Wednesday, May 30, 2012

BOX BREAK: 2011/12 Between The Pipes

It's a little "mini-vacation" from work before things kick up into high gear next week.  The next 3 days off will be a nice chance for me to take a breather, get caught up on some things, spend some time with my niece and nephew, play a round of golf or two and blog about some (not so) recent pickups.

Sounds like I'll be busy.........what gives?

It's all good.  The fact that I can sleep in is good enough for me.

The next two or three blog posts will highlight my Between The Pipes pickups from the most recent traders night.  I busted a box of my fave product, won a round of pack wars and made a couple trades for some Masked Men 4 cards.

So without further ado....let's get on with the show.  First up, the box break.

2011/12 In The Game
Between The Pipes

Did I mention that this is one of my favorite products of all-time?  I was really looking forward to participating in my local card shop's Cross Canada Tour promotion where as a bonus to opening a box of BTP, one would receive a unique 1/1 memorabilia card made specifically for that store and that product.

Sadly, I couldn't make it out.  But I did find out that at the trade night, there were a few extra CCT cards eligible to those who opened a box of the product in the store.


The base cards are a nice mix this year.  While I've never been the biggest fan of the junior and AHL goalies (the Future Stars), the look of these are pretty nice.  I like that they went with actual untouched pics for the Stars Of The Game subset (love some of the photos).  The Decades cards were a hit or miss ordeal.  A great diversity in player selection, but a lot of the pics left me with the blahs (too many helmetless players or 80's helmets).  I need my fix of cool masks.

Speaking of, the Stars & Stripes subset and the La Belle Province cards are pretty solid (some of the nicest in the 200 card base set).  The Expansion Tandems is a nice idea (and you get to learn about some of the goalies of an era gone by) as is the small International Pioneers representation.

Overall, a pretty solid 200 card set.  I'll get to the issue of how many doubles/cards remaining for the set I have in my next post.

These 10th Anniversary cards are much nicer in person.  Glossy, they have a mask shot piercing through the '10' which signify the 10th year that ITG has produced a Between The Pipes set.

A cool little insert build.  But let's get to the big reason why I pop this product.

Masks.  And this year In The Game gave props to the little guy. 

These die-cut cards you would think are some sort of high-end, limited number pull.  Nope.  These are the base end Masked Men 4 cards.  And they look fantastic.  Gorgeous photos, all NHL representation, that's how it should be IMO.

With 50 mask cards in this insert set, I'll be having a blast tracking them all down.

This is the silver parallel (there's a gold /10 as well).  Note, they are not die-cut.......sorry high-end parallel builders.

While I love the Fuhr mask, this silver version is sort of the 'middle brother' of the mask cards.  The low-end die-cuts will get a ton of attention and the high-end golds will get the player collectors and the few set builders drooling.

The man's land.  Oh well, it's still a stunning card.

Autos........or should I say scribbles.  A pair of less than motivated goalie graphs here.  These guys must have been in the same class at school.

No wonder I'm not a big fan of the new guys.

Take a lesson from Mr. Wamsley.  That's what an autograph should look like fellas.

I do love the diverse selection of players that are always included in the BTP auto set.  Young guys, current stars, oldtimers (and some of them shortprinted) make this one of the most impressive sets to chase.

Some may say that ITG's autograph cards have an 'old hat' look to them from product to product.  While I can see a bit of that, I must commend them for putting out a solid checklist, hiding the fact that they are sticker autographs very well and there are ZERO redemption cards in the product.  Big plus.

This Luongo jersey card was an early hit in my box break.  And while it's not the most exciting card (as most single color jersey cards are nowadays), I can appreciate the little things like jersey matching photo, good photo, decent swatch size and solid overall design.

Now this would be the big hit in my box.  A Cup Tandems card featuring Cam Ward and Martin Gerber.  It's the silver version (which is limited to just 50).  A nice looking card, I think it will be a highly chased set (I think anything with the Stanley Cup on it would be).

So nothing that is mindblowing, but an overall fun box break.  But I was excited to tear into the envelope with my bonus Cross Canada Tour card.

Now that's a stunning patch. 

Who is JP Cesario?

I guess you win lose some.  And sometimes it's a wash.  After all, it's a free 1/1 card.  How can a guy complain.

Next up, my single pack win in BTP pack wars. 


  1. I've watched so many BTP box breaks on YouTube and I'm just drooling to buy a box once I can push up my cap of spending for hockey card in the summer! Nice box, if you have the Cloutier base card from that set maybe we could work that into a trade in the future?

    1. It's good bang for your buck no question.

      I wasn't thrilled with my break, but still happy that I opened a box.

      You'll want to see the goodies I won in my pack wars victory. No Cloutier, but some wow factor for sure.

      Just checked my Cloutier in there. Sorry.

  2. This year's BTP set looks awesome. I normally don't collect that set, but I might pick up a few boxes if I can find them at an upcoming show next month.

    1. I've always enjoyed this all-goalie release but have noticed a bit of a "same ol' story" feel recently. This year (being the 10th Anniversary), I think ITG did a very nice job of keeping things on the right path but moving forward.

      If you do open some, let me know. Maybe we can trade base to help finish each other's sets (if you need any).