Thursday, January 5, 2023

2022 In Review - Everything Else (Including Korea)

Time to finish up the reviews of the 2022 releases by covering everything that wasn't done by BBM, Calbee or Epoch...

Topps was back for the second year of producing NPB sets and had four releases in all - although one of those was the Chrome version of their 2021 set which didn't get published until January of this year.  They published a 216 card "flagship" set in September and then a Chrome version of it in November.  They also published a 180 card Bowman set in December.  Additionally Topps has apparently acquired the rights to produce Samurai Japan cards and did 16 Topps Now cards for 15 members of the team that played two friendly matches against Team Australia in November along with a full 30 card Topps Now team set (which has not actually been published yet as it will be on sale for another week or so).

I still don't know what to call these guys but the folks at Hits or TIC or Produce 216 Co., Ltd. put out four sets last year.  Two of them were "mini colored paper" or "mini shikishi" sets - a team set for the Hawks and an OB Carp set done in conjunction with the Japan Retired Foreign Players Association (JRFPA).  The other two sets were "Used Ball" sets (with traditionally sized cards) for the Swallows and Baystars.

The Eagles once again had a pack-based team set that was issued in two parts - a 1st Version and a 2nd Version.  I assume there were more but the only other team issued cards that I'm aware of was the "L Collection Vol 1" cards done by the Lions and BBM (and I don't know if there was ever a "Vol 2").

Konami once again did a Baseball Collection set featuring collectible game cards.  I'm not entirely sure but I think there were 840 cards in the set - 70 cards per team.

The total number of Japanese sets comes out to around 65 (including the two 2021 sets that were published in 2022) which is slightly less than the 68 sets in 2021.

Over in Korea, SCC published three sets for the KBO.  Legend was the first Korean set that I'm aware of for retired players while the Rainbow and Golden Premium sets featured active players.


Anonymous said...

I've had my eye on a box of the NPB bowman chrome. I'm having a hard time figuring out if there is any guarantee autos? Any information on that?

NPB Card Guy said...

I don't think there's any guaranteed autographs in a box. I think there's only three autographs available - Ichiro, Hideki Matsui and Kenta Maeda - although I may be confusing it with the Chrome set. I am pretty confident that there are no autographs of active NPB players in the set.

Phillip said...

NPB Card guy,

Since I found your blog a few weeks I have had an absolute blast starting to learn about Japanese baseball and the fun products they have overseas. I'm curious, if I was to look for a Lee Jung Ho (KBC) rookie or "defining" card prior to his stateside arrival, do you have any recommendations?

Keep up the incredible work!


NPB Card Guy said...

Thanks for the kind words. I only dabble at the KBO cards so I can only make some guesses. It looks like his rookie cards are from the 2017 SCC set (which really came out in 2018) - he has a base card and a "rookie" parallel in that set. My personal favorite of his cards is his Olympic team card from the 2021 SCC Golden Premium set but I'm a sucker for national team cards. You can see the full list of his cards over at TCDB.

Probably your best bet for information on his Korean cards would be to reach out to Dan Skrezyna - aka Korean Cardboard - at either his website or his Twitter account.