A few weeks ago I got an email from my In The Game contact about the upcoming 2009-10 In The Game Heroes and Prospects set.  As I was looking at that sell sheet I took a look at other products that were being sold.  I came across a set I had not heard of but it has been out since 9/9/09.  It was entitled 1972 The Year In Hockey.  I asked my ITG rep if he could send a box for review, promising to give away any inserts I got.  As I waited for the package to arrive, I got fairly excited about the release.  My initial thought was that this was going to have players from the 70’s and players from today.  I was way off.

They used the 1971-72 design and remade the set.  That’s right, they used the players from 1971 and 1972 and completely redid the set.  At first I was confused as to why they would come up with an idea like this.  Then it came to me, it brings back the old idea of collecting cards.  The idea of “got him”, “got him”, “need him”, “need him”.  It’s something the card world hasn’t seen in an entire set.  Topps archive did come up with the idea but it was for only rookie and final year cards.  Imagine if Topps reissued the entire 1971 set of football or hockey or basketball.  No gold foil, just the original cards, on the back they can put reprint, I’m fine with that, but everything is cardboard.  Now toss in the autographs and game used from 1971.  How amazing would that be?

A lot of people never followed hockey until the Great One arrived, myself included.  However, over the past year my wife and I have made an effort to learn more about the history of hockey and I try to display that on my blog.  The 1972 The Year In Hockey set is 200 base cards, and the last 25 are the Canadian team, the Russian team and the games they played against each other in 1972.  The autographs are signed on card (no stickers!) and include not only the NHL players, but also the Russian players (as seen below).  Each box comes with 18 packs and 9 cards per pack (162 cards).  The box will contain three hard signed autographs and one game used.  The autographs can be not only players, but also celebrities from 1972 (television and movies).

As with most ITG products, there are also emblem patches and multiple player patch cards.  This was a great box to open, my wife and I even played pack wars to see who got the best card.  This is by far the best product of the year in my opinion and I hope this opens the doors for other sports to do the same.  Think of it as the next step in retro cards.

The Stats:

Base Cards: 156 cards (two of which have blank backs, not sure what that is about)

Game Used: 1 – Pat Stapleton (Blackhawks)

Autographs: 3 – Vladimir Petrov, Boris Mikhailov and Christian Bordeleau

Masked Men: 1 – Gerry Cheevers

Rookies: 1 – Shutt and O’Reilly

The Good:

  • Great idea and design
  • On card autographs (3 per box)
  • Big swatches of jersey (1 per box)
  • No duplicates in the box
  • Packs come with 9 cards (a large amount for a newer product)

The Bad:

  • If you don’t love old-time hockey this set is not for you.
  • Only 18 packs in the box
  • Some retail only cards
  • Hobby boxes run about $90 on eBay.

Final Verdict:

Although the price for a box is steep, you do get your money’s worth in my opinion.  It’s not every set that you find these kinds of autographs and game used cards.  Now ITG has to do a set from 1980 that has autographs from the players from the Miracle on Ice.  If you don’t like hockey history stay away, but if you are like me and love old-time hockey, buy a couple packs if not a box.

I give it a 4.5/5.0 which is the highest I have ever rated a product.


10 responses »

  1. Alex says:

    This is a real cool set. The only problem I have with it is that I’ve seen some memo cards pulled with real jumbo swatches…which is nice…but no pics of the players on the front, something that I really hate. It’s definitely a cool idea for a product though. Really cool pulling a Mikhailov auto too, even for me, who was born ten years after even the miracle on ice…

  2. Michel Rivolta says:

    I really love the summit series autos, specially Russian players, this is really good chance for young collectors to know about one of the most important series in hockey history.

  3. What are the retail only inserts? I have only seen a hobby configuration. The blank backs are a parallel version, limited to 72 copies each.

  4. dave h says:

    Looks like you did pretty well with your box. I bought a random pack a couple of days ago and did not have the same success (paid 6.30 for the hobby pack).

  5. I busted a box of this a few days ago… love the product. Although for the first time with an ITG product, you cannot complete a set with just one box.
    Major downer. Now I have to try and find the base cards I need….

  6. any luck with that email I sent?

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