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Thursday, August 7, 2014

New Release: 2014 BBM All Star Game Memories 90's

After what must have been a pretty successful release highlighting the 1980s All Star Games here in Japan, BBM has released a follow-up featuring the 1990s events.
 The base cards use a similar design, which is pretty nice. The photos don't really show multiple distinguishable players in the same image so it's difficult to note if the images are from actual games, but given their quality and some of the other images in the set I believe they're all from All Star Game action.

Backs have the same general biographical information at the top and a brief career highlights summary, but the statistics and write ups beneath the black line has the player's ASG stats and highlights. Card numbers are at the bottom, and the set is identified as "90's All Star" on the copyright line.

The complete set has 90 cards, with 81 of those being regular base cards.
 The first subset in the base set is Start to Stardom, highlighting players who were all stars as younger players. Overall, many of the photos in the set show players holding up prize signs like Ishii here, not just in the Start to Stardom subset. All three Start to Stardom cards have a photo of the player holding a giant check.
 The other subset is "Stars Meet" with most cards having two players; Hideki Matsui appears on the triple-player card above. The front removes the entire background, though a somewhat-cropped version of the photo on the back leaves this background in. There are six Stars Meet cards in the base set.
The lone nine-card insert set is Mr. All Star Game, a foiled card set (as usual) with players who were very successful in the 1990s games. The backs have their involvement in the games - Matsui appeared in the 1997-2003 games and 2013, a total of 8 times. He was twice awarded MVP (1997 and 2001). I'm glad there is at least some information about why they're in this insert set.
I count 37 autographed cards in the set, with print runs between 20 and 120. I am not aware of any parallels for the base set or the insert set, and I have yet to see promos. This could change.

I have both the 80's and 90's sets now, and while it's a nice set to have, I have some gripes. There are missing players, as NPB Card Guy has pointed out. Ichiro and Hideo Nomo don't appear in the set. The photos probably could have been cleaned up a bit. And even without this, it would have been so much better if there were really good action photos with more than one player on a card. Not to mention a highlights subset with memorable moments from the games - or even an entire subset or non-premium insert set with a card from each game, containing box scores and highlights.

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