I have been waiting for this release since the announcement in January.  In the Game (ITG) decided to go the route of Baseball Hits.  One box, one pack and nine hits. The key thing in this release is no redemptions, and all on card autographs.  It features autographs of nearly every star and semi star of the 1980s.  These are players who for the most part don’t have on card autographs available.

Being a child of the late 70s and 80s, this is in my wheel house!  I first fell in love with hockey during this time, the NJ Devils just came to town and between the Devils, Rangers, Islanders and Flyers, this was a great time to love hockey.  I really can’t wait to see what is in this box that ITG was nice enough to send to the blog to give away.

With 9 cards in each box, here is the breakdown, cards 1 – 3 are considered non-autograph/memorabilia cards:

First is a Canada’s Best Guy LaFleur, who if you are making a set of the 80s he has to be on there.  The next is Don Beaupre “Rookie”, although not a “star” of the 80s, he played for 17 years for four teams.  I understand his being in this set as he was definitely a fan favorite.  Finally we have the Doug Gilmour Tobacco card that ITG has been putting in all their releases this year.  They are kind of growing on me.  I didn’t like them at first, but I do like them now.

Cards 4-9 are the three autographs and three game used cards:

The three autograph cards:

Trevor Linden – Captain Canuck himself!  I am a big fan of his and it was really cool to actually pull his autograph.  He played in the NHL for 19 years and was always considered a star of the league.  Nice pull!

Doug Wilson – AWESOME! He is considered one of the best defenceman in the league during the 80s.  Had he played in this era he would have probably been a major star.  An offensive minded defenceman, he was a major reason as to the success of the Blackhawks during that time.

Dennis Maruk – A very solid scorer who played with the California Golden Seals and the Cleveland Barrons before becoming a star with the Capitals.  His best season was in 1981-82 when he scored 60 goals and 136 points.

The memorabilia cards are:

Dan Bouchard – White jersey, I hate plain jersey cards.  Solid player known for his years with the Flames and Nordiques.

Housley/VanBiesbrouck/LaFontaine/Langway Quad Jersey card – All of these guys played for team USA in the 1980s and I love the idea of a red, white and blue jersey card.

Paul Rienhart – Another former Flames player from the late 70’s and 80’s.  I love the patch, as usual it’s a very nice sized patch.

Overall Review:  I really like these one pack / all hits boxes.  The boxes are running about 90 dollars and the fact you get six autogramers means that you are looking at about $15 a hit.  In these days where the big boys are looking for $25-$30 a hit, this is pretty refreshing.  That being said, this set has a niche audience. Younger collectors may not be as excited about this set as collectors in their 30s – 50s.  Oh and you are going to have to be a real hockey fan too.  I give the product a big thumbs up!  It was a blast to open and certainly brought back a lot of memories.

The only real drawback was the non-hits.  I felt like they were forced to be in there and really I would rather get three base cards of a 50-75 card set (maybe even numbered).  Really though, that is my only suggestion.  This is definitely a collector’s set, you aren’t going to turn a profit on this product but it’s a safe way to blow 90 bucks and get some quality cards for your money.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Leave your review of the box and have a chance to win one of the above cards.


19 responses »

  1. LFB2B says:

    Like yourself, I was super excited when this product was announced. Over the last year or two I have become a fan of ITG and what they have produced for collectors. Their designs are simple yet smart and even their “hit driven” products still produce a base card that set collectors would be proud to own and show off.
    However, I was extremely disappointed when I heard that their ’80’s product would not be following in the footsteps of the ’72 release that first drew me to ITG. I get why they did it but I was disappointed nonetheless. From the breaks I have seen there is not a single card in this product I would call “filler”. Every card will make some collector somewhere VERY happy and that is a tough task to achieve in the hobby today.
    I have always been a Leafs fan but the ’80’s saw me drift towards the Calgary Flames and adopt them as my “other favorite team” so my favorite card of the break would have to be the Paul Reinhart, especially when you get to own a piece of the number off his jersey. Truly a great card.
    I hope that somewhere down the road I can scrape together enough dough to purchase a box or two of this product. Having come of age in the ’80’s as well I feel it is my duty as a Canadian.
    Great review and break. Thanks for sharing.

  2. dave h says:

    ITG has really impressed me this year. I bought a box of Heroes and Prospects and I am going to be doing it again next year. I also have a box of decades coming this month and based on what I see here I am super excited for it!

    Thanks for sharing and thanks for the contest….Love the Reinhart, Wilson and quad jersey cards!

  3. Joe L says:

    At $15 a hit I think there is a tremendous value in these boxes. I may be biased towards Hockey cards but there is nothing in Baseball that even comes close to the value that you get out a box of ITG’s cards.
    I like the base cards, I think they’re worlds ahead of anything Panini is putting out in any of their foil board laden base sets right now. The Decades Rookie set looks very cool and I like the Canada’s Best and I don’t hate the Tobacco Card homage however I don’t think I would have been able to tell that was Dougie unless it had his name on there. Still way better than Chicle though.
    LFB2B was dead on about one thing, the autographs will make some collector out there very happy as the checklist I’ve seen has a lot of local fan favorites that don’t get enough love in Panini or UD releases. The stars are there too, even though they’re SP’s it’s great to at least have a chance to pull a Messier or Lemieux. Gretzky is the only name missing because of his exclusive with Upper Deck but I think that’s very forgivable given the quality of the checklist. My “case hit” autograph from this years Upper Deck was a John Negrin and that’s only 1/case. There isn’t a name on that list that I wouldn’t want to trade for the Negrin and the Negrin is only 1/case not 3/box.
    Being a native of Buffalo and a Sabre’s fan I love the quad jersey featuring Housley and my favorite player when I was a kid, besides Steve Yzerman, Pat LaFontaine. LaFontaine’s #16 was the first jersey I ever owned as a kid so to see some nice cards featuring him makes me happy as he doesn’t seem to be in anything Upper Deck puts out anymore.
    For the value received, how “clean” the cards look and the great player selection the product is a 9/10.

  4. BJ says:

    Seems like a pretty nice product, but most stuff out there (including this set) is just way too expensive for me. For me, the only hits I really care about are autographs (yeah, I’m one of those guys), and the auto cards look nice. But the layout of the memorabilia cards is too boxy for me. It would be nice if the product could have team logos on it, but I’m guessing they are not licensed to do that.

  5. […] Bad Wax Musings of a Card Collector Skip to content HomeCraigslist IdiotsCustom Card ProtfolioCustom Cards For SaleOther Hobby BlogsTTM Successes ← It’s Here – In The Game’s Decades: 1980′s Hobby Box […]

  6. Michael says:

    As a North Stars/Stars fan, you can’t go wrong with Don Beaupre. I like the look of this set. I might have to pick up a box of this. Which would be my first hockey box in 2 years.

  7. kettle says:

    Nice design, nice idea- –
    the value/ possible hits- might be bordering on… hmmm i guess so-(to) alright, ill give it a shot, old patches from that time would always be nice-

  8. Most of what you pulled is a bit before my time so a few of the names aren’t familiar at all, but I can’t argue with what a great job ITG does with its products. Of the “non-hits” the Gilmour is by far my favourite, I really like when ITG does the modern players in the VERY retro uniforms. At $90 I would like to see a bit more star power in the box, but it’s definitely a niche product and I think they’ve done a pretty good job on this one.


  9. Play at the Plate says:

    I don’t get the all cards are hits claim when three clearly aren’t. Otherwise, I like the 80’s theme and really have enjoyed seeing some North Stars thrown in. On card autos are awesome and I like the auto design.

  10. If you ask me, ITG hit another home run with this one. The design is simplistic and straightforward without all the flash and flair that some card companies seem to overburden us with these days but at the same time, they are sleek and visually-appealing. At around $15 per card, the expectations for resale are a bit high, not crazy high like ITG Enshrined or UD The Cup, but high enough to probably scare away a good chunk of the core collectors. However, for me, the memorabilia cards are what always make the ITG set stand out from the rest. Sure the amount of on-card autographs rivals that of any other set produced each and every year but you’d be hard pressed to find another release that does jersey patches, swatches, numbers, game-used pieces and the like in the sizes and designs that ITG pulls off. You also won’t find many other hockey releases where you are guaranteed a 4+ player multi-patch, a smattering of current and former greats’ on-card autos, a piece of name or number, and a swatch the size of Texas (maybe just the pan-handle part). Since around 2005, ITG has had me hook, line, and hockey puck.

  11. bamlinden says:

    Seeing some of the young faces from my hockey collecting youth was the initial draw to ITG’s solid retro release – Decades. Guys like Stastny, Francis and of course Linden all pictured from their heyday in that exciting decade in both the sport and the hobby.

    The layout of the product is simple….yet complicated (if that makes sense). Nine cards, hand packed with guaranteed hits. The parallel structure can be a little confusing since ITG doesn’t put print runs on the cards.

    On to the design. I really like the look of the Decades Rookies as well as the autos (and huge bonus points for the hard signed graphs). While the jersey card design is a little blocky, it still has some decent appeal with a nice swatch size.

    Speaking of the autos. it’s a who’s who….or should I say Who’s That! A player selection that will bring a smile to your face one moment and a sly grimace the next. A fun checklist to say the least.

    Add to that, the fact that the entire Miracle On Ice team is represented with hard autos is a fantastic accomplishment.

    Some great quad jersey cards in the mix. Franchises, For Your Country and All-Stars take not just the greatest players and combine them into some spectacular cards, but there’s also some neat player combinations.

    Would I have loved to have seen some base cards in the mix – sure, but the product was still a fun break.

    Not for the set builder, but rather the subset or insert set builder. And for a player collector – a must.

    A strong 4 out of 5.

  12. Kazi says:

    ITG–great theme, great cards, great hits–what else can I say

  13. Brian B says:

    Love the autos of course, the quad card, always love them, but am I the only 1 who thinks the box looks like a bad comic book cover. I for 1, will end up buying this, Im a gambler, I always thing Im gonna pull the Tiger, Lebron, Jordan, or the 1/1 Babe auto….never happens, but just like the lottery, u cant win if you dont play…guess im the perfect customer, and the NON hits, #rd to 500 maybe 750….would make me feel a little better, but like I said….Im sold, thanks for the update….Brian

  14. Scott says:

    I love the Quad cards, but the real appeal to me is the USA Team Autos. I would love to put a set of these together.

  15. Most of these guys are before my time, but I really like the design of the cards, and the price isn’t terrible. The autos are particularly well-done.

  16. Shane.K says:

    I am a “younger” collector (25 years old), and I do see real value in a product like this. What I like best about this ITG product is the insert cards of autographs and memorabilia. I like that these pieces of history are now being shared with card collectors, who never go a chance to feel the jerseys of their 1980’s heroes – due to the limited base card sets of the 80’s.

  17. Brent from Alabama says:

    As a starved hockey fan in Alabama of all places, I love this set and at 15 bucks a pull, I ordered a box tonight. Thanks for the contest!

  18. Hector says:

    Long time reader of the blog but I don’t comment alot. I think the product is good but not having licensing hurts in my opinion.

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