I finally made it to the store today to confirm what I had been formulating while reading other collectors' Topps Bunt posts.
Yup, this is my favorite card set of the year.
Granted, the competition hasn't been exactly fierce so far. The contenders for the 2017 crown at this stage are flagship (comparable to the 1973 Padres), Heritage (let's call them the 1995 Minnesota Twins), Opening Day (as competitive as the 1986 Milwaukee Brewers), Gypsy Queen (the no-chance 2005 L.A. Dodgers) and Panini Donruss (as good of a shot as the 1899 Cleveland Spiders).
Topps Bunt surges into the top spot.
I like Bunt for all the reasons stated when it came out last year. It's cheap, it's fun, it looks good and it's not impossible to complete. The one thing that I wasn't crazy about with the product last year was the grayness of the cards. Too much gray. Too much generic gray.
Well, guess who listened?
Yay! Topps listened! LOOK AT THAT! Isn't that glorious!
COLOR! Wonderful color! It's come to Topps Bunt!
I can barely contain myself.
In fact, I can't.
I can't contain myself at all. Sorry, you're just going to have to deal.
The above cards arrived today from The Lost Collector. It's now a tradition that he orders up some Topps Bunt and then distributes some cards to fellow team collectors. I was fortunate enough to get a blue parallel of Julio Urias, which is just beautiful (it goes very well with the Dodgers) and looks even better in person.
The Bunt cards are color-coded according to team, much like 2015 Topps flagship, a set I enjoyed so much because of its color that I completed the whole thing. As easy as Bunt is to complete, I don't see myself completing it -- just because I have enough current complete sets that I don't look at -- but Bunt has definitely ensured that I won't buy any other product currently on store shelves. Bunt will take care of that.
In fact, I picked up a couple of $9.99 blasters just this afternoon.
Let's have a look at all the colorfulness from one of the blasters.
#151 - Brian Dozier, Twins
#38 - Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
#163 - Gerrit Cole, Pirates, blue parallel
#I-NS - Noah Sydergaard, Mets, Infinite insert
#11 - Andrew Benintendi, Red Sox
#116 - Anthony Rizzo, Cubs
#17 - Ryon Healy, Athletics
A star-studded pack. That's what you get with Bunt. Several bloggers have mentioned the absence of retired players this year after their inclusion last year. As fun as it is to pull retired players, I get bored with pulling the same ones over and over. So this is OK with me.
#142 - Danny Duffy, Royals
#23 - Yulieski Gurriel, Astros
#128 - Brandon Phillips, Braves
#38 - Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox, blue parallel
#PR-TT - Troy Tulowitzki, Blue Jays, Programs insert
#122 - Kyle Hendricks, Cubs
#65 - Jacob deGrom, Mets
The blue parallels are apparently one per pack. There are odds for all other color variations on the wrappers but none for the blue. The Programs insert was the highlight of all the inserts last year. It's still nice, but I'm not crazy about the design this year, it doesn't remind me of any program I ever saw.
#12 - Matt Strahm, Royals
Bunt free code card
#98 - Daniel Murphy, Nationals, blue parallel
#P-YC - Yoenis Cespedes, Mets, Perspectives insert
#181 - Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays
#168 - Kyle Seager, Mariners
#78 - Nelson Cruz, Mariners
There are 3 guaranteed free code cards in each blaster, which mean nothing to me because I don't care about collecting online images. But for $9.99 per box I won't complain about it. The Perspectives insert is a carryover from last year's flagship. It's OK. And free advertisement for the MLB Network.
#117 - Aroldis Chapman, Yankees
#5 - Yoan Moncada, White Sox
#110 - Matt Kemp, Braves
#151 - Brian Dozier, Twins, blue parallel
#I-SM - Starling Marte, Pirates, Infinite insert
#86 - Adam Wainwright, Cardinals
#189 - Brandon Finnegan, Reds
The Infinite inserts just aren't doing it for me. It looks something went wrong with the photo, some exposure issue. And speaking of wrong, the Marte insert came with a silver blotch on it
#19 - Luke Weaver, Cardinals
#124 - James Shields, White Sox
#193 - Carlos Correa, Astros, blue parallel
#PR-AW - Adam Wainwright, Cardinals, Program insert
381 - Johnny Cueto, Giants
#184 - Trea Turner, Nationals
#53 - Justin Upton, Tigers
There are no retired players but Topps will never be able to wean itself off of forcing rookies into the set. Luke Weaver does not belong in a limited-size card set.
#21 - Tyler Austin, Yankees
#126 - Todd Frazier, White Sox
#37 - Craig Kimbrel, Red Sox
#47 - Francisco Lindor, Indians, blue parallel
#I-JR - Jose Ramirez, Indians, Infinite parallel
#155 - Noah Syndergaard, Mets
#67 - David Wright, Mets
Two of my favorite young players to watch arrived back-to-back in Lindor and Ramirez.
#141 - Alex Gordon, Royals
#45 - Joey Votto, Reds
#166 - Buster Posey, Giants (some sort of parallel, not sure what)
#90 - Adrian Beltre, Rangers blue parallel
#P-JQ - Jose Quintana, White Sox, Perspectives insert
#170 - Carlos Martinez, Cardinals
#14 - Braden Shipley, Damondbacks
I don't know what that Posey card is. It could be the black parallel, but I've seen other parallels that are numbered and this one is not.
#59 - Justin Turner, Dodgers
#161 - Maikel Franco, Phillies
#73 - Sean Doolittle, Athletics
#154 - Curtis Granderson, Mets, blue parallel
#PR-PN - Phil Niekro, Braves, Programs insert
#119 - Jake Arrieta, Cubs
#7 - Tyler Glasnow, Pirates
Finally, a Dodger!
#176 - Ian Desmond, Rockies
#82 - Brandon Belt, Giants
Bunt free code card
#182 - Lucas Giolito, White Sox, blue parallel
#I-DK - Dallas Keuchel, Astros, Infinite parallel
#112 - Manny Machado, Orioles
#42 - Ben Zobrist, Mets
For the record, do not trust me with the numbers on these cards. As someone who is younger than me said, the card numbers on the back are TINY. And if he thinks they're small then guess what someone with my veteran vision thinks.
#185 - Carlos Rondon, White Sox
391 - Jonathan Lucroy, Rangers
3194 - Mike Moustakas, Royals
#52 - Miguel Cabrera, Tigers, blue parallel
#PR-AC - Aroldis Chapman, Yankees, Programs insert
#146 - Kenley Jansen, Dodgers
#58 - Adrian Gonzalez, Dodgers
I am most pleased about pulling the Jansen card, since I didn't get that from Lost Collector. I sure need to send that Chapman card back to him though. I hate pulling his cards.
#100 - David Ortiz, Red Sox
Bunt free code card
#79 - Felix Hernandez, Mariners blue parallel
#P-MC - Miguel Cabrera, Tigers, Perspectives insert
#160 - Khris Davis, Athletics
#69 - Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees
#172 - Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
And there you are, 11 packs of very colorful cards!
OK, back to normal now.
I acknowledge the design does borrow from TV graphics yet again. And there is no denying that many of these current designs are utilized both because they work so well with online "cards," and because they help remove the backgrounds. As sad as it may seem (and it seems very sad to me) backgrounds are too fraught with danger for Topps these days. Too much fear of who will be shown or what will be shown and whose rights are violated.
That is probably the saddest part of modern-day cards for me.
But at least Topps prettied it up with lots of colors so I don't have to think about serious stuff like that with this set!
Thanks, Topps. And thanks for listening to me.
Also, thanks for the other blaster of Bunt I bought. It was much more Dodgers friendly. Much, much, much more Dodgers friendly!
I'll show that one in a few days.