By Andrew Farn aka MasonRaymond0320

 

Now that Panini has joined the hockey card collecting hobby, collectors will have more variety and options of what they will want to buy. I love all three hockey card companies, but the one that stands out in my mind, is In the Game. I was recently listening to an interview on Youtube, in which Dr. Brian Price (the president of In the Game) was answering questions, and there was one answer that I thought was rather interesting. He was saying how companies like Upper Deck name their products “Victory”, “Artifacts”, and “Trilogy” He explained how his products have a purpose and a meaning. I totally agree with him. All of In the Game products have a well thought out name now that I think about it. I am fond of Upper Deck products, but I just think that In the Game gives a little bit more variety. You can pull autographs, jerseys, pads, or gloves pieces, which definitely attracts the majority of hockey card buyers. In nearly every Upper Deck product, you will notice that each memorabilia card is a piece of a game worn jersey. Game used jersey cards are not unique, simply because they are scattered all around in the market place, sometimes even unwanted by collectors. In The Game provides options, to any type of collector. If you don’t want a game used jersey piece, you can always get a game used glove or a game used pad which brings me to my favourite product in hockey and that is…Between the Pipes. As a goalie fan, I started falling in love with this product last month. After watching all of the Between the Pipe box break videos on Youtube. I have actually started a personal collection, and have been accumulating Between the Pipe cards ever since. I just love the design. It isn’t like Upper Deck’s or Panini’s where they stuff little pieces of game used equipment into the card. Another reason why I like it so much, is because they stuff huge chunks of game used pad or glove into the cards, and their jersey cards usually have a huge seam in them, which I have to admit, I like better than patch cards. Don’t get me wrong though. I highly respect companies like Panini and Upper Deck. I just think that In the Game provides cards for every collector. It doesn’t matter if they are on a tight budget or not. You can still purchase boxes such as Heroes and Prospects, and Between the Pipes, for a decent price of just under $60. If you are a high end collector, you will be fortunate enough to purchase the higher end products such as Ultimate Memorabilia or Superlative.

 

What is the Future of this hobby? Well, one member on Sportscardforum pointed out a pretty fascinating idea, which I think will need to happen for this hobby to survive. I think that for card collecting to continue be a popular hobby, the players will have to do a little extra…maybe by giving a one word answer, answering a question on the back of the card? I think it would be sweet if card companies were able to do that.

Or another easy idea would be, for the card company to just write on the back of the card, when that particular/specific card was autographed, or in which game was the memorabilia piece worn in? I think it would be a great idea, because any questions about authenticity would quickly evaporate, and collectors would feel more secure. I think collectors would have a little bit of fun trying to find a photo match of that specific piece of memorabilia. One last idea that I think would be a hit, would be if they somehow put replay imaging in the cards. Though it may sound a bit extreme, and is highly futuristic, I think that for the non-hockey fans, they would sort of get a sense of how goals are scored, and how exciting the game can get. That would possibly bring in new fans, and collectors to this wonderful hobby! If the player who scored the goal (in the video replay card) could somehow put their autograph or if the card company could put the player’s memorabilia piece on the card, I think that those cards would sell out fast, and the packs/boxes would go extremely quickly.

 

In The Game, Panini, and Upper Deck are superb companies that keep this hobby going. If it weren’t for them, I know that I probably wouldn’t have much to do daily. Looking ahead, it should be interesting what sport cards will look like in 20 years from now…I know quite a few collectors that have dropped out of this hobby. How much longer will card collecting survive, and continue to be a popular obsession?