Size: 372 cards numbered 1-324, CP01-CP36
Cards Per Team: 28 (team card, manager + 26 players)
Team Card Theme: Mascots
Number Of Leader Cards: N/A
Subsets: Cross Plasma (36)
Inserts: Allrounders(12), Lightning(12)
Memorabilia Cards: Jersey cards for Hiroki Kuroda and Daisuke Matsuzaka (as well as a combination card with both of them). Each individual jersey card is serially numbered to 200 plus some sort of parallel version numbered to 10. The dual jersey cards are numbered to 10 with a parallel that's numbered to 3. There are 29 autographed cards with print runs that vary between 10 and 30.
Parallels: 108 of the regular player cards have parallel versions - I think there are five different versions but I don't know what they are or what they are numbered to. There is also a parallel to a number of the rookie cards (looks like 13 in the SCM checklist). There's also parallel versions of the insert cards. The Cross Plasma cards have two parallels - one that's serially numbered to 100 and the other that's a "1 of 1".
Notable Rookies: Hayato Takagi, Yusuaki Yamasaki, Tomohiro Anraku, Kohei Arihara
I'm trying to decide what's the more significant thing about the 2015 edition of BBM's annual 1st Version set - is it that there are no subsets (besides the ubiquitous cross set subset called Cross Plasma this year) or the fact that this is the smallest 1st Version set ever? Obviously the former fact is a major factor in the latter fact.
But ok, let's start with the set size. As 372 cards, this is the smallest 1st Version set ever. In fact, it's smaller than any of the pre-2002 "flagship" sets as well. It's almost 200 cards smaller than the 1st Version set from 10 years ago. The almost complete lack of subsets accounts for the drop in size - last year there were 72 cards in six 12 card subsets. This year there's just the one 36 card subset - the Cross Plasma set.
As usual, the thing that saves the set is that the cards are very good looking. BBM has done their usual great job in combining great photos in an attractive, minimalist design. Here's some examples:
|Back of #23 (Ryosuke Kikuchi)|
Another thing I wish BBM would do is pick a subject for the team checklists other than the team's mascot. This is the sixth time in the past seven years that the mascots have been on the 1st Version checklists. Enough!
Anyway, the "Cross Plasma" cards look pretty much like all the "Cross" cards have - a photo of the player super-imposed on some sort of odd background on the front and the original photo on the back:
|Back of #CP03|