Wednesday, October 5, 2022

October-November Releases

I wanted to do a quick round up of some recently announced sets that'll be released either this month or next.

- Epoch has two more of their ultra-high end combination active/OB player "Stars & Legends" team sets coming out.  The Tigers set will be out on October 22nd while the Eagles set will be out on November 19th.  Boxes for each set will contain four cards (two of which are autograph or memorabilia cards) and will retail for 17,200 yen (about $120).   The Tigers base set will contain 72 cards while the Eagles base set will only contain 40.  All of the base cards are serially numbered.  Both sets will feature the usual five "Stars & Legends" insert sets - "Decomori Signature  (Gold)" (six cards), "Decomori Signature (Green)" (six cards), "Decomori Signature (Hologram)" (six cards), "Gem" (six cards), and "Black Gem" (six cards).  All the insert cards are serially numbered also.  There are four different types of autograph cards available with the Tigers set - "Authentic", "Star", "Legend" and "Baseball" - while the Eagles set has five types of autograph cards - "Authentic", "Rookie", "Record Breaker", "1 of 1 Authentic" and "Baseball".  The "Baseball" autograph cards have the autograph on a cut up piece of a baseball embedded in the card.

- BBM has decided to get in on the ultra-high end combination active/OB player team set act with the announcement of the "Masters" series of sets.  The first "Masters" set is for the Carp and will be released in late October.    Boxes will contain six cards and will retail for 19,800 yen (~$137).  The base contains 54 cards which appear to be split evenly between active and OB players.  There are two types of insert cards - "Legend Warrior" (27 cards) and "Brave Warrior" (27 cards) and two types of premium (or "high grade") inserts - "Overlap Red " (18 cards) and "Shining Red" (24 cards).  The "Overlap Red" cards are 3D.  There's a comment about the cards all being serially numbered but it's not entirely clear if that's all the cards or just the premium inserts.  There's also (of course) some unspecified variety of autographed cards.

- BBM's annual "Rookie Edition Premium" set will be released in late October.  As usual this is a box set containing 38 cards - a 36 card base set plus two "premium" cards.  The base set contains three "rookies" for each of the 12 teams - in this case "rookie" means 2021 draft pick.  The two "premium" cards are either autograph or memorabilia cards.  It is limited to 3000 sets and unopened boxes retail for 16,500 yen ($115).

- BBM's likely final release for 2022 is the Fusion set, their annual combination Update and Season Summary set.  As usual the base set has four parts and as usual BBM hasn't released how large one of those parts will be so it's impossible to say how big the set will be (although we know it's at least 144 cards).  There's a 21 card "Update" subset (20 cards of which are "1st Version Update" cards for players who weren't in either the 1st or 2nd Version serts and 1 of which is a "Dancing Heroine" card for the Fighter's "fox dance") , a 24 card "Leader" subset (featuring the statistical leaders for each league in 12 categories), a the 99 card "Record Hall Of Fame" subset which despite the misleading name features cards highlighting feats by active players in 2022 and the related feats of OB players in the past, and the unspecified sized "Ceremonial First Pitch" cards that will be a continuation of the subset in the 2nd Version set.  Last year's "Ceremonial First Pitch" cards were short-printed and it remains to be seen if this year's cards will too.  The set also has Fusion's standard non-premium insert sets - the 24 card "Great Records" set featuring two players from each team who achieved some milestone in 2022 and the 12 card "Legendary Player" set featuring an OB player from each team.  Additionally there are two premium insert sets - "Esperanza" which features serially numbered cards of 24 active young players (2 per team) and "Treasure" which features serially numbered cards of 12 OB players (one per team).  There's also the usual batch of autographed cards available.  The set hits the stores in late-November, a bit earlier than either of the previous two years.

- Topps is releasing their NPB Chrome set on November 18th.  The base set will contain 216 cards (18 per team) and I assume it's the same 216 cards as in their NPB set released last month (just essentially an uglier version of the cards).  There are three types of insert cards, only one of which was part of the original set - "1958" (24 cards), "Future Stars" (24 cards) and "Power" (24 cards).  The base cards and inserts all have a boatload of parallels that I honestly don't feel like listing here - if you care, run the link through Google Translate.  The big news about this set is that it's the first Topps NPB set that will have autographs available with it.  All the autographs are of OB players which includes players active in MLB - which could include Shohei Ohtani but I'd guess if it did, Topps would be bragging about it.

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