Here's some information on some recently announced sets...
- BBM's annual high end set Genesis will be released in mid-September. It has a 120 card base set - 108 player cards (9 per team) and 12 checklist cards. There are a number of parallels for each of the player cards but the website doesn't have any details. There are three 12 card insert sets - Elite Of Nine (which apparently are plastic), Star Burst (holo foil?) and Cross Squall (Holographic processing). I think that each of the insert cards are serially numbered to 50. The big thing for Genesis of course is the "premium" insert cards - of which there is one in every 12,000 yen (~$108) box. These include autograph cards, memorabilia cards (jersey, patch, hat, etc) and "booklet" cards. Some of the cards have multiple autographs or multiple pieces of memorabilia.
- Epoch has announced two more of its modestly priced team sets - this time for the Tigers and the Giants. The base set for each of them will have 36 cards. The sets appear to have the same features as the other six Epoch team sets - photo variants for all the cards, a parallel version of the primary base set, some sort of insert cards and scratch off cards that give you points that can be redeemed for autographed cards. I'm not sure but I think that both of these sets will have multiple parallels for the base set cards. The Tigers set will be out on August 19th and the Giants set will be released a week later on the 26th. This brings the total number of team sets done by Epoch this year to eight - they've done the entire Central League but only the Lions and Hawks from the Pacific League. I am curious about whether they'll do any or all of the remaining four teams - the Marines, Fighters, Buffaloes and Eagles.
- Epoch is releasing a set on the more expensive side of the ledger in honor of the 35th Anniversary of the Seibu Lions winning their first Nippon Series in 1982 (their first Series under Seibu that is). The set is sold in boxes containing two packs of three cards each for 14,040 yen (~$126). Each box is guaranteed to contain at least two autograph cards. The base set has 44 cards, all of which have a parallel version. There are what looks like six different types of autograph cards. All the players in the set have autograph cards. The 44 cards include Lions players who were not on the 1982 team like Fumiya Nishiguchi and Kiyoshi Toyoda. The set will be released on August 26th.
- I'm not entirely sure about some of the details about this next release, including who made it and when it's getting released but there's a set coming out dedicated to former Baystars pitcher Daisuke Miura who retired at the end of last season. Since the set is described of consisting of "trading mini color paper" I think that it's being released by Hits, who issued a couple sets of "trading mini color paper" for the Baystars, Carp, Hawks and Swallows back in April. It looks like the set contains 16 "cards" - 12 "normal" ones and 4 "special" ones which have foil autographs. There's also a parallel version of the "special" cards available. (It's possible that this set was released last winter but for whatever reason just showed up in Discount Niki's card listings recently.)
- Topps recently released their Allen & Ginter set for this year and it (like their Museum Collection last month) features a handful of WBC relic cards. There are seven cards for Samurai Japan members - "World Baseball Classic Relic" cards for Shintaro Fujinami, Takahiro Norimoto, Tomoyuki Sugano, Tetsuto Yamada and Yoshitomo Tsutsugoh and "Mini World Baseball Classic Framed Relic" cards for Yamada and Tsutsugoh. This is kind of disappointing as all five of the Japanese players with relics in this set had relics in the Museum Collection. Still hoping for a decent WBC set but it's looking less likely with every release.