Topps BUNT Is The Future Of Card Collecting
Photo via ESPN.com

Topps BUNT Is The Future Of Card Collecting

Topps Digital has released many virtual trading card games, incuding Topps BUNT, a digital MLB trading card game.

evan-petzold
Evan Petzold

Topps BUNT is the only real-time, real-world digital MLB trading card game in which the cards you own and collect score points based on how your players preform on the field each day. This game can be downloaded for free on the Apple Store (for iPhone users) or on the Google Play Store (for Android users).

The first move after downloading Topps BUNT is to create a profile and open a pack of “Bunt Base + Super Rare” cards. Nine cards will appear; those are your starter cards. Cards can vary from common to super rare. The order is as follows - common, uncommon, rare, scare, and then super rare.

Here is a personal example and step-by-step process to begin the game taken on July 29, 2012.

  1. Download the game and create a username such as EPETZOLD1.
  2. Choose a favorite team such as the Detroit Tigers.

The first nine cards to appear were Jose Reyes, Adam Lind, Jason Kipnis, Matt Capps, Chris Sale, Kendrys Morales, Chris Davis, Yu Darvish, and David Price. However, those are not the exact players you can get. Since then, the collection has expanded 10,241 cards, including 252 super rare cards (not including limited and not for sale) for a collection score of 83.48. The more cards you buy, the more cards, super rare cards, and higher collection score you will have. Because of that, all these numbers will vary. 

The way to obtain more cards is to either trade or rip packs. Topps has a BUNT store in the app that holds multiple different packs that vary in price. Currently, BUNT has a post expensive pack at 25,000 coins. It is called the 7th Inning Stretch and includes seven Base + Postseason Cards. The cheapest pack is 1,000. It is called Batter Up and includes 25 cards that are common cards only. It is the best way to get started. Trading cards is one of the most fun and enjoyable parts of the game. While trading, it is possible to meet great people and become in-app friends. However, be aware of the value of cards; it is no fun to be scammed.

After hearing that you need coins, you may ask about how to obtain them. The easiest way is to purchase them. They vary from 5,000 coins to 500,000 coins in the specific coin store. A purchase of 5,000 coins currently cost $4.99, and 500,000 coins currently cost $74.99. Another way to gain coins is to win weekly awards. The higher the award won, the more coins you will receive. Weekly awards are handed out for the points you score during the week.

Collecting sets will certainly add coins. For example, collecting all of the Detroit Tigers base cards would win an award of 500 coins. Of course, throughout the season there are more ways to gain coins, but these are the most common ways. For example, collecting multiple sets and winning many awards has resulted in 304 total awards.

Topps BUNT provides fans a way to interact with baseball through a simple game. It offers challenges and awards. It also gives young kids a reason to connect with the great American sport. However, it does not end with young kids. Adults are given the opportunity to collect their favorites. Players such as Reggie Jackson, Ozzie Smith, Bert Blyleven, Ty Cobb, Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Yogi Berra, Babe Ruth, and more are all available to collect and obtain.

Out of the many sets there have been throughout the years, three favorite sets include the Dual Signatures, Allen and Ginter’s, and BUNT Metal. Many enjoy the Dual Signatures because they have two players with two signatures on one card. What's not to love? Many old timers really love the way Allen and Ginter’s cards look. They have old-fashioned grit tied into a superstar. BUNT Metal is an old set from 2013. It is not super flashy, but something about it stands out.

A specific favorite card is a golden Frozen Phenom Jose Abreu. There are only 10 in the game of Topps BUNT. This card was pulled just seconds before releasing this article. People also like Topps Heritage Gold David Price. It is possible to obtain the card by collecting every Topps Heritage card. There were a lot of them, and it takes a lot of time and dedication to obtain them. Even though the Price card is not the rarest card, it is important to many because of the hard work put into it. 

An amazing story from EPETZOLD1 regarding Topps BUNT starts in his bed at 5:00 AM Eastern Time. He was waking up for work and had 15,000 coins. He decided to try for the Mike Trout 7x (Boost) On Fire card; only 270 are in the game, and the pack for them cost 10,000 coins. EPETZOLD1 took one chance and pulled it. He probably woke his entire family up after the “little girl” scream he performed. Down the road, he traded it to his best friend for a real-life Miguel Cabrera signature.

His second great moment takes place in his bed, pulling an all-nighter waiting for the newest version of Topps BUNT to release to the app store. Many other fans stayed up all night for both the 2013 and 2014 versions.

When it comes down to it, this is an amazing app. It is an essential app to have on your iPhone or Android. Many have been playing BUNT for almost three years now and have enjoyed every second of it. Many fans strive for the Fan of the Week award, which is among the highest honors in the game. 

INTERVIEWS: 

Editor-in-chief at Topps Digital, Chris Vaccaro was kind enough to take time out of his day to answer seven questions.

1. What is the hardest part of being the editor-in-chief at Topps Digital?

CV: My role and responsibility with Topps is extremely fun and rewarding. I enjoy every second and work hard to make our team, brand, and product better every day. There is a major responsibility to uphold the legacy, values, and tradition of excellence Topps has built for decades. Every time I look at the Topps logo, it means something to me. It’s profound, and I’m thrilled to be part of this still new and progressive digital approach the company has taken.


2. Did you expect Topps Bunt to grow as quickly as it did?

CV: To be completely honest, yes. We knew we had something special the moment it launched in April of 2012. The idea of combining the nostalgia of card collecting with the competitive spirit of fantasy sports is a wonderful mix of fun and excitement that many people have gravitated towards. The harder and smarter we work, the more positive results we see. It’s been like that since day one.


3. What motivates you to work hard with Topps?

CV: Aside from honoring the Topps name in everything we do, I’m very motivated by a passionate and growing user base. Our fans are tremendous. We want to make sure they love every card we release, every pack in our store, every award to chase and more. I’m also motivated by knowing we’re a part of sports history. We help capture the moment like any digital media company. As major events in baseball happen, we release digital cards in BUNT to commemorate them.


4. In the next five years, where do you expect to see Topps Bunt?

CV: I hope we continue to grow and become a major recognizable aspect of Topps, baseball, and digital media. When you think about baseball, I want fans to think about Topps and the Topps BUNT app. I want to see countless people at stadiums or bars holding their phones or tablets and referring to our app as an extension of their viewing experience. I hope the same for all of our apps, BUNT, HUDDLE and KICK.


5. What would you like to say to all the veterans who have stuck around through the good times and bad? 

CV: We’re so grateful for each and every fan who has ever downloaded, registered for, and played our apps. Without the fans, our apps would not be what they are today. We produce content and cards for them. We listen to their feedback and make changes in design, development, and other aspects on a weekly basis to improve the experience for everyone involved. Our community is strong and continues to grow. I hope they continue to have fun and make our apps a part of their lives.


6. What is your favorite card and favorite set?

CV: I’m a big Mike Piazza and Cal Ripken, Jr. fan, so anything we release with their likenesses is great. I also like the new die-cuts and die-cut signature cards we’ve released in the last month, especially of retired players. I’m slightly partial to many of the All-Star cards we released in 2014. I was in Minnesota at the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby, and many of my photos appear on cards in the app.


7. Can you provide some information about what may be added to Topps Bunt next year?

CV: We’re VERY excited about BUNT 2015. As always, our developers, designers and producers will be hard at work to make sure we hit it out of the park. You can expect new cards, new designs, and improvements and tweaks in all aspects of the app. Stay tuned for updates coming this spring!

———-

Topps Associate Application Producer, Michael Salerno (TOPPSMIKE) was also kind enough to take time out of his day to answer six questions.

1. What is a normal day of work (at Topps) like for you?

MS: Ha, well the gift and curse of being TOPPSMIKE is that there is no such thing as a “normal day.” We work hard seven days a week, and we do it to give BUNT Nation the absolute best experience we can muster up. It’s Christmas Eve, and while the rest of my family is wrapping gifts and making dinner, I’m sitting here making sure all of our card releases go off without a hitch. Talking with the community, as I’ve said time and time again, is my absolute favorite part of the job, but even that can come with some weight. I try to keep it light when I drop into the comments or chat it up on Twitter, because the nature of the job is relatively stressful, and while feedback is important, it can be sort of overwhelming at times.

All that aside, from creating cards in the app, coming up with ideas for new card sets and features, sitting in on meetings, arguing with TOPPSIAN and chatting with the fans, a normal day is a pretty full one. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. Okay, maybe I’d trade it to play centerfield for the Yankees. That’s the ONLY job I’d trade it for though.

2. What is the greatest challenge you have faced while working at Topps?

MS: In the beginning, it was understanding all this. I started with Topps as a writer on the staff, just talking baseball, so I knew a decent amount about the ins and outs of the app before taking the reins. But once I got in the driver’s seat it was a whole new ballgame.

Biggest challenge for me right now would definitely be to try and continue to outdo ourselves as it pertains to card releases. We’ve got hundreds of feature ideas in the backlog that will make for a great app experience, but having awesome cards to make those features really stand out is equally as important. I like to think I’m doing a pretty good job, but we’ll always have room to improve.

3. What is your favorite thing about Topps Bunt?

MS: The community, by a mile. Being in the app space, you’re very aware of the best apps out there and what makes them so. We’ve got a lot of complexity to our app, but the dedicated community of fans gives us something that I truly believe is unique to Topps apps.

My favorite moment this season was the #HunterPenceSigns goof-around session I had on Twitter and in the comments. My favorite thing to do in the world is laugh, and BUNT Nation provides me with plenty of laughs every day…even if some and/or most of them are at my own expense.


4. What is your favorite set and favorite card in Topps Bunt?

MS: So, there’s no use hiding the fact that I’m the biggest Derek Jeter fan I know. The Mr. November card is number one on my list because I was lucky enough to have been there for that game. It was Halloween and all my friends from school were out trick or treating or causing a ruckus. I was at the old Yankee Stadium at the World Series, feeling the upper deck shake. It was so loud when Derek won the game. Holy smokes. I get chills thinking about it to this day.

Other favorites of mine include the Allen & Ginter set, Future is Now, SABER Stars and the ongoing Topps Departures. I really thought those sets had a great concept behind them.

5. What advice would you give to rookies?

MS: Get involved! Talk to the community, that’s sort of what I was referring to earlier. Tell them you’re new, and not only will you get a warm welcome, you’ll probably get a few of these veterans sending you a trade offer or two with some of your favorite team’s best players. I mean it, the community is really what makes BUNT special.


6. Are there any sneak previews you can give us regarding next year’s edition of Topps Bunt?

MS: Haha, at this time no, but the only reason is because I’ve been so engulfed with the offseason and making sure all our releases are great that I’ve been dragging my feet on BUNT 2015 plans. But I know that a major concern of fans in 2014 was the lack of base cards for some of the lesser players. In 2015, that will not be a problem. We’ll talk again closer to launch and I’ll hopefully have some more beans to spill about what we’ve got in store.

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