Thursday, January 20, 2022

Winter Releases

I want to do a quick post here to catch up on some recently announced sets that will be coming out over the next couple months.

- Epoch usually does a set in conjunction with the Japan Baseball Promotion Association (JBPA) - aka the OB Club - every December but for whatever reason the 2021 set got delayed until January.  The "Holographica" set still has a "cover date" of 2021 on it even though it will be released on January 29th.  This is one of Epoch's "ultra-high end" sets where a box containing six cards retails for 15,000 yen (16,500 with tax) which is in the neighborhood of $131 ($145 with tax).  The set details are a little confusing - there's 41 cards in the "regular" set but another 33 "regular: variation" cards.  I don't know if that means the base set has 74 cards or if the 33 "regular: variation" cards are short prints.  There are three different serially numbered parallel cards for each of the 74 cards and then the usual boatload of autographed cards - 10 different types that are all serially numbered.  Some of the players included in the set are Shigeo Nagashima, Kazuhiro Sasaki, Tatsunori Hara, Hiroki Kuroda and Michihiro Ogasawara.

- BBM's annual set for retiring players will be out in late February.  As was the case last year, this year's edition will not only include baseball players but retiring athletes in other sports including sumo, volleyball, swimming, rugby and judo among others.  The set is sold as a 38 card box set.  Each box will include the entire 36 card base set, one of 15 possible "Farewell" insert cards (with parallel versions available) and one autographed card.  Baseball players in the set include Daisuke Matsuzaka, Daisuke Yamai, Takeshi Toritani, Yuki Saitoh and Yoshiyuki Kamei.

- Jumping now to the other end of the career spectrum, the 2022 edition of Rookie Edition, BBM's set for the newly drafted players, will be released in early March.  The base set for this pack based set will contain 141 cards - 128 cards for the 2021 draftees (aka the 2022 rookie class), one "list of draft nominated players" (aka the card to make the number of cards in the set divisible by 3) and 12 "New Face" cards (one young active player from each team).  There are a variety of facsimile signature parallels for the 77 non-ikusei draftees and "secret" versions (short printed photo variations) of the cards of the 12 first round picks.  There's three insert sets - "Rookie Of The Year" (2 cards featuring the 2021 Rookies Of The Year),  "Close Relationship" (six cards showing draftees from the same school I think) and "Starting Point" (12 cards showing an active player from each team when they were a draft pick).  There are parallel versions of the "Close Relationship" and "Starting Point" inserts.  There's also a bunch of autographed cards available - some that can be pulled from packs and some that are available via redemption cards that are pulled from the packs.

- I'm never sure what this company is - previously they were "Hits" or "TIC" but this set is listed as "216 Co., Ltd." - but whatever their name is, they've announced their first "mini shikishi" card set for 2022.  It's for the Hawks and will be released on March 25th.  The set has 20 oversized cards in the base set and apparently also has autographed ones available also.  

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