Bunt Tip of the Day: Ranking Sigs For Collecting

If you remember back to 2013, there were only one type of sigs to collect. Over the last few years, there have been all types of sigs released, and even I will admit that they can be hard to figure out. Im going to break down all the 2015 varieties and rank them as best I can.

1. Variant Signature Series

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These cards trade like rock stars. They sell for a ton, they trade for a ton, and none of it should come as a surprise. The highest variant sig count is like 75, which is insanely low, and offering rewards like Harper and Brett help make the cards that much more attractive.

2. Variant Triple Sigs

There havent been many of these, but when they are released, there are only about 50 per. The checklist has been pretty damn good too, which only makes the variants more collectible than they already would be.

3. Variant Dual Sigs

Some of these trade very well, others trade much less. It all has to do with the players and the count of the cards. The Koufax/Kershaw dual trades EXTREMELY well, as does Griffey/Harper.

4. Signature Series

This set is the main squeeze of Bunt, and sig days are still a big event in the game. Each sig that is released is part of a larger marathon, just like the Variants, and are easily the most valuable base insert in the game.

5. Archives Sigs

I love these cards. Love, love, love, love. They are signature variations of the archives weekly set, and are usually about 150 or less. The represent some of the most iconic Topps cards from over the years.

6. Triple Signatures

Just like their variant brothers, the triple sigs trade pretty well, just not as well as the regular old base sigs. It has a lot to do with the size of the checklist and quality of the checklist, as these could get more valuable as the set continues.

7. Legend Sigs

I was expecting Bunt to go crazy over these, but they just havent really caught on, despite a very low card count. They are still very new, so things could change easily. The Gherig sells for more than a normal insert, but its crazy how undervalued these cards are. Easily some of the best looking sigs in the game.

8. VIP sigs

For whatever reason, Bunt really doesnt like these cards. It could be resentment over the VIPs getting their own sigs, but they dont trade very well at all. I guess that shouldnt be that surprising. These cards do look freaking great though.

9. Dual Sigs

There have been two of these that trade extremely well in Harper/Griffey and Koufax/Kershaw. The other ones really dont trade very well at all, especially the AROD/Mays one. They can be pretty high in count, so that is likely a reason.

As a sig collector, these types of cards are what drive me to buy packs more than any other type of card.  Because there is so much variety, a sig release has always been something to look forward to.

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Force Tip of the Day – New Insert Sets Leading the Charge

I remember back in the beginning of the game, where the weekly inserts dominated the consciousness of every player and the fan feed. Over the last few weeks, as the other insert sets have been released, weekly inserts have taken a back seat to many of the main sets that have been released over that same time period. That’s not saying weekly inserts have no value anymore, but I see quite a few more requests for the different parallels of new daily cards than for the other ones that used to be all over the feed.

Cost is a huge factor, as is gratification and the timeframe in which it is delivered. If you want to spend the money to collect a weekly insert, you are going to likely have to chase higher odds, and have a lot less variety in the cards themselves. On a regular insert, the packs cost the same amount (5k and up), and you have a shot at pulling some rarer cards to use as trade bait. When you also consider that the set reward is usually only takes a week or two to be delivered, its a bit more attractive than waiting the full 10 weeks or even 30 for your reward.

As someone who has collected weekly inserts like Vintage and Widevision since day one, this is a pretty big shift in the way the collectors are going about things. I am still someone who wants to continue with the weekly cards, but man, some of these new sets look pretty freaking incredible. The Badges of War and Intergalactic sets could have been the sig equivalents had they been chosen for weekly sets instead of Vintage or even Widevision. When you consider cool factor in addition to the other aspects of the chase, its a no brainer for some users.

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Considering we have yet to see a Parallax card, or a true new die cut card, there is still a lot of room for the SWCT team to maneuver without getting stale. The Star Wars universe expands almost by the day, and that is well before we even hit the new movie in December.

Now, all these new inserts do not come without a price, as the truly rare ones are almost impossible to pull. Similarly, the base cards almost trade for less than the parallels because of cost to collect, a phenomenon that should not go without notice.

Week 31 is definitely going to be quite interesting, as we will be done with the marathons for the main cards in the game, and something new will need to take its place. Im curious to see if we start to see a redesign in the way the game functions, as well as the cards that comprise the main chases. My guess would be yes. After seeing what they can do with the new cards that have been released recently, things are going to be verrrrry different, especially if a play functionality is ever added to the game.

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Bunt Tip of the Day: New Leaderboard Highlights Recent Update

If you havent played Bunt 2014, competing on the weekly leaderboard is likely something new for you. In fact, because of the way Bunt 2015 is set up, it might have new elements that ALL of us are unfamiliar with. Since no article has been published as of yet, here is what I have been able to figure out so far.

Point Totals

The point total displayed on your home screen should reflect all points scored during the contests you play over the course of that week. Weeks should run Monday through Sunday, and reset every Monday morning at 5am ET.

If you click on the point total, you can see how you rank among your friends and among everyone in the game. You can also sort by this week, last week and all season. For right now, it shows all of those things as if the leaderboard has been running this whole time, but I sincerely hope it resets.

Potential Uses

I see this ranking as a way to highlight users who have been competing in contests over the course of the week. In 2014, the Best of Bunt cards were determined by the people who performed in the top tiers of the rankings, and I could see something like that happening again.

Additionally, if the leaderboard isnt used for something equivalent to best of bunt (the contest is still active as of now), it could generate coin awards, which were also a usage of the rankings last year.

Competing

If you are looking to compete, and really drive your ranking on the leaderboard, I would get started now. I have yet to see how Gold and Blue trading has changed since the update went into effect yesterday, but I would guess they are quite desirable all of a sudden.

This leaderboard will get people playing again, you can count on it, and that will make top scoring cards that much more desirable. All those boosts and game boosts are going to be insanely sought after, especially if coin prizes and card prizes are attached to the weekly and season long leaderboard.

Bottom line, competing is a grind and you have to be prepared to go big or go home. That means following along over the course of the day, and watching the games as they play out at night. It looks like points scored in any contest are equal to points scored overall, so that 1 to 1 accumulation could work in your favor. Stick to free contests and you can still accumulate points the same way as if you were accumulating them in paid contests. At least for now.

Lets be honest, Contests were dead for lack of a better expression. At least this gives us a lot more to work towards on a daily basis. I talked about bringing back a leaderboard like this a few weeks ago in my contest post, and Im glad they were thinking along the same lines. Im sure this is one of many things that will be on the way, so prepare yourself for some fun changes.

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SWCT Force Tip of the Day: Has the King Been Dethroned?

I was reading a discussion on Reddit yesterday about recent sales of the ever elusive Vintage Han in the Millenium Falcon, and how recently things have very much settled down on users trying to acquire the card in comparison to other Week 1 cards. Being that I have had all of the week 1 cards for a long time, I havent been monitoring the market as closely on those examples recently. From what I understand, Vintage Han may not be the card it once was.

Background

As a whole, Vintage may not be the juggernaut it used to be. There are a ton of contributing factors to why this is the case, but cost of completion is the main factor. Vintage is just too expensive to chase, and people have given up and given up quickly. With odds in the 1:90 range on regular occasions, it costs a ton of coinage to get one, let alone the whole set.

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What made Vintage valuable in the first place was the A) value of Vintage Han, and B) number of people with easy access to the set. When one of those is taken away, the set will drop. You might ask why this isnt the case for sets like Connections and Widevision, which have also felt the pain of a shrinking desire to collect weekly inserts. Cost is the biggest factor, in all the cases, and although Widevision’s value has dropped, it is still 2x as easy to pull as Vintage. More people will buy packs for a card that is 1:30 or 1:40, rather than one that is 1:80.

Is Obi Wan Widevision the New King of SWCT?

I dont know if there is a clear answer to this question. I would say at the moment that Obi Wan is on equal footing at least, which is shocking to me. It has outsold Han on eBay a few times, which only speaks to how many users have needed it as of late. Im guessing that more people are closer to a full Widevision set than a full Vintage set, and that means that Obi is becoming much more of a necessity than Han. He is also more available by a little bit, thus making the Widevision set that much more attractive overall.

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If Vintage continues to be a tougher pull, more and more people will dedicate their resources elsewhere. Pulling a Vintage nets you the same value in some cases as pulling the new Widevision, which only makes the groupthink mentality shift further away from the value structure of 3 months ago.

Lastly, and this is subjective, I think Widevision is a cooler looking set. The cards are much more visually appealing to me, especially on a large screen phone, and the scenes are so much more memorable when you see the frame in full.

Overall, im NOT saying to go dump all your Vintage cards and hoard all the Widevisions or Connections. Be careful with wide swings of your diversification. Just be prepared to ride the value wave, as it will likely come back around. Nothing is ever permanent in SWCT, especially which card is the most important to own.

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Topps Series 2 Bunt Player Code Cards – Selling Prices Update

I am a huge fan of this program, as it is the first time that the physical side of Topps Baseball and Topps Bunt have gotten together to cross promote. The biggest draw of the partnership are the ultra rare player 5x boost code cards, which have started to pop up more and more frequently on eBay.

Check out the auctions:

2015 Topps Series 2 Madison Bumgarner Player Code /25

2015 Topps Series 2 Clayton Kershaw Player Code /25

2015 Topps Series 2 Jon Lester Player Code /25

2015 Topps Series 2 Anthony Rizzo Player Code /25

As expected, prices are completely insane. This is likely due to the fact that there are only 25 of each card, and Bunters will be competing with physical player collectors to chase down the cards. Bunters competing with each other can create some bidding wars, and the that only makes this whole program more interesting

So far, I have only heard of my Matt Harvey and one other making it into the game itself, but that will likely change as the cards are shipped and received. Even after the first few auctions have ended, I am going to say that there will be less than 5 of each player redeemed in game. There are too many elements at play to say that it will get much higher than that if at all.

The prices are certainly reflective of this situation, and the king’s ransom I got for Matt Harvey in game is likely going to continue. I would even go so far as saying these cards are worth more in the game than they are on eBay, because of how many eyes will see the card if you post a trade on the fan feed or in an article. Not all bunters know about the cards and what they mean, so the price of 150 or 200 bucks online might be low compared to what someone might want via trade.

Bottom line, these cards are and likely will be some of the most permanently boosted cards available until much later in the season, and that makes them hugely important. Im sure that the play structure is going to be changing now that certain contests have dropped off, but its all going to be dependent on the Bunt team and their plan.

If I am a points player, I am going to chase down one of the big pitchers who is likely going to be playoff bound. Just to have. Either way, its cool just to have as a collection piece. More will be coming in Topps Update, interested to see the checklist there too.

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Bunt Tip of the Day: New Pack Format Gaining Popularity

I have to give the Topps team credit for thinking up some ways to keep people happy with their pack opening experience. Although there have continued to be some tough odds on some of the releases (as there should be), there have also been a few sets now that are readily available for the taking.

With the recent release of Dynamic Duos and Flamethrowers, the odds are finally in your favor with one per pack inserts. It does lead to some pretty high card counts, but the sets look pretty enough that it doesnt necessarily matter as much. There is still a flurry of trade activity of people looking to get the ones they missed, and variant copies make it a chase even with the format.

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Its refreshing to see that inserts that have very high availability, still have some sort of trade value that makes it worth chasing the set. This was something also employed in Huddle with the Rookie Premiere Selfie cards, and in SWCT with the Teal base parallels. Each were popular despite the format, and I expect that Bunt will follow suit.

Just for a little more color, inserts are usually one per pack in the physical side of the card business as well. Whether they are refractors in Chrome, or fun sets in Topps base, they are VERY common as compared to what they used to be. It has tanked the value of these cards, but cards like Autographs and Relics still have larger value because of rarity. It speaks to the fact that the segmentation of the inserts in packs can be very much coexistent.

Personally, I think this goes back to the “collect what you like” adage that has popped up around Twitter. Its not about complaining when Bunt releases something you dont like. Just dont collect that. Collect what you feel best suits your personal preferences, and leave everything else to the other users that probably enjoy it much differently than you do. If you dont want a per pack insert format, its simple to just avoid those sets. If you love getting an insert in every pack, maybe these sets are for you.

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Force Tip of the Day – Protecting Yourself In Trades

If you have been around in SWCT since the beginning you are likely aware of the way some of the people in the app function. They dont really care about their reputation, and they definitely have no regards for the decorum that should be enlisted for all trades. All they care about is getting their grubby little paws on as many nice cards as they can, and will do it by any means necessary.

Because I realize its been a long time since I have discussed the trade scams out there, I feel like its worth an update or two. I realize I might be cluing in some people on how to run these scams, but education is the only weapon we have to prevent them.

SCAM 1 – Hide the Parallel in a Bunch of Commons

Before we go on here, there is one thing that EVERYONE should practice with EVERY trade offer: REVIEW EACH AND EVERY TRADE OFFER CAREFULLY. 

The reason this is so important is because once a trade is accepted, there is nothing that can be done to reverse it. Sure, the scammer can be banned or be suspended, but that will not get you your cards back. Look at every card before hitting that accept button.

What they will do is offer you a trade with you giving 9 cards. Their card will seem to have some value compared to the 9 cards they are offering. If you look closely enough, your cards will have 8 base cards and 1 more valuable card that looks very similar to the other 8. This could be them offering a yellow for 8 commons and 1 gold, or a yellow for 8 blues and a teal. People have gotten really good at disguising things. You have to be REALLY careful.

They want you to hit accept before thinking about it. They want you to freak out about how good the offer is before checking your cards.

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BEST WAY TO AVOID: Look for the counts on the card – if its a common base that they are using, it will have a high count. Your nice card should be a single and have a little x1 by it.

SCAM 2 – Cross Trade Offers That Never Follow Through

I hate cross trading across the different apps, but at the same time I realize there are a lot of reasons why its probably a great idea. The only time I really will cross trade is if I am familiar with that person on Twitter or in the game, and I know they have a lot to lose if they pull a scam.

What they will do is offer you a cross trade, where you give something from one app, and they give you something for another. If you accept first, they dont accept their side of the trade, and walk away with your cards.

I have seen people lose some crazy cards like this, so watch out.

BEST WAY TO AVOID: Dont cross trade. But seriously, if you work out a deal you cant pass up, and you have a good enough reputation, they should have to accept first.  You can also use a trustworthy escrow user who will collect the cards from both sides and deliver them out to the respective parties after.

SCAM 3 – Offering Gift Card Codes That Arent Valid

Selling cards is technically against TOS, but it happens frequently. One way that I have seen scams be run is offering to pay in iTunes gift card codes that arent valid.

Basically, you give them your cards and they give you the code. The code is bogus and you lose your goods. Pretty simple, and very similar to the cross trade scam.

BEST WAY TO AVOID: The accept second strategy works here too, but this is just a shady business either way. I would just avoid all together.

In all honesty, most of these scams prey on the uniformed. Its pretty simple to think that the users who dont really get the game are the ones that will be had the most. As long as you dont take any chances, you wont get burned.

Most importantly, remember the one thing that has kept me safe all these years:

If its too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.

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