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Thursday, June 18, 2015

New Release: 2015 BBM Yakult Swallows

As I get caught up on my scan folder, let's go back three months to March, and one of a few team set releases that came out at that time.

The 2015 BBM Swallows set follows the same basic formula as one should expect from a BBM pack-based team set. There are 81 cards in the base set, plus a couple insert sets and autographs.
 The regular player cards make up the first 72 cards, including the manager and checklist cards. I am not a fan of horizontal borders on vertical cards, because it constrains the picture window. But in this case there's a big bottom border that balances things out. I'm not exactly sure what the background is in that border.
 Cards 73-78 are puzzle cards: three for Ogawa and three for Yamada. These feature the usual multi-image progression of pitching and running. The backs form a bigger puzzle with both players.
 The final three cards in the base set are combination cards.
 BBM expanded on a concept they tried last year, issuing two or three insert sets in each team set. This generally has resulted in more insert cards in the checklist overall, and means I have more cards to collect for any given release. Both insert sets for the Swallows are called "Shining Swallows" and there doesn't seem to be any overlap of players between the two sets. The above is the "Gold Version" with an SR prefix on the card number.
The "Silver Version" is numbered with an SP prefix. It appears that the gold inserts are a little tougher to pull than silver. The designs of the two insert sets are different. I haven't seen parallels for Swallows insert sets.
Autographs are the only hits to be found. Horizontal base autographs are numbered around 49-60 copies each, I counted 69 subjects on the checklist.
Three combo signature cards are numbered to 10 copies each. Players in this set have 50 autographs in the regular autograph set.
There are nine subjects in the silver (#/10) and gold (1/1) autograph sets; these players have 49 autographs in the base set.
Finally, three players have 30 copies each in the cross-brand signature set, but this doesn't affect their autograph quantities in the regular set. The card pictured above comes from 1st Version, but the design is the same.

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