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From the World of “Why?”: 2011-12 In The Game Canada vs. The World International Showdown Quadruple Jersey Cards

August 15, 2012

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Last week my brother came home from school to visit for a few days and with him came a box of cards that my dad had picked up recently.

The box was absolutely loaded with cards for our player collections, highlighted by a couple-dozen Mario Lemieux jersey cards.

While I’m excited to show those cards off, that won’t happen until my next Want List Wednesday/Project Progress Report Combo post scheduled for three weeks from today.

I will, however, be focussing the attention of today’s article on a card that stood out from the rest that were in the box delivered by my brother.

That card is an International Showdown Quadruple Jersey card from last year’s In The Game Canada vs. The World product that my dad picked up for our Jeremy Roenick collection.

As the title of today’s article would clearly suggest, I’m not featuring the card in this post to talk about how great it is.

Instead, the card stood out for all the wrong reasons and as such I’m featuring it to wonder aloud why in the world this specific set was even produced.

I should preface the rest of this article by noting that for the most part I’m a really big fan of what ITG offers to collectors (minus the year’s Enforcers release).

Though some cards contained in the company’s products can look pretty similar from release to release, overall I feel as though ITG does a really good job of putting out quality products on a regular basis.

This card (and by extension the entire International Showdown set), however, is a complete and utter dud for me, a feeling that is only enhanced by the fact that all four swatches are the dreaded colour white.

In principle the theme of the set is completely solid as it highlights players from some of the epic matchups between Canada and its counterparts in the hockey world.

But without photos to accompany the names attached to the swatches of material, the card just looks like a dumping ground for backlogged jersey inventory produced solely for the sake of getting rid of it.

Upper Deck has taken a beating from some collectors for doing what amounts to the very same thing with sticker autographs in a recent baseball release and in my opinion it’s only fair that ITG receives similar criticisms for releasing this sort of stuff.

I know that ITG faces licensing challenges as it must negotiate with players individually in order to feature them in its products, so perhaps the lack of photos is as a result of not having certain individuals’ permission to use their likeness.

But if that is the case then why not just omit that player from being included in the set?

What perplexes me more than the motivation behind creating a card like this is the fact that they actually seem to fetch a respectable price on eBay.

Much to my surprise, a quick search shows that the cheapest one sold recently got the seller just over $13, which is about $12 more than I’d be willing to spend on it.  Others have gone for as high as almost $53.

For what its worth, Beckett lists these cards starting at $50 and as high as $100, which is also entirely inexplicable to me.

It actually pains me somewhat to know that I have seven other cards from this set that I will eventually have to look at buying simply because they fit one of my player collections.

Thankfully there’s literally thousands of other cards on those want lists too, so there’s no urgency to add a second International Showdown card to my collection anytime soon.

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How do you feel about cards that feature a piece of memorabilia or an autograph but don’t picture a player but only include a piece of memorabilia or an autograph?  Am I being overly harsh on In The Game with my assessment or are these cards as bad to you as they are to me?

Let me know your thoughts by posting a comment, sending me an email at bb_bros@hotmail.com, or connecting with me on Facebook and/or Twitter.

Until Sunday, all the best in your collecting pursuits!

Ryan

Email Me | Twitter | Facebook | My eBay Store | My Want List | RSS Feed

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