All right, stop, collaborate and listen -- 2013-14 ITG Decades The 90's Hockey cards take collectors back to a time when Jaromir Jagr's mullet wasn't a punchline, singing along with Vanilla Ice wasn't ironic and Pavel Bure wore roller blades on hockey cards. Focusing on many of the top players and fan favorites of the era, each box includes three autographs and three game-used memorabilia cards.
The 2013-14 ITG Decades The 90's base set has 200 cards. Besides regular player cards, there are subsets that look back at Stanley Cup opponents, tough guys, players who were standouts on the international scene, coaches and top draft picks. Each box has six cards so building a set is a challenge.
As noted, each box also has six hits. Autographs come with on-card signatures. Of the three promised game-used cards, one is guaranteed to be a quad memorabilia card.
2013-14 ITG Decades The 90's also has two basic insert sets. Decades Rookies spotlights some of the best players to make their NHL debuts during the decade. The 23-card checklist include Nicklas Lidstrom, Eric Lindros and Teemu Selanne. Decades Mask focuses on popular goalies like Patrick Roy, Felix Potvin and Tom Barrasso. Decades Mask has a 22-card checklist. Each of the basic inserts fall one per box.
Click here for the complete 2013-14 ITG Decades The 90's checklist from the In the Game website.
Product Configuration: 1 pack per box, 14 cards per pack
Price Point: Mid-End Hockey Card
Target Audience: Nostalgic Collectors, Autograph Collectors, Memorabilia Card Collectors
2013-14 ITG Decades 90's Hockey Box Break
- 1 Numbered Rookie Autograph Patch Card
- 1 Numbered Autograph Jumbo Relic Card
- 2 Atomic Die-Cut Refractor Rookie Cards
- 2 Finest Moments Insert Cards
- 60 Total Cards
2013-14 ITG Decades The 90's Hockey Product Review
Reviewed by Ryan Cracknell
Good: Great nostalgia, on-card autographs, plain jersey cards that matter.
Bad: Design feels more art deco that 90s, inserts are too plain.
The Bottom Line: Line: What did Charles Dickens say about it being the best of times and the worst of times? That could easily sum up the 1990s in the hobby. On the one hand, it was a time of unprecedented growth. But there was also a monumental crash back to reality. But even as things were falling apart, the decade brought about a lot of change and innovation. For hockey, the decade brought about several stars, milestones and curtain calls. And for Canadian hockey fans, something called the Stanley Cup. 2013-14 ITG Decades The 90s does a great job of capturing the players and personalities of the decade. Some are all-time greats, others are small players in memorable moments. In that regard, the set is great. However, for a set that celebrates the 90s, it doesn't feel very 90s from a hobby perspective.
Card Design: 2.8/5.0
Overall, I'm not a huge fan of the look of the set. Parts of it work well, especially the autographs. But for a set that explores a specific period, I'd expect the design to reflect that period. Instead, there's more of an art deco feel going on thanks to all the stripes. The base cards in particular look extremely busy but don't offer a lot. The color palette uses a lot of black. Because it's about the 90s, perhaps some brighter shades would have been more appropriate. The use of foil gives the base cards a bit of a premium feel, but it also undermines the inserts. I'd have preferred a switch or skip the foil altogether. One place where the foil really worked was in the Cup Clashes subset. The inclusion of the Stanley Cup in the background makes it both appropriate and attractive.
ITG continues to make some of the most attractive memorabilia cards in the business, even when the swatches are as plain as a soda cracker. If you've collected the company's jersey cards in the past, the look and feel is familiar. While I always enjoy a fresh spin, these work.
THe best looking cards in the product are the autographs. The on-card signatures, ample signing space and balance of the image size come together very nicely. The arena image in the background is a nice connection back to the era (along with the many mullets).
If you're strictly about getting autographs of the biggest stars and all-time greats, you'll likely want to skip this set. They're in here, but so are a lot of smaller stars who don't carry much clout in the hobby. That said, these smaller players are like the bay leaf in a pot of homemade spaghetti sauce. It's not the main ingredient, but without it, things wouldn't taste nearly as great. Likewise, these smaller players helped write the story of the 90s. They were part of the memories.
For example, I pulled a Gino Odjick autograph. He's a respected tough guy but not someone people spend large amounts on. Still, I was stoked to land him. The first NHL game I went to saw him score an unlikely penalty shot goal. I was there with my late-grandma and mother, sharing a moment even though we weren't the biggest Canucks fans. The joy is in the connection, not the value of the card. In this sense, I feel lucky.
That said, if someone on out east landed the same card, they might not be so excited. I get that. But there's enough variety within the autographs that anyone who followed the sport back then should be able to appreciate some of the names strictly from a fan's perspective. If your motive are strictly flipping, you could end up disappointed, though.
That said, the memorabilia checklists bring a lot more superstars and greats. So even if all three autographs are something of a letdown, this could make for something of a rebound.
Three autographs and three game-used memorabilia cards for less than $100 is a very decent proposition, even if a lot of the signers are "commons" on the secondary market. But this is a niche product with a very narrow focus. Those commons are part of the equation. As mentioned, this isn't a product to be flipped. Collectors who look back fondly on the 1990s, the good and the bad, are the ones who are likely to appreciate this product best.
The Fun Factor: 4.0/5.0
Nostalgia is a powerful beast. 2013-14 ITG Decades The 90's takes you back to the players with a lot of depth. A lot of the fun comes in reconnecting with the memories and players, whether it's following a favorite player or sharing a couple of hours with a loved one and seeing a character player score an unlikely goal. It's in these reminders that the set really shines.