Saturday, April 6, 2024

Team Sets And A Flagship

As I get older it seems that time moves faster and faster.  I can't believe that it's been almost six weeks since the last time I did a round up of the latest NPB card release announcements.  So lets' get caught up...

- BBM has announced three more of their annual "comprehensive" team sets.  Each set has a base set of 81 cards, most of which are "regular" player cards featuring the manager and the players on the 70 man roster plus a couple subsets (which may not be fully defined yet) to fill out the set.  Each set also has 18 non-premium insert cards split into a variety of sets which also may not be fully defined yet.  The Treasure, Esperanza and Magical inserts are all serially numbered.  (If it's not obvious, the "Regular Cards", "Treasure", "Esperanza" and "Magical" columns are the total number of those type of cards in each set.)  (I'm not sure why the number of "regular" cards plus the subsets for the Lions set adds up to 80 and not 81.)
Release DateTeamRegular CardsSubsetsNon-Premium InsertsTreasureEsperanzaMagicalOther
Late AprilLions63Combination(4), New Forces(4), Starting Pitchers(5), Growing Young Players (4)Core Players(9), Rising Stars(6), Rookies(3)1915
Autograph & memorabilia cards
Mid MayMarines68Home Grown(4), Above All(4), Sonic Boom (3), The K's(2)Brilliant Cut(9), Millennium(4), Velocity(2), Take Off(3) 241524Autograph & memorabilia cards
Late MayGiants66Checklist(1), Rise Again(3), Smile On(3), Twosome(3), New Breeze(3), Grade Up(2)Giants Pride 2024(15), Looking Forward(3)2415
Additional Premium Insets of Cross Foil Signing (15), Combo Cross Foil Signing (2), Triple Cross Foil Signing (1), Triplex (3), Super Metallic Giants (9)

- In addition, BBM and the Lions have once again teamed up to publish a Lions team set called "L Collection Vol 1"*.  These cards are sold in 2 cards pack for 500 yen at the Lions' team store at the ballpark as well as their stores at Tokorozawa and Ikebukuro stations and other places.  They are also available on the Lions online store although I don't believe they'll ship them overseas.  There are 24 "regular" cards, 24 "rare" cards and 13 autographed cards available in the packs.  The autographed cards are only for the Lions 2024 rookie class, including the ikusei players.

*It's always called "Vol 1" but I've never seen any "Vol 2" cards

- While I was looking at the Lions online store, I noticed that they're also selling boxes for a Lions "mini colored paper" card set.  While it doesn't say who makes them, I assume it's the usual "216 Co/Hits/TLC" outfit that usually does these as the example cards look like all the others.  The base set (such as it is) contains 20 cards and I think there's both facsimile and real autographed cards available as well.  I am somewhat surprised that I did not see this set listed over at Discount Niki's website - it makes me worry there are other sets I've missed hearing about.

- I did, however, see a listing for a Swallows over at Discount Niki's website.  Like the Lions set, it has 20 "normal" cards along with 20 facsimile autographed parallel cards.  There are also possible autograph cards although I think only 16 of the 20 players in the set have real autographs.  The set will be released on June 15th.

- Epoch has announced two more of their "Premier Edition" team sets.  The new announcements are for the Lions and the Tigers.  There are 38 cards in the Lions' base set and 39 cards in the Tigers'.  Both sets contains a few OB as well as active players.  All the base cards have a "holo foil" parallel and both sets have the usual gazillion insert cards that are too numerous to list here.  Both sets feature four different types of player autograph cards - "Authentic", "Star", "Rookie" and "Legendary".  The Lions set also offers "Combo" autograph cards that as you would assume from the name feature multiple autographs.  The Lions set will be out on April 18th while the Tigers won't be released until May 25th.

- Epoch has also announced the seventh edition of their flagship NPB set and there's a big change in store this year - they've cut the size of the set from 444 cards to 348.  The 348 cards breaks down to 336 "regular" player cards and 12 "Legendary Player" cards (one OB player from each team).  Basically Epoch decided to go from having 36 cards per team to 28, which probably not coincidentally is still one more per team than BBM's 1st Version set.  90 of the cards have parallel versions and there's 24 "Holospectra" insert cards.  Additionally there are autographs for 140 players (including the 12 OB players).  The set will be released on June 22, about a month later than it usually is.

- I'm kind of hoping that Epoch shrank the size of the set in anticipation of some sort of update set later in the season.  If that turns out not to be the case, there's one word that will describe my feelings towards the drop in set size for both Epoch and Calbee's flagships:


Sean said...

I kind of like the look of that Epoch set, though like you and Kevin Klein I am disappointed by the late release date and the smaller size. If they had to cut the set size I'd prefer they had dropped the OB subset which was kind of pointless.

NPB Card Guy said...

I agree everything you just said. But they won't drop the OB subset because it's their excuse to have OB player autographs. It's even more pointless in their Premier Edition team sets where you get a random handful of OB players in the base set for the same reason.

If they're going to drop the number of cards per team, I wish they'd gone ahead and gone to 27 cards per team because at least then I wouldn't still be using four sheets per team...