by Rich Klein
In the Game always creates interesting concepts for their hockey cards. Their most recent issue is no exception; in fact, it got a tremendous amount of mainstream media attention because of its nature. The name of the issue explains everything about the product any collector needs to know. It’s called "Enforcers" and features a mix of active and retired players who are known as much for their fists as they may be for their hockey ability.
The controversy came because some of the cards were designed with a “blood spatter” type theme that rubbed a few people the wrong way. It’s not targeted for kids and hockey fights have been a part of the game for decades.
There is a real reason for the old joke, “I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out”. After all, most fans remember more about altercations on the ice then they do almost all of the goals scored.
In The Game Enforcers is a semi-high end, high hit product that comes in a 12-card box. Each of the 7,000 boxes produced contains five "base" cards from varying subsets as well as two relic and five autograph cards. My local card store does not usually carry ITG products but the current pre-sells on Enforcers are in the $65-70 range. Considering there are seven "hits" in a box, the $10 or less cost per hit is enticing.
Here’s what came out of our box:
Base Cards: 5
The ones we got came from the following subsets:
Tough Franchise: Ted Lindsay/Gerard Gallant/Bob Probert/Joey Kocur
Enforcers: Dave Schultz/Tiger Williams. Zdeno Chara/David Koci
Bloody Battles: Craig Berube/Jim Cummins, David Koci/Wade Belak. As a note, when I was verifying these two cards, fights between these battlers are available on YouTube.
Memorabilia Cards: 2
Instigators: Tony Twist
Combatants: Paul Laus/Rob Ray
Craig Berube Todd Ewen, Paul Holmgren, John Wensink, Peter Worrell
And that is the box: 12 cards, seven hits. Each hit costs fewer than $10 per card which is this hobby is really great as in some more expensive products each "hit" could cost you more than $100 per card. So, for any hockey fan who enjoys cards of the game’s tough guys, 2012 In the Game Enforcers has all any collector can ask for and at a good price point no less. The hubbub over the product won’t hurt its value in future years either.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]