Monday, June 5, 2017

A Bunt, a Strikeout and a Grand Slam. All in One At-Bat.

We got home from vacation on Thursday night and I was back on the road the next morning, taking my father-in-law to the airport. Having dropped him off, I felt an urge to stop by one of our two card shops and pick up a box of Topps Archives. I hit the jackpot last year (pulled an autographed Costner) and tried to use that as justification. Maybe I'd pull another huge signature (like a Jeter). Thankfully, my head won out over my heart, and I settled on a trip to Target to buy a pack or two. Only, Target didn't have them. I guess it's a jumbo pack of Bunt (and a pack of 2017 Score Football).

When it comes to opening packs of new product, I have realized that it's best to go with either the jumbo or 'value' packs. Yes, they cost a little more, but the number of inserts you get more than make up for the higher price. This was especially true in buying a product like Bunt, a product of which I have no desire to collect any of the base cards (more on that in a minute). While someone might be looking to add the base cards to their collection, at least I know that the inserts can be used as trade bait. 

Before I begin looking at the cards themselves, I want to throw out this complaint: The packaging boasts of 24 trading cards but what you really get is 23 cards and a scratch-off card to claim $25 in free coins. In other words, it's an ad for their Bunt App. I'm fine with the card's inclusion, but don't like that they include this as one of the 24 cards. 

As far as my pack, let's start off with the only thing that matters in Bunt- the inserts. Knowing that the inserts would be sandwiched in between base cards, I quickly skimmed through the first 8, until I saw this!




1/1. Not bad. Not bad, at all. While there are certainly far more popular players I could have pulled, the Cubs still seem to be in demand coming off of last year's WS victory. I shouldn't have any trouble moving this printing plate. It could be that I only received 23 cards because of this one. Anyone else experience this?


























The Contreras was followed up by three blue parallels, because... parallels. You will never convince me that parallels add anything positive to the hobby. Let's move on...




There was a time when I would have been super excited to pull the Julio Teheran Programs card, but I'm no longer collecting the Braves ace so this one, too, is up for trade. It seems to be one of the more popular inserts of the past two years. I will say, however, that last year's offering looks far more like a game program than this year's.




Infinite proves that the manufactures can produce a high-quality looking insert for those on a shoe-string budget. Well done, Topps; well done.



Perspectives... see above commentary.




Following the inserts were more base cards, which, as already mentioned, I'm not a fan of. The first images I saw for 2017 Bunt got me excited for its release. However, I soon realized that those images I had viewed were of the multipliers (or, Boost cards) found in its digital brand, and that the physical cards were far less appealing to my collecting tastes. My biggest problem lies with the 'light' effect at the top and lower parts of the base cards. This irks me like the 'smoke' effect on 2016 Topps did to many collectors. I'm also not crazy about the photos- too many of the close-ups that rankled many of those same collectors. Every hitter's card, every pitcher's card... looks the same. Perhaps it's not fair, saying this based upon such a small sample size.

While the Bunt base cards prove to be a strikeout, at least the inserts are a hit. And that Contreras-why, it's a Grand Slam!


And on another note... and totally unrelated to the blog... Happy Birthday to Mrs. Cardboard Jones, whose age I won't reveal. *cough-Andy Pettite Yankees number-cough* She may not read the blog, but she also doesn't complain about the amount of time and money that goes into my collection or time spent reading and writing on the blogs.





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