Thursday, May 5, 2022

Team Sets And A Flagship

It's been a little bit since the last time I did a round up of upcoming sets - so long, in fact, that there's 11 sets to talk about!  Most of them are team sets but one is Epoch's flagship set.  Let's get to them...

- We'll start with Epoch's flagship set.  This is the fifth year for their NPB set and there isn't too much difference between this set and the ones that preceded it.  The base set will be 444 cards - 432 for the managers and active players (36 per team) plus 12 OB players (1 per team).  Last year the OB players were short printed but I don't know if that's the case this year - last year we didn't find out they were short prints until the set was released.  There are three types of "kira" parallel cards - "regular" (72 cards), "silver foil" (48 cards) and "hologram foil" (36 cards) - the "hologram foil" are serially numbered although I don't know how many there are of each card.  There are 36 "Gem" insert cards (three per team I assume) that are also serially numbered but again I don't know what the numbering is to.  48 active players signed autographs for this set along with all 12 of the OB players.  The set will be released on May 28th.

- The first of Epoch's "Premier Edition" team sets was released last weekend.  That one was for the Carp and they've already announced three more.  The Tigers will be out on May 14th, the Dragons will be out on June 4th and the Lions will be out on June 11th.  The base set for all three sets has been announced as 45 cards but I'd take that as with a grain of salt as Epoch had originally announced that the Carp set would have 45 cards also but it only had 39 when it actually was released.  Everyone in the Tigers set is an active player but the Dragons and Lions sets both include a few OB players (four for the Dragons and three for the Lions).  Each card in the base set has a "holo" parallel.  Each set has a pretty similar batch of insert cards.  There are "Regular Printed Signature" cards in various colors, "Metal Power" cards in various colors, "Time To Shine" cards in various colors.  I think the Tigers and Dragons sets have a slightly larger variety of the these inserts than the Lions set.  Each set also contains the standard inserts Epoch has been doing for the past few years - "Decomori", "Gem" and "Black Gem" as well as a big selection of autographed cards.

- BBM has announced the next five of their annual "comprehensive" team sets - these are for the Baystars (release date of late May), Giants (late May), Lions (mid-June), Carp (late June) and Eagles (late June).  All five sets follow the same pattern of an 81 card base set, 18 non-premium insert cards along with a variable number of premium inserts and autograph cards.  The Baystars base set has 67 cards for the manager and players, a three card "Revival" subset, a three card "Uplift" subset, a five card "Future Is Here" subset and a three card "Expertise" subset.  There are three non-premium insert sets - "Big Surf" (9 cards), "Glitter" (four cards) and "Aim Higher" (five cards) - along with the premium insert sets of "Treasure" (13 cards), "Esperanza" (15 cards) and "Antique" (24 cards).  The base set for the Giants has 65 cards for the players and manager, a card for the mascots that doubles as a checklist card and four subsets - "Great Comeback" (3 cards), "Generations" (3 cards), "Get The Chance" (5 cards) and "Supreme Diamond" (4 cards).  The non-premium insert sets are "Giants Pride 2022" (15 cards) and "Make Debut" (3 cards) while there's a bunch of premium insert sets - "Cross Foil Signing" (15 cards), "Combo Cross Foil Signing" (2 cards), "Triple Cross Foil Signing" (1 card), "Triple X 2022" (3 cards), "Treasure" (16 cards), "Esperanza" (15 cards) and "Super Metallic Giants" (9 cards).  The Lions base set breaks down to 65 cards for the manager and players, six "Young Lion" cards, five "Bring Chance" cards and five "Nice" cards.  There's a nine card non-premium insert set - "Lion Heart" along with three three card ones - "King Of Beasts", "New Basic" and "Hope".  The premium insert sets are simply "Treasure" (12 cards) and "Esperanza" (15 cards).  The details are a bit sketchy on the Carp set - it has 68 cards for the manager and players in its base set along with three subsets that aren't really well defined.  The non-premium insert sets are similarly vaguely listed - there's a nine card set for "main players", a three card set for "expected rookies", a three card set for "growth stock" (whatever that means) and a three card set for "veterans you can rely on".  I assume this will have actual names when the set is released.  The premium insert cards are "Treasure" (24 cards), "Esperanza" (15 cards) and "Antique" (24 cards).  Finally the Eagles set is only slightly better described than the Carp set - the base set has 71 cards for the manager and players, three "New Strength" cards, three "Start Dash" cards and four "Expected Young" cards (which probably isn't the name of that subset).  The non-premium insert sets are simply defined as "Main Player" (9 cards), "Rookie" (3 cards) and "Starting Pitcher" (6 cards) - I doubt that any of those will be what the sets are named when the set comes out.  The Eagles set also has 12 "Treasure" cards and 15 "Esperanza" cards.

- Not to be left out in the team set mania, Hits or TIC or 216 Co., Ltd. or whatever there name is will be releasing this year's edition of their "Swallows Used Ball" set on June 25th.  The base set will contain 81 cards although the set only features 16 players.  There's also a variety of special and rare cards available in the packs including real and facsimile autographs and "used ball" and "ball patch" memorabilia cards.

- For I think the third year in a row BBM has collaborated with the Lions on a set sold at the Lions team stores.  This year's edition was released about a month ago and is called "L COLLECTION Vol.1"  There are 36 cards in the set - 30 "regular" cards along with six hero cards.  The cards are available in packs for 300 yen - each pack contains one card, one promo card and potentially a winning card.  There are points on the promo cards and if you accumulate enough points you can redeem them for one of eight bonus cards or 24 autographed cards - I assume what you get is at random.  I think there's a virtual baseball card app for the Lions called "L Collection" and this set is supposed to represent the "real" version of cards in that app.  Packs are available on the Lions on-line team store although I don't know if they'll ship outside of Japan.  Jambalaya has the entire set online here.  I assume there'll be a Vol. 2 at some point this season but I don't know when that will be.

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