Preview: 2011-12 ITG Captain-C Hockey

ITG has come out with another new hockey trading card product this year featuring those are their team’s fearless leaders. ITG Captain-C features those which have that coveted “C” stitched onto the front of their sweaters. And coming on March 29th, 2012, these leaders on and off the ice will be immortalized in trading card glory.

Each box of Captain-C will contain 10 cards. 5 of these cards will be the “base” cards featuring players from a 100 card checklist who donned the “C”. The other five cards will be a mix of autographs and game used memorabilia cards from players like Dave Keon, Roberto Luongo, Bobby Clarke, and Jean Beliveau.

Like ITG Enforcers, this product will be limited so get your hands on it early. A full checklist for autographs and base cards can be found on the official ITG website here. And I have to say the checklist looks pretty good with a ton of great players from today and the past in the set.

I commend Dr. Price for trying something else new with his products and this looks like a great product to open. And at $88, it’s not priced terribly high either.

 

Preview: 2011-12 Panini Contenders Hockey

Coming in for it’s sophomore season on the ice, Contenders hockey has returned and will be released early next week on March 28, 2012 (May now be April, 25, 2012, after some research). After a decent freshmen product, Panini has tweaked a few things this time around for collectors and has some great additions planned for collectors who choose to buy the product this year.

Besides your rookie autographs that Contenders is famous for, also seeded into the product this year are booklet cards and autographed patch cards from some of the top players in the game. The best part? Every card will be hard signed except for the booklet cards.

Every box will contain either 3 or 4 autographs, with at least one Calder Contenders autographed rookie card. You may also find the booklet cards with up to 6 autographs inside the booklet, Calder Contenders autographed patches which look phenomenal in all black and signed in silver pen, and some great NHL Ink autographs of very collectible players.

The content added to this product looks like it could be a great addition and when this product comes out, I can see collectors loving the additions. I’ve always wanted to see an autographed patch element to Contenders and that makes this product that much more valuable.

I just hope there isn’t terrible collation issues like there was last year. And at $108 it’s at a lower price than last year, we are happy to see more content.

For more information, check out this post on the Panini blog.

Review: 2011-12 Panini Crown Royale Hockey

My personal product of the year last year as returned, featuring some of the best rookie patch autographs of the season as well a great looking die-cut base set. I fell in love opening this product last year, and this year was no different. Although I still have a redemption out for this product from last year. *shakes my fist* That hasn’t stopped me from opening another box this year, but this time, sharing it all with you and reviewing it. We want to see if the magic is still there from last season’s version of Crown Royale hockey.

Every box contains 4 packs and 4 hits. You can find usually at least 2 autographs per box from some of the best rookies and veterans of the game. For more, check out our official preview of this product. You can see what we didn’t pull and maybe something you could pull from this product.

As is the new standard in my reviews, the hits are at the bottom. But don’t skip down unless you want to ruin the suspense. So let’s get to it…

Design:

You should all know by now that I’m a sucker for two things, die-cuts and shiny cards. This has a bit of both. The die-cuts are fantastic again this year, despite them being the same design. But that’s what Crown Royale is all about. You also have die-cuts in the rookie patch autographs that are fantastic, albeit we didn’t pull one. What I did pull looked very nice though, including the colored parallel base cards. Only issue with those is why aren’t they numbered this year? I pulled a red parallel and a light blue parallel. What does that mean? I’m lost. But why did football only get 3 1/2 stars for practically the same product? Simple. The inserts here are a little better, more on-card autographs, smaller white box of death, and the colored base parallels. Some improvements were made, and I’ve noticed.

Checklist:

Great list of rookie autographed patches for one. I mean, you can’t beat the best rookies of the year combined with the best rookie autographed patches. Priceless. As always, a great selection of current veterans as well. But Panini also has changed things up in this product where it hasn’t in any other product by adding some of the best hockey announcers in the game. While I personally wouldn’t want one as my hit, there is a place for collecting these announcers and I know Canadian fans love their announcers.

Value:

The rookie patch autographs bring tremendous value to the hockey collectors out there, more so then football. They aren’t found in every box like they are in football, which keeps the value up and the collectors wanting them that much more. The patches in this product are always decent and as the checklist shows, you can pull just about anyone. It’s one of the better mixes in a product out there with the highly valued Silhouette autographs mixed with other hits of patches and autographs. If you like hits, this is the product for you.

Overall:

Overall, I didn’t feel the same magic as I did when opening it last year. But don’t get me wrong, there was still magic felt while opening it. I just think the magic was just that big last year. This year, the design is the same, but it’s a solid design in the first place, so don’t change that up too much. The checklist for Panini products is usually quite solid and this shows that once again that Panini likes to pack up just about everyone in every product. Finally, the value is there with the tremendous Silhouette patch autographs and the other great possible hits in patches and autographs. I think 2 autographs, a patch, and a jersey card is okay in my book. But please, return the numbering back to the parallels! I don’t want to have to look up how rare a certain color is, it should just tell me.

Thanks again to Panini for providing this box to review. There won’t be a contest yet for these groupings of products as we are going to put together something nice for the 100,000 views and one year blogoversary combo party. Stay tuned!

And ah! My camera cut off some of the pictures when I uploaded them…sorry!

Preview: 2011-12 ITG Heroes & Prospects Hockey

Coming in for it’s 8th year on February 23, 2012, this product from ITG is back to bring you the hockey heroes of present and the past, and hockey prospects that you can not find on any cards currently. It’s a good mix of players that delivers value in first licensed cards of some players and autographs and memorabilia of hockey legends.

This year, you can find a great list of autographs including Henri Richard, Tony Amonte, Red Kelly, and the newly signed Gordie Howe. You will also find current NHL stars autographs like Carey Price, Ryan Getzlaf, Claude Giroux, and Dion Phaneuf. And of course you will find your prospects too. Click here for the full 2011-12 Heroes & Prospects checklist.

As always, you have a nice group of authentic game used materials as well, with amazing patch cards that ITG always does so well in their products. Also this year, features a tribute subset featuring the players whom have died too early: Derek Boogaard, Wade Belak, Rick Rypien, and Luc Bourdon.

So at 18 packs per box and 9 cards per pack and 2 autographs and 2 game used memorabilia cards per box, it’s a solid offering at $78.

 

Preview: 2011-12 Panini Titanium Hockey

Panini is breathing some more fresh air into classic products with its announcement of the release of 2011-12 Panini Titanium hockey this April. Based on the turn of the century Titanium product from Pacific, this is another remake by Panini to try to excite collectors with nostalgia from the past in today’s trading card market.

This product will be a hit per pack product featuring 4 cards per pack and 5 packs per box. One highlight of this product is the limited rookie cards, just like the former product. Every rookie card will be case hits and will be serial numbered to that player’s jersey number on their sweater.

But there will be more than just hard to find rookies in this product. Each pack will contain an autograph or memorabilia card. You will find Home Sweater Autographs that feature both a dual game used jersey piece and an autograph. You may also find Hat Tricks which feature three game used pieces. With even more memorabilia featured on a card you may even find Four Star or Six Star memorabilia pieces.

Some more possible autograph hits include quad game used jersey autographs and Game Worn Gear Patches which are said to be some of the nicest patch cards of the season.

If all of this is true, it looks to be a solid addition to the Panini hockey family that looks to establish itself even more after a solid rookie season of hockey products last year.

Why don’t you check out the Panini Peek post featuring a little more information and some more great looking cards in this product?