- 1st Version
- 2nd Version
- 25th Anniversary
- Dancing Heroine Hana
- Dancing Heroine Mai
- Historic Collection: Memories of Uniform
- Icons: Ace
- Loto (small promo issue?)
- Master of Insert
- Rookie Edition
- Rookie Edition Premium
- Sekibetsu Kyuujin (Retirement Set)
- Team Sets
- Buffaloes Achievement
- Buffaloes Autographed Edition
- Carp Authentic Edition
- Carp Legends
- Dragons Autographed Edition
- Cheer Dragons Hippy Hippy Shake
- Fighters Horizon
- Fighters Sky High
- Giants Giant Step
- Golden Eagles
- Hawks 10th Anniversary
- Hawks Autographed Edition
- Tigers 80th Anniversary
- Tigers Golden Tigers Batter Edition
- Tigers Golden Tigers Pitcher Edition
- Whales Achievement
Calbee (three series)
- Epoch Carp Red Hell (Red Helmets) 40th Anniversary
- Epoch MVP of the Year
- Epoch National Record Holders
- Epoch Tigers 1985 Anniversary
- Frontier BayStars Heroes & Rookies
- Frontier Buffaloes Heroes & Rookies
- Frontier Giants Game Used Bat Edition
- Frontier Lions Heroes & Rookies
- Golden Eagles Team Issue
- Sports Graphic Number Swallows Central League Champions
- (plus several team issued cards I'm not aware of)
What I Collected
Last year, I chased the full three-series run of Calbee, and I did the same again this year. However, I just bought sets through Yahoo Auctions instead of chip by chip, a much cheaper way of doing things. I also did not get the Starcard inserts, giving me just the "base" set with the common inserts. So far I don't have the flagship BBM sets, but if I can find them at the right price I'll pull the trigger.
I also have full sets of the Classic throwback set and the two Dancing Heroine sets along with the two Achievement team sets that came out at the beginning of the year. The Icons set this year has a lot of big names, so I grabbed one at a good price; I'll go back and get the other(s?) when I get a chance.
BBM again issued a First Pitch insert set, this time with 12 cards. And as for team sets, I have Epoch's Carp and Tigers anniversary issues. I might pick up some of the new box sets if they're cheap.
Other than oddball magazine promos, I don't have any 2015 sets on my want list.
The parallels between MLB and NPB card set collecting are amazing. The sets I got this year are mostly continuations of collections from prior years. BBM didn't issue any new topic sets that piqued my interest; 25th Anniversary may end up in my collection if I can find it cheap.
BBM seems to have gotten lazy. The yearly team sets are very formulaic; I've written about it a few times. The same number of cards. The same insert cocktail. The same sparse number of parallels and autographs. Many of the box sets issued later in the year were simply "autographed" editions with foil or other facsimile signatures, otherwise without a theme. 25th Anniversary was the only real "topical" set, and Master of Insert was BBM's first ultra-high-end release showing a growing trend toward hits-only products.
There are way too many team sets. Team loyalty is pretty strong in Japan, but there are no Japan Series or All-Star Game sets, and only three multi-team BBM sets in the list (Icons, Retirement, Rookie Edition Premium).
Epoch's box sets are the most attractive singles of the year, with nice card stock and good designs. And the sets are topical, giving me a reason to collect them.
As I mentioned, 2016's sets are already starting to be issued. The 2016 edition of Historic Collection was Ballpark Stories, but there was a total missed opportunity on actually showcasing Japan's ballpark history.
This can be remedied by including some subsets or inserts in the team sets or flagship sets; at least the modern parks should be shown. I count a total of 30 different NPB stadiums (including the 12 in use now) - how hard could that be? It would be nice if the smaller "touring" ballparks were highlighted, too - that could make for enough cards to fill a full set. How about a base set featuring the stadiums, and insert sets and autographs highlighting players in the stadiums?
BBM needs a true good topical set every year. Classic is nice, but it's just a throwback set. 2012 had the beautiful No-Hitters set, and 2013 had the popular Foreigners sets. The 80th Anniversary sets of 2014 we okay, but 25th Anniversary was weak. Again I point to the ballpark idea, but there are plenty of awards and events to highlight. How about a comprehensive Japan Baseball Hall of Fame set?
Also, BBM really cut back on subsets this year in the base sets. There were still a lot of inserts, though. The subsets usually had something interesting on the backs - puzzles, hitting charts, and such. BBM's inserts are just foil cards with minimal text on both sides. I'm fine with BBM reducing subsets, but again I call for BBM to give the inserts purpose.