Topps Bunt seems to be the only baseball card collecting app on the market, so Topps has pretty much full control over the how digital card collecting market operates (Topps also has card apps for the other major sports).
The app is fairly simple to use and the app even starts out users with a free base pack. What was my first digital card?
This is the 2017 Topps Bunt Series Design, and it differs a bit from its tangible cousin. The design is clean and simple, and, in my opinion, looks better than this year's flagship. It sacrifices team names (leaving just the logo) and players' positions, but adds a multiplier that affects the amount of points a card can earn in the fantasy aspect of the game.
Here are a few other cards I pulled in that first pack.
It featured an awesome red-haired rookie (#represent), an insert of the reigning NL MVP, and the former object of my love, Matt Kemp. I haven't followed Kemp much since A.J. Preller was swindled by #Fraudman, but I certainly wish him the best during the remainder of his career (just don't hit any big homeruns against the Dodgers, okay Mattycakes?) I'm not a fan of how the pictures come out in screenshot form, so I'll try to find a way to post just the cards in the future.
Inserts are some of the more sought after cards in the game, and there are a ton of them. Still, they aren't the easiest to acquire, though I did manage to pick up a few through a trade over the past few days.
This trio of inserts are fairly common, with card counts -- the digital equivalent to numbered cards -- ranging from 1,616 on that Bellinger on the left to 6,856 on the center Bellinger, and 5,224 on the far-right Turner. Bellinger seems to be a hot commodity, especially in the digital collecting community, and nearly every player wants to stock up on his cards.
Much of this frenzy over Bellinger cardboard (can I really call it that?) stems from his outstanding rookie year and the normal hype that goes along with it, but it also has to do with the fantasy element of the game. Topps Bunt users can select up to nine cards to enter into a contest that scores just like fantasy baseball; players earn points for hits, putouts, strikeouts, etc. The points system heavily favors hitters, and with the hot year Bellinger is having, it's no surprise users everywhere are hunting for his cards. Should users place in the top 250 of all users in points, they earn Equipment Tickets that can be redeemed for cool limited time inserts, much like the Sandy Koufax I nabbed below.
While inserts are great in the digital format, relics and signatures are a little less fun than their real-life counterparts. I somehow managed to pull a pretty rare Dellin Betances All-Star Game Cap Relic from one of my first packs, but I soon flipped it for the trio of inserts you saw above. In hindsight that was a bad trade. That Betances card was limited to just 141 copies, so I didn't extract as much value from it as I could have. Oh well. I pulled this a bit later that day.
Despite the digital auto, this is a great looking card. In fact, design is probably one of the strongest aspects of digital collecting. The picture quality on these cards is outstanding (the images lose a bit of their clarity here), and because Topps doesn't have to mass produce most of the cards it creates for the app, it can focus primarily on building beautiful digital designs. Here's to hoping some of these designs make their ways to a shelve near you.
Another strong facet of the digital game is the almost instantaneous ability to create cards based on the season's happenings. Topps Now Cards capture some of the biggest moments of the week, ranging from historical feats to walk-off winners, like the one below.
After their incredible run to the World Series last season, I have become a low-key fan of the Indians and their phenomenal young shortstop, Francisco Lindor. He might be one of the most fun players to watch for years to come.
Overall, I've enjoyed Topps Bunt quite a bit in the few days I've been using it. Users that spend money on the digital currency certainly have a leg-up on collecting some of the more rare and sought after cards, though I seem to be doing just fine as a free user.
I'd encourage you all to try the app if you have the time or desire. And, hey, don't forget to add me as a friend. My username is Chavezravinin (no 'G' at the end because it was already taken). Looking forward to seeing some friendly faces in the digital realm of card collecting soon.