The Beckett Blog


ITG President Dr. Brian Price answers a few questions on 10th edition of Ultimate Memorabilia by Susan Lulgjuraj

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

In the Game is coming out with a very special release next month — the 10th anniversary of ITG Ultimate Memorabilia, a cornerstone of its hockey line.

The line will consist of 1,500 five-pack boxes and each pack will include a base card, memorabilia card and an autograph.

Some of the preview images released so far have caused hockey collectors’ heads to turn. The patch cards have been particularly exceptional, but that’s not all the product has to offer. View galleries here and here.

The base design is inspired by the original hockey set, 1910-11 C56, and is celebrating 100 years of hockey trading cards.

In The Game president Dr. Brian Price took time to answer a few questions about this exciting line.

Q. What ideas did you guys have going into the 10th Edition of the product? Did you want to make it bigger or special because it was the 10th anniversary?

A. We felt that the 10th Anniversary of this ground-breaking product should be special. We  also wanted to commemorate the 100th anniversary of hockey trading cards. To that end, the Base Set of Ultimate will be styled after the C56 hockey trading cards of the 1910-11 season. Famed sports artist Brian Kong has drawn the images to be used on these base cards.

Q. How long was the process of working on this set because besides being the 10th edition, it’s also the 100th anniversary of hockey trading cards?

A. Doing original art for the base card set was extremely time consuming but well worth the time, effort and cost. We started on this product in November of 2009 right after we released the Ninth Edition. We knew we were going to celebrate the C56s but the idea matured in May 2010 at the Spring Expo in Toronto as we discussed the concept with collectors at our booth and got some great ideas from them.

Q. I love the Potvin card. What are some your favorite pieces in the set?

A. Too many great cards in this product to list but the Potvin card does stand out. The insert set featuring 500 Goal Scorers and the Goalies against which they scored the 500th goal is very cool and features our vintage authentic game-used memorabilia is one of my favorites.

Q. What can collectors expect from ITG products and what makes this one different?

Integrity, passion and a desire to make cards collectors want to collect. That is what can be expected from ITG. UM-10 is no different from these values. We try to make products that have a theme such as Decades, Enshrined or Canada vs The World instead of picking brand names and making all the products look the same. We like to be known as the company that puts the history of hockey on trading cards.

Q. Hockey fans are often very different than other types of fans. There aren’t many casual hockey fans, how do you take that into consideration when creating a product?

A. Hockey fans and hockey card collectors are a different breed. Passionate is the best way to describe them. So in order to satisfy them, we try to put passion into our products.

Q. Are all the cards in the set encased? If so, why do you encase the cards?

A. Ultimate Memorabilia was created in 1999. At that time the price was over $100 per pack and no other product in the market in any sport came close to this premium cost and value.

It was our idea to encapsulate and serial number each and every card in the product to ensure quality control and prevent tampering.

We started this with UM-1 and have done it ever since.

Q. When looking through the images, I see there aren’t many solid color jersey cards. There are patches and many colors in the jersey cards, why do you choose to go this route instead of doing what many other companies do such as having the solid jersey color?

A. I’ve always approached this business as a collector – meaning whatever I put into the packs is what I would want to receive as a collector.  I have this debate with my production staff all the time because maximizing multi-color pieces causes so much of the jersey to be wasted.  They’ll tell me if we go multi-color on this jersey I’ll have to buy another one.  Well, that’s what I’ll do if another one is available.  It’s also far more time consuming for my staff to cut multi-color pieces because of how precise they have to be.  Believe me, it’s a lot easier and a lot cheaper to just open up a jersey and slap it under a guillotine and the let the pieces fall as they may. Cards have to contain solid pieces some times.  There is only a certain amount of multi-color pieces that come out of jersey.  The difference is that we try to get them all regardless of the cost or effort.  It all comes down to doing the best for collectors.

Susan Lulgjuraj is a contributing editor for Beckett Media. You can email Susan here. Follow her on Twitter here.

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[…] get them all regardless of the cost or effort. It all comes down to doing the best for collectors. ITG President Dr. Brian Price answers a few questions on 10th edition of Ultimate Memorabilia The Be… __________________ Shop for Sports Cards and Trading […]

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