Monday, October 15, 2012

BOX BREAK - 2012/13 Forever Rivals

My guy is in a new product.  Forever Rivals by In The Game celebrates one of the most storied rivalries in all of professional sports - The Leafs vs. The Habs.

Now while Trev only had a cup of coffee in a Montreal uniform, his inclusion into the product celebrates a couple of "firsts".  It's his first official product release card utilizing jersey pieces from his Canadiens jersey and it's the first time he will have an autograph card in red pen.

All the reason to go out and buy a box....right?

Yeah, I know.  But I'm weak.
2012/13 In The Game
Forever Rivals
12 cards 

Like many of the products put out by In The Game recently (Captain C, Enforcers, Decades) this box is more like a pack.  In it is 12 cards.  3 base, 3 non-memorabilia inserts, 3 autos and 3 game-used memorabilia cards.

The big question is....will I have a Toronto-heavy box or Montreal-heavy?

Here's a look at one of the base cards.  The scan does it no justice as it is very shiny.  Silver foil makes this mirror-like and really makes the red, blue and photo pop a little more.

You can see the shape of the team logo frame in the player pic.  They are nice base cards and I think there will be quite a few who will chase this base set.

I would have like the photo to be more the focus as opposed to the framing that the pic is settled in.  Too much space on the bottom half reserved for very little text.  And a little too much head room up top.  But still a nice card.

The challenges ITG has with photo utilization becomes apparent when looking at the non-memorabilia inserts.

While a nice design, it falls into that group of cards that has a distinct ITG feel.  This could have been an insert look from Between The Pipes or Heroes & Prospects or Captain C.

The duals are the same.  Not sure what ITG can do to mix it up (other than have goalies wearing the Palmateer) but it just doesn't wow me as much as I would have hoped.

The concepts are nice though and once again look like it would be fun for the set builders.

One Toronto auto (meaning I got 2 Montreal scribes right?) that is of...hoo boy - Miroslav Frycer.

Now if you are a Toronto fan and are building the auto set...this might be a desirable pull.  After all, how many autos does this guy have out there?

I really like that ITG had all of the Leafs players sign in blue ink (and I bet you can guess what they had the Canadiens players do).  Unfortunately, it appears that there have been some issues with the ink quality on some of the signatures.  I can't confirm this, but I will be keeping a close lookout when I pursue my Linden auto.

BTW, to me Miroslav Frycer is that "he was an All-Star?" guy to me.  I saw him play in the 1985 All Star game in Calgary.  This was back in a time where each team had to have a representative.

A pair of nice Montreal autographs.  Somebody needed to tell Ralph that he could use the entire workspace though.  He does have a nice clean signature though.

I like the design of these cards.  Lots of space for a signature, good photo in the lower left.  Not too busy.  My one critique is that this is the fifth or sixth change up in font style on the text so far.  The consistency in the product as a whole is something that doesn't quite do it for me.

Much like the non-memorabilia inserts, these jersey cards are nice, but don't show me anything new.

It's a nice sized jersey piece (which I am a fan of) and the design is what I would expect.  I have no doubt that a person building the jersey set will have a nice project once complete.

There are blue/red (depending on the team you pull) versions that have a print run of 130.  There are silver versions to 30 and gold versions to 10.

I think.

I'd like to see ITG utilize a serial numbering trend on these cards.  It makes it so much less confusing.  As well, I dan't know how to differentiate from one to another.  I'm assuming it will be a color shift in the text or background.

This goalie pull from the Between The Pipes subset is again a nice piece, but doesn't show me anything new.  I pulled a red version (130 copies).

Not shortprints so far in my box.

Here's the final card (and I guess you would consider it the hit in my box). It has the look and feel of a lot of quad jersey cards I have received from ITG products in the past.  These quad cards have a print run of just 85 (I got the silver version...not the gold).  A nice player selection and a quad jersey card is never a bad pull.  I'm hopeful to trade it so I may land a Linden or two.

Overall, this was a fun break.  If you're a fan or collector of either of these teams, I can see it being a great blast from the past.  While a number of the cards didn't have the uniqueness I was hoping for and the inconsistencies in design style was a little broader than I would have liked, this product has some decent upside.

The auto set should be a huge hit.  Hard signed - each and every one of them and no redemptions.  That's how a product should be.  Those building that project will be in for some fun.

For me, it's time to start trading.  Wednesday is trade night and I'll have some new stuff in my arsenal.


  1. Looks like you got yourself some good trade bait. Personally, I think this is a product that is made for a section of the market (like the Flyers one) and unfortunately it doesn't appeal to me.

    I would love one of the super hits (Richard or Hainsworth auto), but the misses are serious misses (Allan Bester auto etc) when it comes to this product and in the end, you are considered lucky to get good bait like you did.

    1. The big reason that I did buy a box was so that I did have some trade bait (with the off chance that I could pull something for the pc or a mega hit).

      But you are bang on. This is a niche market product. ITG does a very good job with that.

  2. Dang... will the NHL hurry up and give ITG an NHL license? Huge fan of their creativity and set designs... just wish they had the logos to go with the pair.

    1. It would be interesting to see how high they could raise the bar. But I just don't see it happening.

  3. Just being a Habs fan, I wanted a box for myself. Historical purposes, nostalgia purposes too.

    I have a substantial Patrick Roy PC and as luck would have it, I pulled two G/U. Couldn't have been happier.

    Love your assessment of the cards and can't add anything to it. Well put.

    As for my autographs, I do have one with some uneven ink. Jim Mckenny's doesn't look as fresh as Mike Palmateer's or Brian Engblom's.

    Cheers, hope you can find the Lindens. I hope they're more affordable then the Roy auto I will be chasing for years to come.

    1. Thanks! Best of luck to you too in landing many more cards for the pc. One at a at a time.

      Thanks for the comment.