Thanks to smartphones and tablets, you can carry your favorite music and movies in your pocket. So why not your baseball card collection, too?
Earlier today, the trading card company Topps released the latest version of its digital baseball card collecting app, BUNT 2014. Available as a free download for Apple iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch), BUNT allows users to build a digital collection of baseball cards and then use them to compete with other fans around the world. (UPDATE: Bunt is now available on Android devices, too!)
Here, let Angels star Mike Trout introduce you to the app:
Here's how BUNT works: It's basically a virtual baseball card binder. You purchase card packs by using coins, which you either collect based on your in-app activity or that you buy from the app's store. Just like real packs, the ones you get in the app have common, uncommon, scarce, rare, and super-rare cards. And also like the cards you buy in real life, you can collect a whole set in the app.
There's an interactive component to BUNT, too. You can trade your digital cards with other users and measure how your collection stacks up with its Collection Score. And once the 2014 season starts, you can create a virtual lineup with the cards in your collection that will earn you points depending on how well your players perform. You can then use the points to trade for coins and win virtual awards.
I spent some time using the app this afternoon, and it can be pretty addictive. It's like when you buy cards in real life: Once you get one pack, you want to buy another to get your favorite players and find those super-rare cards. What's really cool, though, is the experience of opening the digital packs. There's a stick of rock-hard gum inside of every one that cracks and crumbles when you open the pack. And when you find a rare, scarce, or super-rare card a bunch of confetti and some celebratory music fills the screen. This adds a fun element to what would otherwise could be a boring tap-and-swipe experience.
But the real test of BUNT will be when the seasons starts and your cards start generating points for you. It sounds like it could be a lot of fun, but it's impossible to tell until the first pitch is thrown on Opening Day. I'll add an update to this post once I've had a chance to try out that feature.
If you're a baseball fan or a card collector, you'll want to check BUNT out. It's a neat way of using app technology to make collecting a little more active.
Photos: Courtesy Topps, app screenshots