I had been anticipating the release of the non-digital 2017 Bunt set… Much to my surprise. It’s not because I’m a fan of the app… I do have it on my phone, but only because I haven’t bothered to remove it.
I was looking forward to it because I liked the promotional images I saw, and I also want to support any low-price-point cards on an original design. In a world full of “It’s kind of pricey for what it is” packs, it’s a good thing to spend just a buck per pack.
…Or a blaster for $10, which is what I did.
With everything being about the Cubs in 2017 products, I sometimes wonder… if the hobby in 1970 had been like it is today, how omnipresent would the 1969 “Miracle Mets” have been?
So here’s the first card of the first pack…
Raimel Tapia, a Rockie Rookie who has appeared in 3 games and has a .125 OBP… but the season is young.
The first thing which caught my eye was starburst-y streaky light show in the background. I’m not loving it, but it’s far from a deal-killer. The overall design I like; Simple, appealing, and (for a guy with aging eyes and an outdated glasses prescription), legible! I have such high standards.
Next up, Dallas Keuchel.
The starburstiness of it is more pronounced in orange, bur the round Astros logo works better with the design. As with last year, Bunt gets big ol’ Shlabotnik points for featuring action shots where you can — My goodness, me! — actually see what the player looks like.
Yo! The Bunt Gods smile upon me and grant me a Met with my third card.
Three cards in and I still like the design. I’ve got a comment that I just obtained from “Faint Praise R Us”: This may be the best card front design of 2017 so far.
And I just realized I’ve yet to look at the back. Let’s all look at it together, shall we?
Ohhhhhh…. Time to insert a Jim Palmer groan (if you’re familiar with the Orioles broadcasts) …
HOLY CRAP, TOPPS!!! WHAT ON EARTH IS UP WITH THE TEENY-TINY CARD NUMBER????
To quote a movie I’ve never seen, “You’re killin’ me, Smalls!”
(And this is the point where the entire Blogosphere stops, stares and says, in unison “You’ve never seen The Sandlot??? You’re killin’ me, Smalls!”)
OK, back to the pack.
Tyler Austin is…um… very blue. Very blue indeed. This is a one-per-pack parallel.
To make a reference to a movie I have seen: Today… Pepperland goes BLUE.
My first proper insert: Infinite.
I’m not sure how I feel about this one. I think it works a bit better in digital form than it does “in hand”.
Evan Longoria… one of just 2 Tampa Bay Rays in the base set.
These cards were all from the first pack… from here on out I’ll just skip through a number of other cards from the half-blaster I’ve ripped.
Ralph Kiner from the Perspectives insert set.
From what I’ve seen on eBay, the rest of the insert set is much nicer than this. This particular card is just odd, and it took me a little while to even work out that the background is (I’m thinking) a questionably-colorized B&W photo taken in… Forbes Field?
Another insert: Programs. This is very disappointing, because as interesting as last year’s insert was, this is… not.
Every Programs card has the same “tears” in the faux cover. The overall just doesn’t work for me. The back of the card features a “contents page” just like last year’s insert, but I was so disappointed in the front I didn’t even scan the back.
Visual proof that the set does include Orioles. Nowhere near as many O’s as Red Sox or Cubs, but at least it’s more than the Rays.
I don’t know what the hell Topps has against the Orioles. They haven’t had a losing record since 2011, they finished in 2nd last year, they’re in first this year, and yet they get as much representation as the perennial doormat teams. Where’s Chris Tillman? Jonathan Schoop? J.J. Hardy? Dylan Bundy? I’ll even pick on my other team for this rant: How can you give Jose Reyes or David Wright a card over any of these Orioles? (Sorry Jose & David, you know I love you, but…)
And David Ortiz? Not that I have anything against him, but it seems a shame to have a card of a retired player when other teams are woefully underrepresented in this set. #Cardboard_1%
My own personal gripe against having Big Papi in the base set is that it’s a new card that I can’t use in my Current Roster binders. To put it in a way that fans of classic Star Trek can understand, “It does not serve Vaal.”
My reaction to this green parallel is best summarized as follows: “GAAAAHHH!” In-hand, this card is a very bright green.
This is really…. Wow…. um…. yeah.
My immediate reaction to all of the parallels is “Why did they color the entire card blue/green/etc.”? Then I remember that it’s just easier that way, and this is a low-end set. These parallels are about as welcome as a checklist card, but that’s just me.
Because I scanned and uploaded them, I’ll feature two more base cards before the next insert…
This is the Galaxy insert, numbered to 99. In terms of appeal, this is the best insert I’ve pulled so far.
These come with some sort of code on the back for use in the app. It’s the grey-black 1990’s-design box towards the bottom of the card.
So here’s my summarized reaction all bullet-pointed up:
- Don’t let my griping about the inserts and parallels fool you, I really like the base set.
- Is it a classic set? Nope.
- Is it a fun oddball set? You betcha.
- …except for the ridiculously hard-to-read card number
- …and the small (200 card) checklist.
- The inserts – or at least the ones I’ve pulled – are largely uninteresting.
- I will buy these again.
Here’s the breakdown of the base set by team:
11 cards – Cardinals, Cubs, Red Sox
10 cards – Astros, Mets
9 cards – Rockies, White Sox
8 cards – Indians, Nationals, Tigers, Yankees
7 cards – Dodgers, Pirates, Royals
6 cards – Athletics, Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, Giants, Mariners, Rangers, Reds
5 cards – Marlins, Orioles, Phillies
4 cards – Braves, Twins
3 cards – Angels, Brewers, Padres
2 cards – Rays