Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

JBCG: 2015 BBM Classic

 BBM's now-annual throwback, Topps Heritage-style, is in its third year, and is exactly what you'd expect from the card company at this point. And that's not a bad thing - Topps Heritage has a core "formula" that works and BBM seems to have found a good release format.

Unsurprisingly, the set's base design is a standard-sized, modern version of the 1993 issue. There is a "Classic" watermark behind the statistics, and BBM uses its standard copyright line now. But the logo on the front is true to the original, and the logos are similar-style. There are 72 active players in the set which use the '93 design.
 The remainder of the set uses a marble-bordered original design similar to last year's issue, with 36 "OB" (retired) players rounding out the set at a total of 108 cards.
BBM didn't issue many inserts or special sets early on, so the inserts borrow from other sets. The 24-card All-Stars insert set is taken from the 2002 Touch The Game insert of the same name, with a parallel version.
The 1999 Diamond Heroes insert sets "Above Average" and "Pitcher Perfect" are reprinted in 12-card sets,
Relics are found in the 2000 Diamond Heroes memorabilia design.
Autographs are pretty limited. 13 active players (15-30 copies each, 345 total) and 24 retired players (30-105 copies each, 2070 total) signed original cards.
There are 23 buyback autographs, with 3-36 copies each (430 total). Two more combo buyback autographs are limited to five copies each.

I enjoy this set. I don't have the original BBM base sets (except 2014); if I stick around long enough in Japan and money flows freely enough I'll certainly be tempted to go after a full run.

I now have all three base sets and I intend on continuing the collection. Seeing the throwback designs on the insert sets is certainly great, but I wish they would be true to the year. As I said before, BBM didn't really issue insert sets in 1993, but they could have possibly pulled from the subsets. BBM issued team logo holograms that year which would have been a fun pull, and there are some short prints found early in the set which could have been used.

That said, 1994 is when BBM really started getting insert sets and other issues, so they have more to choose from for the next release. Again holograms were inserted, but in 1994 they featured players. There are also the Electric MVP insert cards found in the All-Star box sets and Perfect Pitching, a special set issued to honor Makihara's perfect game that year. They could also issue an insert set or subset borrowing from the 1994 Tigers box set design, or using the Sluggers set design. And while I like the design for the OB players, BBM could should be using the "Nostalgic Stars" subset design instead.

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