Still, I do like a low price point. And Topps Bunt, a new physical product based on their smartphone app, fit the bill pretty well. A 24-card value pack set me back a mere $3 at Target recently. I haven't looked over the whole 200-card checklist yet, but the pack I got was pretty full of players like this:
|2016 Topps Bunt #179 Jose Canseco|
|2016 Topps Bunt #138 Nomar Garciaparra|
There were two grand salamis in that game (way better than calling it a Papa Slam), the first from rookie Stephen Cardullo, who recently broke into the majors at the ripe old age of 28, turning 29 the same day he hit his first Major League home run in Game 1. And as I write this, Nick Hundley just hit one to left-center for his first Major League grand slam, helping the Rockies trounce the Diamondbacks to begin the holiday weekend!
If you want Papa John's at a discount today, don't miss out.
|2016 Topps Bunt #83 Roger Clemens|
|2016 Topps Bunt #139 Stan Musial|
I like the action shot, but I'd put his Archives card from this year above it. The design of 2016 Bunt, which is now starting to show up in the app itself, is pretty plain and logo-dominated. It's been compared to 2011 Topps Lineage, and minus the foil, I can see the similarity. It even has the same 45-degree bend in the bottom design element.
|2011 Topps Lineage #33 Tony Perez|
Lineage has another similarity to Bunt, and that's the team logos. Logos in Bunt are a dominating element in the design, but Topps was careful to use period-correct logos, just like they did in Lineage.
|2016 Topps Bunt #166 Carl Yastrzemski|
|2016 Topps Bunt #180 Robin Yount|
|2016 Topps Bunt #48 Dwight Gooden|
|2016 Topps Bunt #23 Xander Bogaerts|
|2016 Topps Bunt #62 Starlin Castro|
A lot of bloggers have been suggesting that Topps Bunt could possibly replace Topps Opening Day. Personally, I think just because they're both on the lower-end of the pricing spectrum doesn't mean they don't both have a place in the market. Sure, Opening Day could be better differentiated from Topps Base, but if the market can support numerous high-end products like Museum Collection, Triple Threads, and Tier One, then why not more than one set for the low-end crowd and kids without money to burn on "hits"? Opening Day has all those awesome insert sets, and doesn't focus on retired players the way Bunt does.
At a buck or two a pack, I don't see a problem with keeping them both around.
|2016 Topps Bunt #144 Yasiel Puig|
The back of each card also reminds us how this set blurs the lines between physical and digital. It's physical enough that I couldn't buy it with digital coins at the Target checkout lane, but Topps was sure to print "Collect and Trade this card in the Topps Bunt app today!" on the back of every card. Below that are logos for both the Apple and Google Play App Stores.
It would be cool if I could actually add this card to my digital Bunt collection just by virtue of owning a physical copy, but that's not the case (yet). At least they gave me a scratch-off code for a digital pack, and I won another code in a recent contest at Sport Card Collectors.
I'd also love to see Topps develop a web app for Bunt, as the mobile apps are a bit clunky and hard to navigate, especially when your collection grows.
|2016 Topps Bunt Unique Unis #UU-3 Shin-Soo Choo|
|2016 Topps Bunt Programs #33,924 / #P-30 Carlos Gonzalez|
I'm sure this makes a lot more sense if you've actually used the app. My collection of digital Pokémon is coming along nicely, too.
|2016 Topps Bunt Light Force #LF-8 Luis Gonzalez|
After looking at eBay, it seems like all the cards from this insert set have the same color scheme, it just happened to coincide perfectly with Arizona's old colors. Which by the way, are light years (sorry) better than their current dark gray monstrosities. That link opens a PDF, by the way, in case you are still running Acrobat 6 on Windows 98 and are worried about program startup times.
I guess that tongue-in-cheek sentence above really does indicate that maybe, just maybe, digital cards aren't so crazy after all. It wasn't so long ago that it was quite a lengthy ordeal to open a PDF on an underpowered computer over a dial-up connection. But now I can go walk around outside and collect Pokémon, open PDFs in multiple tabs in barely more than the blink of an eye, have my car read me a text message, deposit a check through my phone, and now carry around on that phone the same cards that I put in my 9-pocket pages.
Welcome to the future.