15 April 2018

2018 BBM Shining Venus

In addition to the box of 2017 BBM Shining Venus cards I showed yesterday, I also bought a box of the 2018 BBM Shining Venus set. Let's take a look at what's in a box.

Here is the top of the box. The format is similar to the 2017 product, with 20 packs in a box and 5 cards in a pack. The MSRP is 6,000 JPY (~$56.00) for a box and 300 JPY (~$2.80) for a pack.

The bottom of the box contains the checklist. This year's set has an 88-card base set. There are 84 cards in the familiar triad format (a Shining Venus, Playing Venus, and Venus Shot card for each athlete), with the last four cards being Legend Venus subset. The Legend Venus cards appear to be for retired athletes who are no longer going to be featured in BBM's Venus products. There are two parallels of the base set, one # / 100 and one # / 30. There is also a 9-card insert set called Venus Heart, and a number of special cards like autographs. The autographs listed that my phone can translate are regular, private, special, legend, combo, rookie, New Year, and Valentine's. There are probably others.

In my box, I pulled 76 / 88 base cards (86.4%), with 20 doubles. Again, it's going to take at least two boxes to complete a set of this product. The Shining Venus cards feature the athlete in a posed shot with their sports gear, the Playing Venus cards show the athlete in action, and the Venus Shot cards show the athlete in street clothes.

Some sports get featured more than others, but I am not sure how BBM decides which athletes to feature from year to year. There are two runners in this set, with Kana Ichikawa being one of them. There are also a couple of baseball players, a couple of basketball players, and a couple of climbers in this set.

Athletes who are making their first appearance in a Venus set get a Rookie Card logo on the front of their Shining Venus cards. I would probably buy a box of cards for a set featuring professional darts players. I've purchased BBM's offerings for bowling and curling, so it wouldn't be out of character for me. 

Speaking of curling, a curler appears in the Legend Venus subset. Each Legend only gets one card. This seems similar to the Hall of Fame subset in the True Heart wrestling sets, where notable wrestlers who retire during the previous year get one card at the end of the checklist.

I got two regular Venus Heart inserts and one parallel. The regular cards have a shiny gold finish to them, while the parallels have a holofoil shine and a serial number. My parallel of Iori Miura is numbered # 009 / 100.

I only got one autograph in this box, featuring lacrosse player Asuka Noo. Because of the serial number, I can tell this is a limited type of autograph rather than a base autograph. The base autographs have print runs of 79-120 cards each, while these limited autograph cards have print runs of 30-89 cards apiece. Google Translate tells me that this set is called Autograph Card (Private Version). This one is numbered # 31 / 60. I like how she included a lacrosse stick and her jersey number on the card.

In all, this was a fun break. The 2018 box was a little disappointing after opening the 2017 box because it had just one autograph and fewer limited cards inside. I would have liked to pull some more stuff from the box. True Heart has kind of spoiled me the last couple of years, with 6-7 autographs per box in that product.


  1. This is always a good product. Thanks for sharing!

    1. It's a fun product, and I always like breaking something new!

  2. It's fun to see box breaks for this stuff! I always just grab the leftovers off YJA.

    More descriptively, I'd say your autographed card is the "Street Clothes" version. With the prices of the boxes what they are, I'd expect 2-3 autographs per box - this is one reason why I never buy boxes! It would be neat to start getting relic cards as well; BBM has never really been big on memorabilia cards but it could easily double or triple the number of hits in each box by doing so.

    I'm hoping something really cool comes out for the 2020 Olympics, since they are being held here. Similar to the 2000 Sydney Olympics set - a comprehensive collection of all of Japan's Olympians. I bet it wouldn't be too hard for licensing, since Upper Deck/MRM did it in 2000, probably just a blanket license from the JOC.

    1. Calling it the "Street Clothes" version makes sense. I wasn't sure how many autographs to expect in a box, but I found just one to be kind of disappointing. I don't know if they are all like that, or if I just got a dud box.

      It would be nice if BBM did a nice big product for the Olympics. I would probably be good for a box or three.