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2007-08 In the Game Heroes & Prospects Box Break Review

March 9, 2011

Back in December I used the sixth post on this blog to review an Arena Box of 2007-2008 In the Game Heroes & Prospects that I won at the Toronto Fall Sports Card and Memorabilia Expo.  I was thoroughly impressed by what I received from that box, so much so that I bought a hobby box of the same product on a recent trip to Ottawa to visit my brother.

Once again, I come away impressed with a product that I wish I had not ignored for as long as I did.  My hits were not spectacular by any means, but I came away from the break feeling as though I

Let’s start with the base set.  There are 100 regular base set cards in the set, followed by a 40 card jersey subset featuring players that appeared in that season’s CHL Top Prospects game, for a total of 140 cards in the base set.  At 5 cards per pack and 24 packs per box, the box yielded a total of 115 regular base set cards.

Unlike some of my other recent box breaks, this product actually came through and provided a full 100 card base set from the packs.  Finishing a complete set of regular base cards is very much a rarity from any product nowadays, so even having that opportunity in the first place in this product is a major plus for me.  To actually have the product live up to my expectations on that front only increases my positive view of it.


When it comes to the inserts, memorabilia cards, and autographs, I ended up with pretty much what I had been expecting: two jersey cards, one autograph, and two Calder Cup Champions inserts, beating the odds on the Calder Cup.

To be perfectly honest, despite the fact that I beat the odds on the Calder Cup Champions inserts, the inclusion of this insert set in this product is a little bit confusing to me.  Every other “hit” (aka not a regular base set card) in the hobby product is either a memorabilia or autograph card.  These cards are inserted at almost the same odds as the Autographs (1 in 14 packs vs. 1 in 16), but lack any sort of wow factor and simply do not fit with the rest of what is included in the product.  


It certainly doesn’t help matters that one of the two guys that I pulled from this insert set (Jancevski) was a player I have literally never heard of (a definite risk involved in buying this product), but even if I had pulled Carey Price I doubt it would have changed my opinion on this.

My autograph was far from a big one, as I pulled T.J. Kemp.  Again, part of the risk involved in buying a product that for the most part features a heavy emphasis on up and coming players.  Some make it to the big time, but many, many more do not.  T.J. Kemp is a player who did not make it, nor does it look like he ever will.

For my CHL Top Prospects jersey I pulled another player who I have never heard of and likely never will again in David Skokan.  A 7th round pick of the Rangers in 2007, Skokan appears to have called it a career after returning to Slovakia for a single season of European pro hockey following his rather average junior career.  One thing the card does have going for it is the absolutely massive jersey swatch that each card in this set features.  Upper Deck and Panini could really learn a thing or two from In the Game on this front.

Up until this point I am pretty sure you are wondering what could possibly have left me impressed with this box outside of the complete base set.  Thankfully I pulled what can only amount to a box saver in this Net Prospects game worn jersey featuring Jonathan Bernier.  Once again the swatch is a decent size and to make things even better it is a two colour swatch of a player that is a legitimate top prospect in the NHL.



As I noted a couple of times in this article, there is definitely a pretty major risk involved in this product given the pool of players In the Game is drawing from in order to fill out a set and the accompanying inserts, autographs, and memorabilia cards. 

Having now opened my first In the Game hobby box since 2004, I can safely say that I believe it is a risk worth taking.  Would my opinion have been different had I not pulled the Bernier card or finished the base set in a single box?  I am absolutely sure that it would have been. 

The reality, however, is that this product does provide a strong potential to receive value similar to what I feel I got out of it, regardless of what “hits” you pull.  The base set features a strong player selection and attractive design, the autographs do a great job of incorporating the dreaded sticker into the actual design of the card, and the jersey swatches are massive in comparison to what other companies seem to be offering as of late (flagship Upper Deck anyone?).

This will most definitely not be the last box of an In the Game product I will be purchasing and reviewing on this blog.

Until Sunday, all the best in your collecting pursuits!



3 Comments leave one →
  1. Mike permalink
    April 23, 2011 7:45 PM

    Hey, I just read your review. I’m looking to buy a 10 box lot of Arena Version cards. Is this worth my time. The price is about 170 for the lot. Should I do it or not? You seem to have this down to a science, so I thought I would bounce this off someone who knows more than I do! Thank you any info you can give me on this


    • April 24, 2011 10:28 PM

      Hi Mike,

      I reviewed an Arena Box of this product a while back too, and while I had pretty good luck with it, my sense is that my box was not the norm. $17 for an Arena Box sounds a bit steep to me to be perfectly honest given that you can likely come across them (slightly) cheaper at a retail outlet like Wal-Mart from time to time. If you’re buying them from a deal I would recommend asking in the $12-$15 per box range.

      With that said, I loved what I got out of this product and that includes the base cards, which to me is a very important element of any product. Perhaps giving a single box a shot and seeing what you think would be a safer bet than jumping right in to the 10 box lot.


  2. Mike permalink
    April 23, 2011 8:17 PM

    It’s also for the same year as you have reviewed.

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