The photos are part of the extensive AKB48 merchandise which every fan should have to show their support for their favorite idol group. Complete your AKB48 nama shashin (生写真) collection now. It’s easy with our friendly guide which we have categorized into manageable sections so you can easily find your favorite AKB48 member and spot the photos you may have missed over the years. You’ll also notice that we have included little snippets of valuable information on second hand photo markets which will be revealed in tranches.
2007 to 2011 AKB48 B.L.T. Photo SetsWhile the quality is not very good and the photos command high prices, these are not-so-rare collectibles except for the theater photos and were published in the Beautiful Lady & Television TV Guide also known as the B.L.T. photos. Before 2011, all you needed to do in order to get them was to buy the TV guide. After 2011, production stopped and only the AKB48 sister groups continued releasing B.L.T. photos. One issue of the magazine contains one random photo and costs 500 Yen. The quickest way to find out if the photo is from the B.L.T. batches is to look at the colored bars at the bottom of each photo. There you will notice a serial name, a product ID, and the name of the AKB48 member on the photo.
There is only one AKB48 B.L.T. collection for every month. Each collection features the outfits or theater costumes of the month so it’s easy to sort them on your own if you are familiar with their performance history. At the start, there was only a single photo for every member but because of the demand, it increased to 2 pictures per member. Each collection will consist of 144 photographs in sets of 3. The set is made up of extreme close-up, close-up, and medium body shot. As the group became more popular, the sets also grew and became sets of 9 pictures for every member. The sets of 9 are divided in 3 mini sets with different backgrounds but the same or similar poses.
The Timeline of the AKB48 B.L.T. PhotosIt might interest you to know more about the history of AKB48 and B.L.T. The original deal was an exclusive photo of the members. It was a deal that benefitted both parties. AKB48 became more popular and eventually, B.L.T. was able to sell more magazines because of the increase in demand.
Since the photographs were taken by professionals, the quality was outstanding and very sellable. These photographs were better than any other except for the AKB48 PHOTORE series and were considered the top of the line in print for the all-girl group. Unfortunately, the agreement was never renewed which was sad because when the magazines were sold, some of the AKB48 members were around to sign or greet the buyers. It did create some amount of frenzy among fans with the long lines and the loads of littered trash found after the special sales were over. Most of the trash were the rest of the magazine because fans only wanted the photographs of the girls and didn’t care about the TV guide’s other content. In response to the issue of paper trash, B.L.T. launched their online ordering system.