by Rich Klein
As we discussed a few reviews ago, In the Game (better known in the hobby as ITG) has a unique concept for many of their products, which is that the boxes they sell will contain cards which are nothing but hits, hopefully guaranteeing solid value both short and long term. Granted some of the hits will be better than others, but the idea is that every card would be one that a collector would be pleased in obtaining from a more standard box.
Another idea from the Canadian-based manufacturer is to have collectors vote on the particular theme their upcoming products would be based on. The original vote was for just players and cards celebrating the year 1980 but ITG expanded that to include the entire decade. And that is a neat idea for not only does the company’s newly released “Decade 1980s” product celebrate the 1980 Miracle on Ice team, but the rest of what was a remarkable decade in hockey.
It began with the Olympics, then moved to the NHL’s New York Islanders who dominated the beginning of the decade and the Edmonton Oilers who took charge of the second half of the decade behind Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Paul Coffey and the rest of the fabulous players on the roster. In addition, there were many great offensive players who are fondly recalled by fans who watched a wide open game during those years. Many great future Hall of Fame careers were launched from 1980-89.
You’ll find autographs from members of the 1980 U.S. team scattered throughout Decade: The 1980s, which will be a strong selling point for fans south of the border.
I did check with my local store owner but he was not carrying this product as Dallas is frankly not a hockey card hotbed. However, the early on-line retail sales for In the Game Decade 80s are in the $80-90 range.
The collector does receive a nice mix for his/her money as well. According to the box, each box contains the following: 1 Decades “Rookie” card, one 100 Years of Card Collecting Card, 1 Non-Memorabilia Insert; 3 Authentic Game-Used Cards and 3 Authentic Autograph cards. Our box did contain this mix and here’s exactly what we pulled:
- 100 Years of Card Collecting:– Johnny Bucyk
- “Rookie” Card — Brian Bellows
- Long Island Dynasty — Bryan Trottier
- Game Used Jersey — Ron Hextall
- Game Used Jersey Black: Jeremy Roenick and Tiger Williams
- Autographs: Kelly Buchberger; Dan Bouchard and Mark Pavelich
I later told my wife, who usually opens boxes with me and her comment was “well you got a lot of good cards in that box”. And this shows that ITG achieves their goal about making sure collectors get hits from their boxes If my wife, who is not as advanced as a collector says all the cards are good, then the manufacturer has accomplished their mission.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]