Man, that took some work.

So, this is the award card you get when you’ve completed 8 different Series 1 Yankee team sets in 2017 Bunt. It’s nothing terribly fancy, but it is Bernie, so, of course, I had to.

There was a certain degree of quiet urgency to getting these sets done this weekend, because Series 2 is formally coming out on Monday, and if Topps does what they did with NHL Skate this year, that’ll be it for melding cards to climb through the Series 1 ladder for this year (and for a free player, it is virtually impossible to complete these runs without melding cards at this point, a thing they neglected to tell first-year users of Skate, or I’d have a much better Islanders collection there since I’m blowing off most of the other cards). Now, at present, when you go to the page in the app where you meld a Series 1 card, they’re saying that melding will continue until March 28th of next year (which means the production number for these awards will be about 4 times as big eventually), but Topps has been known to change their mind on the drop of a dime, because they’re sorta making it up as they go along with all this digital stuff, so I wasn’t going to leave it to chance, and it seems like a lot of the other regular and semi-regular users are of the same mind. For now, I don’t care, I got Bernie, and I actually did it without busting up my Gary Sanchez rainbow, to boot (which made it a lot harder).

Where this is a drag is that they’ve managed to make this whole thing feel like a really bad version of level grinding in an MMORPG. Which, when you’ve done this, oh…

…three times in the space of a week now…

…it gets a little old.

(Technically, I’ve done it 5 times, as I got the Pettitte and Posada award cards before I got to the Bernie, but I wasn’t actually after those, so we won’t be featuring them here.)

I guess I have to figure out how many more times I’ll drive myself nuts over it. If we do have another 8 months, it won’t be that hard to get more. There are a bunch of good award cards (Reggie’s next on the Yankee ladder, then Jeter, and I’ll have to decide if I’m gonna use my leftovers to try and get those; after that, there’s a bunch of other award cards you can earn for building the top 5 hardest team sets of each team…there’s Mookie Wilson, Ben Oglivie, Cecil Cooper, Dick Allen, and yes, Night Owl, there’s a Ron Cey award card, only the 3rd time he’s shown up in Bunt to date…), but it’s crazy-making to do it, and it’s also a bad habit for someone with serious obsessive tendencies to get themselves into.

I did get the 3 cards out of 150 that I wanted the most, though, so there is that…

Topps Bunt Physical Trading Cards

Yes, I’m doing a dedicated baseball card post over here! (For those wondering why this is a big deal at all, I have another site where I usually do this. I may eventually just move all that other stuff here.)

2016-08-20 16.26.32

After a false start yesterday, I found packs and blaster boxes of 2016 Topps Bunt! For those unfamiliar (I’ve written a bit about it on this site already), Bunt is Topps’ digital baseball card trading app. If it seems like a weird idea to you, trading JPEGs or PNGs or whatnot, you’re not alone, but that’s another conversation. Anyway, this week, for the first time, Topps has issued a crossover physical card product in the Topps Bunt line, and so far, I’m having a lot of fun with it. It’s priced affordably (a buck a pack, or 11 packs in a 10 dollar blaster box), the cards (while a bit fragile) look nice, there’s good names in the set, fun insert cards, and you can also get code cards in the packs (I was promised 3 on the box, and I got 4!) that unlock digital packs back on the app, with (I believe) exclusive insert cards (again, digital) in them. Here’s some of how I did.

buntbase1

buntbase2

These were the best of my base cards. As you can see, a solid if unspectacular base card design (definitely better than Topps’ flagship base design this year, though, and better than the planned design for next year, as well). Cool mix of current players and veterans in the set. I got a bunch of my favorite players, and I ended up putting together 1/6 of the set in 11 packs with no doubles!

buntmccannnumbered

These were my inserts. Loving the Lightforce set (which they’d done a variation of in the digital Bunt product already), and happy to get some decent players. The Alex Gordon is for trade, and I know I have a Gordon collector who reads my other site, so hopefully they’ll jump on it.

buntmccannnumbered 1

This is also available for trade! These come at a rate of 1:105 packs, so getting one in my first 11 is pretty good, I reckon!

As I mentioned, there were scratch-off code cards in 4 of the packs (they mercifully keep the number of insert cards in each pack to 1, for optimal set building), and I’ve redeemed those already. Let’s have a look at what happened there…

Screenshot 2016-08-20 14.43.31

This is what it looks like when you successfully redeem a digital pack via your web browser. Over in the app, the packs show up in your “Bulletin” dropdown. I opened them, and here’s the best of the best…

2016-08-20 14.45.21

Hey, it’s a platinum Nolan Ryan! Now, to me, the platinum cards just look like the base cards, but they’re super-limited (there were just 21 of the Ryan last I looked). I’m not a Ryan collector in physical or digital (I’ll keep a great looking card of his here and there and I keep the ones I need to finish sets, but mostly I flip his stuff for cards of different players who I do collect), so this is being made available elsewhere, along with the cards below that I mention as being stuff I’m unloading.

2016-08-20 14.44.51

Billy Hamilton, on the other hand, I do like a bunch! Always did like base stealers (the rookie card of Rickey Henderson, whose cards I’ve just started formally collecting again, was in my first pack of Topps cards, after all). Keeping it!

2016-08-20 14.44.40

The confetti you see in this James Shields picture is what happens when the app is like “HOLY SHIT YOU GOT SOMETHING GOOD!”. It’s a fairly limited card, but I don’t collect Shields. Unloading it.

2016-08-20 14.44.31

Love Jose Fernandez! Keeping this.

2016-08-20 14.45.39

I think Stephen Piscotty’s a pretty solid ballplayer, and I’ve had him on and off my fantasy team a few times now, but I’m not collecting him (I generally don’t collect Cardinals players; I’ve had a grudge dating back to Davey Johnson’s Mets…). Unloading it.

2016-08-20 14.47.29

Hey, it’s a Lightforce! I don’t collect Gonzo, though, and I’ll probably have a real hard time finishing the digital set, as these are hella limited. Let me look at the checklist and figure out what I’m doing here.

2016-08-20 14.47.25

Dee Gordon screwed up this year (or got caught for it this year, anyway), but he has always been a fun player to watch, and this is a fun card. Keeping it, and hoping he keeps his shit together from here out.

2016-08-20 14.49.04

BO. Keeper.

2016-08-20 14.47.51

These cards score 3X in the Bunt contests (kinda like fantasy baseball, you create a lineup on the app and your players score according to what they do in the day’s games), but I haven’t been playing contests lately (not enough hours in the day, and the freeplay ones have gotten weak), and I’m not a Votto collector. Unloading it.

2016-08-20 14.51.55

Hey, it’s one of them new Cubbies that isn’t Kris Bryant! Let me put it in the hands of someone who’s a bigger fan than I am.

2016-08-20 14.49.20

Sometimes, the app gives you “HOLY SHIT” stars, too! Severino’s available.

2016-08-20 15.24.09

I’m not sure where Boston and their fans are on Henry Owens, who seems to have stalled out a little, but hey, it’s a limited card. I’ll see what the open market will fetch. Update: it moved before I even finished this post! I guess folks still like him!

2016-08-20 14.52.02

More confetti, and I haven’t seen enough of Ozuna to really be a fan just yet. Unloading it.

So, remember how I had that Lightforce I was gonna try and trade for another Lightforce (the Luis Gonzalez) up yonder? Well, I found out that Bernie Williams was in the Lightforce set, so I made a trade offer to a few people on the Bunt app, and minutes later…

2016-08-20 16.26.50

YAY BERNIE

And that’s how I did!

Well, I got a bunch of “base” Bunt digital inserts too (they look like the base physical cards, but are not like the Bunt base, which still resemble flagship; the synchronicity between app and cardboard still needs some work), but you’ve seen what those look like out here in meatspace already, so there’s not much to see there.

So, did I get my $10 worth?

Absolutely!

Best time I’ve had opening a new trading card product in some time. Lots to like, lots to do. Well worth your money, if you just like to crack open packs and have a good time with this stuff.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Digital Card (And Wider Collecting) Dilemma

As some of you already know, I’ve spent a fair amount of time on the Topps Digital apps since last summer, collecting digital trading cards (ridiculous concept that they are). I mostly collect Topps Bunt (their baseball app), but I also do Star Wars, Huddle (American football) and Kick (football) as well. (I also do the non-Topps Kitten Cards, which is a hoot, and has a really fun community.)

I’ve run up against a dilemma of late with Bunt, though.

I got the one card I really, really wanted, above all others. I mean, look at this card. Look at how happy Vladimir Guerrero looks to be on this card. That’s pretty remarkable, considering that digital trading cards didn’t really exist back when ol’ Vlad was still on the Montreal Expos. How did he know? It’s a great card, and I’d love to actually have a physical copy of it, but if I can’t, this is still pretty cool.

Now, this is a dilemma in any hobby, whether you’re collecting JPEGs or antiquities from lost civilizations. What do you do after you get the best thing you can get? I will say that 2016 Topps Bunt is leaving me cold in terms of both card designs (kinda lackluster) and in-app bullshit (they’ve stacked the deck against free players like myself, complicated the app needlessly, and they keep running into glitches in the app that make it pretty easy for people to amass a ton of cards and game the in-game contests at least short-term), which really isn’t helping matters much. But even with that aside, there’s kind of a hangover period in any collectibles hobby when you get the best thing you can get (in your own view, anyway), and aren’t sure where to go next.

The other apps I use are far more casual, because they’re not baseball, and baseball’s kinda my thing. I do collect build-a-ships in Star Wars, but I’m up-to-date on the complete run of the base variant there, so mostly I’m just sitting around, waiting for the next one to be released. Football and, well, football, I don’t really follow, so I gather those mostly to trade for baseball. I could start trading these things for Kitten Cards, but while Kitten Cards are awesome, I’m not especially completist or committed to being where they’re concerned.I’m curious as to your thoughts on this. Feel free to comment here, and, if you want to know how to find me on Topps Digital or Kitten Cards (to trade cards and whatnot), drop me an email.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save