Wednesday, February 8, 2012

RELEASE PREVIEW - 2011-12 Heroes and Prospects

Every year there are those highlight releases you just have to get your hands on, whether it be through single cards or boxes. Being a student that works only in the summer time and has a tight hockey card budget, a $100+ box is my "highest end" product and I'll only bust one or two a year. From the releases this year there has been nothing that really has caught my eye on the high-end market. Certified and Limited are really nice but I feel that the hits are much more basic then anything and Pinnacle is a rip-off  UD Series 1 and 2 don't offer me that bang for my buck I'm looking for and Black Diamond is generic as always. The list goes on and on and I can deal with singles on eBay or random packs here and there for those products. 

Although my only box this year (other than blasters) is Score I do have a few more boxes circled on my calendar. This years edition of "Heroes and Prospects" is one of those products. ITG has continued to come out with strong releases as far as I'm concerned and although most of their boxes are out of my price range, they have become by far my favourite manufacturer.

Now onto some previews, this years release marks the 8th edition of "H&P". The base consists of 200 cards with a variety of sub-sets that include: Heroes, International Prospects, CHL/AHL Prospects, CHL/AHL Rookies, CHL/AHL Grads, and Tributes.

As all of you know ITG does not have a licence from the NHL but they make good use of their CHL and AHL uniforms. I think that created a sort of niche and untouched market that collectors are attracted to. It's as if collectors feel they get ahead of their favourite up and comers by buying H&P. 

But a new subset included into this years release is what really intrigued me into eventually buying a box. The four "Tributes" cards are of players who have past away tragically in the past years. Unfortunately, two of the four were former Canucks. Luc Bourdon is one that really affected me a few years back and as you might know I recently picked up a RC AUTO as kind of a commemorative card to remember his life.  The two cards on ITG's blog are the ones below:

I really like the cards but I wish they contained a hint of colour to show kind of a spark of life that continues on and that their lives are not completely black and white. I'll be definitely trading/buying for these cards if I don't end up pulling them.

Next are the non-memorabilia inserts. There are five in total: Calder Cup Champions, Memorial Cup Champions, Family Ties, Tough Customers, and Class of 2012.

Inserted 1 in every 8 packs are the H&P Autographs. There were 3 on the blog but the one I found most exciting was this one:

The only AUTO I'm really looking for is of my favourite Canuck Cody Hodgson from the CHL Grads subset. 

Also inserted 1 in every 8 packs are the memorabilia cards. This is what REALLY interests me. If you're familiar with me then you know I'm a big fan of Game Used hockey cards and I'm really trying to grow that part of my collection in quantity as well as quality. Just take a look at some of the beauts in this product:

Definitely some crazy swatches of jerseys/logos etc. That Quad Patch above is just ridiculous! It's no doubt a pull that I can only dream of at this moment (but hopefully not too long). 

The "Moving Up" GU set is probably my favourite idea of them all. It would be neat to see how the player went from the minors to the big league. What would be even cooler though is if they included a write-up on the backs which I don't believe they do unfortunately. 

Finally we have the WOW factor cards. Yes the 1/1's...drool...

Once again ITG knocks these cards right out of the park. There are a few more on the blog once again but these two top the list. Especially the "Tribute Luc Bourdon Letter", now THAT would be a pull of a LIFETIME!

Overall I'm really excited about this release and hope to get my hands on it in the week it comes out. The exact release date is February 23rd (1 day before my birthday)!

So what about you...have you bought this product in the past? Did you have likes/dislikes? Will you buy it this year? Are there any other releases you're looking forward too?

Information found at According to Dr. Price



  1. If these come out looking just like the scans I will be ecstatic. I love ITG but the blurry, out of focus pictures that plague the "veteran" player cards are starting to grow old. These scans are crisp, sharp, and trigger the drool factor.

    1. I agree with you, I am not very happy with the low res pics they have used in the past. Hopefully this will be resolved in H&P and Between the Pipes too!

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