2011-12 In the Game Heroes & Prospects Hockey

2011-12 In the Game Heroes & Prospects Hockey

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Although they may not have an NHL license, long-time hockey card collectors  recognize In the Game for covering other aspects of the sport. 2011-12 In the Game Heroes & Prospects Hockey mixes upcoming stars with several of the game's current and past stars like Eric Lindros and Dion Phaneuf. Boxes are brimming with hits, including at least two autographs and two memorabilia cards. Considering the price, collectors should find good value in their breaks, particularly when the uncover one of the many patch and multi-swatch memorabilia cards.

Product Configuration: 18 packs per box, nine cards per pack
Price Point: Low- to Mid-End Hockey Card
Target Audience: Prospectors, Autograph Collectors, Hockey Card Collectors, Set Builders

2011-12 In the Game Heroes & Prospects Hockey Box Break

  • Two Autographs
  • Two Memorabilia Cards
  • Two Inserts
  • 162 Total Cards

2011-12 In the Game Heroes & Prospects Hockey Product Highlights:

  • 2011-12 In the Game Heroes & Prospects Hockey has a 200-card base that mixes junior stars from the AHL, CHL and international scene with some of hockey's past greats.
  • Set has the first hockey cards of highly touted prospects Carter Ashton, Zack Kassian and Andy Miele. Retired players include Red Kelly, Tony Amonte and Mike Gartner.
  • Five cards in the set will honor hockey players who have recently passed away.
  • The CHL Grads subset looks back on current stars as they made their mark in the juniors.
  • Autograph signers include Griffin Reinhart and Sean Couturier. In the Game has also announced that they will have autographs from three of the deceased players from their Tribute subset.
  • Insert sets highlighted by Calder Cup and Memorial Cup Champions sets.

Memorabilia Card sets:

  • Game-Used Jersey
  • Game-Used Emblem
  • Game-Used Numbers
  • Complete Logo
  • Subway Super Series
  • CHL Top Prospects Game

Card Gallery:

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Nail Yakupov 2011-12 ITG In the Game Heroes Prospects Update AUTOGRAPH Auto D956
$39.95
1110912520354040 1 Image
Simon Despres 2011-12 ITG Heroes and Prospects Update Autograph Auto Card D968
$19.95
1110912528254040 1 Image
Malcolm Subban 2011-12 ITG Heroes and Prospects Update Autograph Auto Card D969
$19.95
1110912530564040 1 Image
Malcolm Subban 2011-12 ITG Heroes and Prospects Update Autograph Auto Card D970
$19.95
1110912980864040 1 Image
Martin Frk 2011-12 ITG In the Game Heroes Prospects AUTOGRAPH Auto D974
$14.95
1811716173564040 1 Image
2011-12, 11-12 ITG HEROES & PROSPECTS MARK SCHEIFELE AUTOGRAPH CARD # A-MSC
$12.99
1611671103164040 1 Image
2011-12 ITG HEROES & PROSPECTS CHARLES HUDON #A-CH PRE ROOKIE AUTOGRAPH
$9.99
1212473698634040 1 Image
Jean-Gabriel Pageau 2011-12 In The Game Heroes Prospects AUTOGRAPH *K201
$9.95
3012565437764040 1 Image
2011-12 Heroes & Prospects Mathew Dumba Autograph Signature Minnesota Wild RC
$14.99
3809598960674040 1 Image
11-12 Heroes And Prospects Autograph Nathan Beaulieu Montreal Canadiens Auto H
$9.99
3209440856024040 1 Image
11-12 ITG Heroes & Prospects Rookie RC MARK SCHEIFELE #A-MSC Autograph
$26.24
3213705472344040 1 Image
11 12 Heroes & Prospects Ryan Johansen Autograph Sp Auto H&P Rookie
$19.99
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Product Review

2011-12 In the Game Heroes & Prospects Product Review

Reviewed by Ryan Cracknell

Good: Great-looking memorabilia cards, comprehensive checklist, makes sticker autographs work.

Bad: Basic inserts don't stand out, some weak photographs.

The Bottom Line: 2011-12 In the Game Heroes & Prospects has become hockey's premier minor league set. As far as the base set construction goes, it's similar to some of the sets Classic made back in the early 1990s for baseball. While the focus is on the up-and-comers, there is also a splattering of legends to add some familiarity to the checklist. In the Game continues to offer great value as far as hits go, promising at least four in a box with many boxes coming with five. More importantly, most of the game-used memorabilia cards seem to offer premium swatches or multiple swatches, further adding to their desirability. While not all the names in the set are well-known, many should add some intrigue in the years ahead as they transition from minor hockey to the NHL.

Staff Rating:
4.0 / 5.0

Card Design: 3.5/5.0

Base card fronts are highlighted by a full-color player photo. The background adds an enlarged version of the photo, cropped to show the player's face. Backgrounds are done in an antique-style brownish-yellow. The design works, but I wouldn't say it stands out either. Several of the base cards also use photos that are soft and even a little blurry. Card backs squeeze a lot of information into them, combining bios, 2010-11 stats and background information. With so many young stars a lot of collectors may not know much about, they offer great material to read and study. Also worth noting are the Tribute cards that bookend the set. Done in black and white, the cards are a classy remembrance of Luc Bourdon, Rick Rypien, Derek Boogaard and Wade Belak.

As usual, In the Game's memorabilia cards continue to highlight their releases. While they've become boring and stale in almost every other area of the hobby, ITG's focus on swatches that are over-sized, multi-colored or both shows that they can still create excitement on a widespread scale. The fact that the company also stands behind using game-used jersey and noting them as such is also a good thing for collectors.

Many within the hobby aren't fans of sticker autographs. I'm one of them, but they're also something of a necessary evil. ITG continues to make the best of them, using clear stickers that blend right in with the design of the card to the point that they're hardly noticeable.

The biggest weakness I found in the set's design was with the basic inserts. While they have great concepts and their rarity adds a good level of collectibility, they seem more like a base set subset because they don't use any added technology. I believe the best inserts are the ones that use a different style of printing, even if that's something like foil board. The tradeoff is that they add costs that collectors might not want to pay.

Checklist: 4.0/5.0

Like any minor league set, the true strength of the checklist won't be known for a couple of years. However, 2011-12 In the Game Heroes & Prospects does a good job of including several current and former NHLers like Red Kelly, Teemu Selanne and Carey Price. Collectors can also chase hits from legends like Gordie Howe and Eric Lindros. I am not totally sold on all the set's "Heroes," though. Don't get me wrong, Tony Amonte was a great player. But an all-time great?

Value: 4.0/5.0

Like the checklist, there are still a lot of unknowns as far as money cards go. That being said, for a low- to mid-range hockey card product, 2011-12 In the Game Heroes & Prospects makes the best of it. Whether it's autographs from several emerging players or premium game-used memorabilia cards, even when you get the second-tier players, collectors are at least left with some very attractive hits.

It was also nice to have an In the Game box that goes beyond a single pack. While I appreciate their higher-end products, I'm also a fan of ripping packs. At just 18 packs, Heroes & Prospects strikes a nice balance of hits and a focus base set.

As with other In the Game products, it would be nice to see print runs noted on the memorabilia card parallels. While the version is noted, it's easy to miss their rarity as it usually means a little online research. While serial numbering isn't necessary, simply stating the card has a print run of 50 or 10 would add extra value without creating much added cost.

The Fun Factor: 4.5/5.0

Impressed with nearly every aspect of 2011-12 In the Game Heroes & Prospects Hockey, it was a lot of fun to open. Beyond that, the amount of content squished into the cards further expanded the experience. From studying up on the players to matching up the memorabilia swatches to the specific parts of the jersey, there's plenty to do with the cards after the wrappers have settled.

2011-12 In the Game Heroes & Prospects Hockey, reviewed by Ryan Cracknell on 2012-02-28T11:49:08+00:00 rating 4.0 out of 5

 |  E-Mail Author
Ryan's collecting origins began with winter bike rides to the corner store, tossing a couple of quarters onto the counter and peddling home with a couple packs of O-Pee-Chee hockey in his pocket. Today, he continues to build sets, go after inserts with cool technologies, chase Montreal Expos and finish off his John Jaha master collection. Ryan can be found on Twitter @tradercracks and Google+.

User Reviews

  1. Good: Lots of great hockey prospects, very nice patches, letter swatches and autographs available.

    Bad: The cards follow a similar design to other In the Game cards, the price is a little high for only four guaranteed hits.

    The Bottom Line: At about $75 per box, 2011-12 In The Game Heroes & Prospects seems a little bit pricey for the amount of hits you get. That said, there are certainly are some big hits, particularly with letter patches and Heroes autographs. For prospectors who plan to hold onto the cards as the young players develop, this is an affordable set.

    Card Design: 4.1/5.0
    I prefer to see a little more variation in different products from a single company. I like the elements In the Game is using here, but they feel like I’ve seen them before. There are a good amount of inserts and such in there as well, but overall, I was not overwhelmed with the design.

    Checklist: 4.3/5.0
    The checklist has of a decent mix of prospects and veterans. Pulling a Teemu Selanne autograph was very nice. The patch I pulled was great too. I am personally not a prospector, but I always love to get the young guys from the team I collect. Although there is content from NHL players, collectors looking for a bunch of superstars are going to be disappointed. 2011-12 In the Game Heroes & Prospects is more for those chasing the prospects.

    Value: 4.2/5.0
    The value here may be higher in a couple of years. There is the potential to get something good, but four hits for about $75 is not the best value around. However, there are a lot of prospects, inserts, and possible nice hits to boost the value. Like any modern product, some will do better than others.

    The Fun Factor: 4.2/5.0
    While the break was fun, I was underwhelmed with with the lack of distinct new designs. I would like ITG to put more variation in their base sets and maybe do something really different with more of the inserts. The Tough Customer inserts standout here. They have a full color background and not the basic one-color background the other inserts have.

    I really liked the first couple of products In the Game put out this year, but a lot of these cards are starting to look the same. The set has decent checklist with many prospects and a handful of veterans. Overall, I liked Heroes & Prospects but am hoping for more variety from ITG’s future releases.

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