There was a couple weeks where I was starting to wonder what was going on - there didn't seem to have been any announcements being made about any 2017 releases. Then about a week or so, BBM made an announcement about their annual Retirement set and it's like the flood gates opened, with news of five new NPB sets and a new KBO set.
- BBM will be releasing the aforementioned Retirement set on January 28th. This is the seventh edition of this set and like the others it is a box set. Each box contains 37 cards - a 36 card base set plus one autographed card. The set includes cards of all the players who announced their retirement at the end of the 2016 season such as Hiroki Kuroda, Daisuke Miura, Takahiro Suzuki, and Saburo.
- BBM is releasing their annual Rookie Edition set in mid-February. This is a pack based set featuring all the players taken in last fall's draft. The base set has 126 cards - 114 for the draftees and 12 for a subset called "Early Days" that I think is for OB players. There are two insert sets - Next Generation (12 cards) which I think is a young player for each team and Rookie Of The Year (2 cards) which features the two Rookies Of The Year from the 2016 season (Hiroshi Takanashi and Shun Takayama). There are also autographed cards available for I think both the draftees and the OB players featured in the "Early Days" subset.
- Epoch is releasing another of their ultra high end sets in conjunction with the Japan Baseball Promotion Association (or OB Club). The set is called "Opening Day Starting Lineup" and each 16,200 yen (~$160) box contains a single pack of six cards - three base set cards, one "Holo Spectra" card and two autographed cards. There are 40 cards in the base set. Possible autographed cards include autographed baseballs, autographed bats (only Koji Yamamoto) and some sort of autographed booklet. The set will be out on March 18.
- There is a new outfit called Hits that is publishing a couple team based sets of "Trading mini colored paper", one for the Baystars and one for the Hawks. Both sets feature 8 players and each player has two "cards" - a "normal" card and a "gold foil signature" card. I think there are possible autographed cards with the sets as well but I'm not sure. Both sets will be released on April 8th.
- The latest KBO set is called "Black Edition" and looks very similar to the Blue and Gold Edition sets released in the past two years. The set has a bunch of autographed and memorabilia cards as well as some short printed cards and I think around 163 cards in its base set. I believe that this set is already out but it's possible that it won't be until this coming week. UPDATE - Just noticed that George did a post previewing the set and provided a link to the official website for it.