Small hobby companies such as In the Game (ITG) are always looking for the best way to maximize their income while reducing their risk. A good recent example is the recent Leaf purchase of Famous Fabrics from ITG. For Leaf, which is always searching for new opportunities, it made sense in terms of buying an established brand. And as for ITG, the sale of Famous Fabrics made even more sense so ITG could focus on their primary mission of producing hockey card products. Of course, for trading card companies that don’t have league licenses is how to deal with not having the logos and other licensed aspects on their cards.
With that in the background, the new 2013-14 ITG Heroes and Prospects set was created. It may seem hard to believe but this is the 10th anniversary of the Heroes and Prospects brand. Back in 2004, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin were among the youngsters in the product. After 10 years, ITG has settled into a good routine with these sets, which include big names from the past and the leading prospects of tomorrow.
“The brand came about as a response to the NHLPA taking away the licenses of all but one company and it truly filled a need for collectors that was not being met,” says ITG President Dr. Brian Price. “I am proud of its overwhelming success.”
The base set includes 199 cards featuring young players from the CHL along with lavishly illustrated hockey legends and top international prospects. For the second year in a row, the last 49 cards will feature the biggest prospects in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft which includes Sam Reinhart, Aaron Ekblad and William Nylander.
ITG celebrates the anniversary of Heroes and Prospects with 10th Anniversary Tribute cards that use the original design from the 2004-05 set to showcase contemporary prospects in a 45-card set as well as game-used memorabilia cards seeded over and above the normal overall rate. ITG has placed 100 of the best players that have been a part of the brand over the years into a tiered collection.
There are never any guarantees of what you’ll pull, but a collector is always guaranteed between four and six hits based on the overall odds.
Heroes and Prospects has 18 packs in each box with nine cards per pack. My local card store (Triple Cards, Plano TX) does not usually carry ITG boxes but leading on-line retailers are currently between $80-90.
Here’s what we pulled:
Base Cards: 136 of 199. You do need two boxes at the very least to finish this set
He Shoots He Scores (One Per Pack): 18 Cards
10th Anniversary Tribute: Andre Burakovksy, Bo Horvat, Travis Konetchy
10th Anniversary Game Used Memorabilia: Zachary Fucale
Game Used Jersey Black: Anthony Duclair
Autographs: Tomas Hertl, Brycen Martin, Dominic Turgeon
Since the boxes say both autographs and memorabilia cards are inserted on an average level of one per seven packs we do feel fortunate we beat the odds and received both three autographs as well as three memorabilia cards. And with six hits in a box and all the other goodies, it continues our feeling that we almost always do well with ITG products. License or not, it seems that a collector receives good value from their boxes and perhaps that’s why Heroes and Prospects has been around for ten years.
You can see singles and boxes on eBay here.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]