A bunch of new sets have been announced in the last few weeks, one of which I think is actually in stores already. Here's a quick roundup, roughly in order of their release dates:
- The set that I think is already out is the Eagles 1st Version set
, this year's edition of the set annually issued by the team (along with their 2nd Version set of course). The base set contains 68 cards which includes all the players on the team's 70 man roster (and possibly the ikusei
roster) as of December 3rd of last year so don't expect cards of new foreign players Chris Gittens and Jose Marmolejos or any of the 2021 draft picks. Each player card has three facsimile signature parallels - silver, gold and red. The gold ones are more rare than the silver but I don't know if either are numbered. The red ones are 1-of-1. There are three insert sets - "Rising Eagles" (12 cards), "Iconic Moment" (8 cards) and "Stars Of Tohoku" (8 cards). There's a parallel version of the "Iconic Moment" cards and the "Stars Of Tohoku" cards are serially numbered to 40. There's also memorabilia cards for Hiroaki Shimauchi available - jersey cards (serially numbered to 100), patch cards (serially numbered to 30) and letter cards (serially numbered to 9 - the number of letters in "Shimauchi"). There are also autograph cards available for 55 of the players - I think they are numbered between 30 and 60 depending on the player. UPDATE - Jambalaya has a lot of the cards from the set online here
- This year's edition of BBM's annual Icons set will be out in late March. The theme this year is "Rough Diamond
" and the players listed as being in the set - Yoshinobu Okagawa, Roki Sasaki, Teruaki Sato, Shugo Maki and Hiroya Miyagi - all kind of fit into that definition
. This is a box set that contains 37 cards - the 36 card base set plus one "special" card. The base set contains three players from each of the 12 NPB teams and in addition to the players I already mentioned will include eight first round picks from the 2021 draft. The "special" card will be either a foil print card (one of 12 possible with a parallel version also available), an "Extreme 2022" card (one of eight possible - all 2021 draft picks), a foil signature card (three possible - all members of the Giants) or an autograph card.
- The first of Calbee's expected three sets that make up their flagship issue - Series One
- is going to officially be released on March 28th but it usually can be found a couple of days before that. That's about all I know about the set though - for the first time that I can remember, Calbee has not put the set's checklist up on line yet. They say they'll have it up in mid-March. This is the 50th year that Calbee has been doing baseball cards and I suspect they'll be doing something special for it - although I don't know that it will be anything more than the card reprints that they did for their 30th Anniversary in 2002 and their 40th Anniversary in 2012.
- Epoch One, Epoch's on-demand card set (a la Topps Now) will be back this year for its fifth season. I would expect that the first cards will be offered for sale on March 28th as it will be the first business day after Opening Day (March 25th). Epoch will offer these cards for the same nine teams as last year - the Marines, Dragons, Hawks, Tigers, Fighters, Lions, Eagles, Swallows and Giants. I guess the biggest news about the cards is that from the promo image
it appears that the English version of the player's name will not included on the card.
- BBM has announced their first three "comprehensive" team sets for 2022 - for the Swallows
. Each of these sets has a base set of 81 cards which has been the standard for BBM's team sets since 2015. The Swallows base set has 67 cards for the manager and players along with three subsets - "Milestone" (2 cards), "New Phase" (5 cards) and "Check It Out" (7 cards). The details are a little scarce on the Hawks base set but it will have 66 cards for the manager and players and three subsets - a four card one featuring starting pitchers, a four card one featuring relief pitchers and a five card one featuring batters. The Buffaloes base set consists on 64 cards for the manager and players plus four subsets - "Memorial Scene" (4 cards), "Yoshinubo Yamamoto Special" (4 cards), "Golden Age" (6 cards) and "Orix Junior" (3 cards). Each set also includes 18 non-premium insert cards split among four different types - none of the web pages are terribly descriptive about these sets. Each set also has two or three premium insert sets - I believe that these are all serially numbered but I don't know what they're numbered to. All three have 15 "Esparanza" cards each. BBM has replaced the "Phantom" cards of the past few years with "Treasure" cards this year - the Swallows set has 13, the Hawks set has 15 and the Buffaloes set has 19. Additionally the Buffaloes set has a premium insert set called "Antique" that the other two do not - there are 24 of these "inserts with special wood grain processing". All three sets have a variety of associated autograph cards. The Hawks set also has Yuki Yanagita jersey cards available while the Buffaloes set has three types of memorabilia cards - Masataka Yoshida jersey cards, Yutaro Sugimoto jersey cards and combo jersey cards with both Yoshida and Sugimoto. The Swallows and Hawks sets will be out in early April and the Buffaloes set will be out in mid-April.
- Mid-April is also when BBM will be publishing the first of their 2022 flagship sets. The 1st Version
set appears to be following the same pattern it has for the past eight years, at least in terms of the break down of the base set. There's the usual 324 player/manager cards (27 for each team), the 12 team checklist cards and the 36 "Cross Something
" cards that will be continued in the 2nd Version set later in the year - this year the Something
is "Grotto". That makes a total of 372 cards in the base set. Nine cards for each team have several different facsimile autograph parallels. There are also parallel versions for 77 of the rookie cards (not sure if that's all the rookie cards or not). For the first time there are three varieties of the short printed photo variants - each team has a card with a rare "secret" version, a card with a rarer "ultra secret" version and a card with an even rarer "super ultra secret" version (and they could all possibly be variants for the same player). There are also parallel versions of the "Cross Grotto" cards available. There are two non-premium insert sets - "Promising Youth" (12 cards - one per team) and "Japonism" (12 cards - one per team) - and three serially numbered premium insert sets - "Amazing" (24 cards - two per team - each numbered to 50), "Cross Foil Signing" (6 cards - all members of the Giants - each numbered to 15) and "3D Cross Grotto" (12 cards - one per team as you probably guessed - each numbered to 25). Some of the insert sets will probably have parallel versions but I don't see anything about them yet. There are memorabilia cards available for Hiromi Itoh and Shugo Maki and a wide variety of autographed cards including buybacks.
- I want to wrap up this post with a quick word not about an announcement but about a disappearance. I mentioned in the post I did about Topps' 2021 NPB set
that I thought it was odd that Topps' Japanese website no longer mentioned their NPB products and I wondered if it meant there wouldn't be any more of them. Since I did that post a little over a month ago, Topps' Japanese site appears to have vanished - attempting to go to jp.topps.com
gets you redirected to the regular Topps website
. I obviously don't know for sure but I kind of take that as sign to not expect any NPB product (or even an MLB Japan Edition) from them this year. UPDATE - I've been informed by @lovelovemarines
that Topps' Japanese website is still up but apparently you can only get there if you're in Japan.