by Rich Klein
Perspective is a wonderful tool. Perspective can come in realizing that as much as I'd like to hear many of those songs on the radio that the songs from the 1960's are only available on either AM radio or on niched Internet outlets (two of my favorites are reelradio.com and rewoundradio.com). In card collecting terms, the perspective comes in many different levels as newer products do not always get enough time to seek their level while older cards may gain or lose in collector popularity for no explainable reason.
In the case of the 2012-13 In the Game Heroes and Prospects, a month brings us plenty of perspective. These cards, which were released near the end of January, now have had several weeks to seek their own level. And as is the case of almost ITG product, the price levels remain relatively strong even a few weeks after release. There are several reasons for this, but the most important aspect is collectors realize there is good value at the price point. The Heroes and Prospects base card feature borderless fronts with the player photo in the middle and the player's name at the bottom. The fronts are drawings if the player was an "hero" or a full-color photograph if the player was a prospect. The backs feature biographical information either seasonal (prospects) or career (heroes) statistics, and an informational blurb.
The first 30 cards are Heroes, the next 120 cards are Prospects and the last 49 base cards in the set consist of 2013 Draft Picks, done up in 3-D style.
The entire Prospects part of the set features CHL players only.
The product was released in boxes which contain 18 packs and 9 cards per pack. The boxes indicate autograph cards as well as relic cards are inserted at a stated rate of one in seven packs which mean a collector should receive between four and six hits per box. My local card store does not typically carry ITG products but leading on-line retailers are currently at the $80-90 per box mark. As we said, perspective has showed the unopened box price has held the line which is a great sign for this product both short and long-term.
With that, how did we do from our box?
Base Cards: 137 different of 150 cards or more than 90 percent of the set
Draft Pick Cards (#'s 151-199): These come two per box and the 3-D effect is like the 1970s Kellogg's baseball sets. We pulled Jonathan Drouin and Nathan MacKinnon
Memorial Cup: Seth Griffith/Ryan Tesink
Subway Series: Nathan MacKinnon
Subway Series Game Used Jersey Black (Stated Print Run 120): Ryan Murphy
Game Used Patch Black (Stated Print Run 25): Jeremy Gregoire
Game Used Subway Series Trio Gold (Stated Print Run 10): Cody Ceci/Dougie Hamilton/Matt Finn
Autographs: William Carrier, Stefan Matteau
As you can see five hits in an 18 pack box is not a bad score. MacKinnon, the top pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, has looked good so far. And as for the issue of not having an NHL license, some hobby insiders believe this may actually help since it gives a company like In the Game increased flexibility on how to release their products.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]