's "Stars & Legends" sets - their team sets with both active and OB players - is for the Hanshin Tigers and will be out on September 25th. This is another ultra high-end set that also retails for 16,500 yen a box but in this case a box only has four cards. The base set has 73 cards - 38 active players and 35 OB players. Each card in the base set is serially numbered although I don't know what the print run is for them. There are three insert sets - "Decomori Signature Black Vision" (three cards with parallel versions available), "Gem" (six cards), and "Black Gem" (six cards) - and all the inserts are serially numbered as well. There are five varieties of autograph cards available - "Authentic", "Legendary", "Star", "Draft #1" and "Baseball" - the last of which I think is the player's autograph on a piece of a cut up baseball.
- Calbee's third set for 2021, which somewhat unimaginatively goes by Series Three, will be released around September 20th although it will likely start showing up on-line a few days before that. The checklist doesn't really have any surprises as the base set contains 88 cards, just like Series One and Two did. Those 88 cards break down to 72 player cards (six per team), 12 "Interleague Play" cards (one per team), and the usual four checklist cards. There are also the usual 24 Star insert cards (two per team). There's a 12 card "Total Victory" box set that's associated with the set available from Calbee's Amazon.co.jp store.
- BBM annually releases a pair of sets for the team's cheerleader/dance squads. The first "Dancing Heroine" set for 2021 - Hana - was released today while the second one - Mai - will be in stores in late September. Mai will have a 78 card base set with each card having a holo parallel version. There are also autographed cards and "cheki" cards available. As with the Hana set, the Mai set only have representatives from eight of the eleven teams that actually have cheerleaders - the "Honeys" (Hawks), "M☆Splash!!" (Marines), "bluelegends" (Lions), "Tohoku Golden Angels" (Eagles), "FIGHTERS GIRL" (Fighters), "VENUS" (Giants), "Cheer Dragons 2021" (Dragons) and "Passion" (Swallows). For some unknown reason, the dance squads for the Baystars, Tigers and Buffaloes are not in the set (the Carp don't have cheerleaders). I believe that there is no overlap between the cheerleaders in this set and the ones in the earlier set.