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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

New Release: 2014 BBM Icons: Big Guns

I'm a little behind on posting new releases. Toward the end of March, BBM released a few new sets, one of which is the sophomore effort for the Icons boxed set line. Last year, the Icons set was subtitled Hope, and featured younger players. This year's set is called Big Guns, and as you can expect, is full of home run hitters.
 The base cards are somewhat similar to last year's, with most of the text at the bottom. Last year had green highlights, this year uses red. There are two photos instead of one; the close-up black-and-white shot is repeated on the back in color.
In addition to the photo, the usual BBM stats, biographical data, and a write-up paragraph is included on the back. Also, some career award highlights are mentioned in the red text. The cards are numbered at the bottom in the red box, and the copyright line says [ICONS] on all the cards.
There are two "insert" cards in the set. The first is a die-cut insert; there are two types per card, a silver version numbered to 120 copies each, and a red version numbered to 60 copies each. The set has six cards.
The second insert is a foil signature card titled Printed Autograph. There are 24 cards, and two versions of each card. The more common version has a gold foil signature. Cards 1-10 and 20-24 have 45 copies each; cards 11-19 have 50 copies each. The parallel holographic foil signature is limited to 20 copies each.
The main draw is the autograph lineup. Thirteen subjects signed cards (or stickers, actually). Most players have 10-30 copies each; T-Okada has 60 cards in the set. There are only 315 total autographs in the set, which means the odds of pulling an autograph are approximately 1:10 boxes. Notable foreign signers include Andruw Jones, Wladimir Balentien, and Tony Blanco.

Also, Kevin Youkilis has 20 signed cards; he joined the Golden Eagles this year but after 9 games is batting only .188. Hopefully he can turn it around; it seems the Eagles have put a lot of money in the past two years into high priced sluggers (Andruw Jones and now Youkilis). Jones hit 24 home runs last year but neither one have been reaching base a lot and this year Jones is batting only .200. Granted, the season is only nine games in so far, and I'm sure the Eagles only really want home runs out of Jones and Youkilis.
Each box has a suggested retail price of 4000 yen, which includes the 27-card base set and one of the special cards mentioned above.

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