Thursday, January 26, 2012

2011-2012 ITG Enforcers Review

Round One... FIGHT!  GET OVER HERE!  FIVE HIT COMBO... BRUTALITY... wait... this isn't Mortal Kombat... it's 11/12 ITG Enforcers!  A unique set of hockey cards celebrating the toughest of the tough that have ever played the game.

Base Card Design -
Like many of the one-pack ITG offerings of late, Enforcers does away with a standard base card and gives us insert style cards instead.  The best of the bunch have to be the painted Bloody Battles cards.  These cards immediately stood out to me when I saw them.  ITG was smart to include these art cards because they allow ITG to have great images of the featured players without worrying about showing NHL licensed logos or properties.  For those of you who don't know, ITG is not a licensed manufacturer of hockey cards so they are very limited in what they can use in terms of images on their products.

The Bloody Battle cards all feature a white and red color scheme.  The white background gives a great contrast to the painted images and crimson blood splatter around the edges.  I have to say that I am not a fan of the blood splatter look - it's tacky - but it probably works best on this card.  Also a bit dated are the fonts used on these and other cards in the set.  I know it seems like nit-picking, but these small details make a big difference in how I (and other consumers) view the product.

The back of the Bloody Battles cards give a very nice write-up of the action shown on the front.  Like with other ITG products, I find myself impressed by and interested in the information on the backside.  Other insert cards give similar descriptions or enforcer-centric stats.

This Tale of the Tape insert is an example of a card that features both a description and enforcer statistics on the back.  Like two heavy weights in a weigh-in, the card puts their vital statistics side by side for comparison.  It also recounts the time these two players dropped gloves to go at it on the ice.  This card is also a good example of the limitations ITG has with the photos they can use.  As you can see, the images are closely cropped head shots.  Most all of the photos are like this to avoid seeing team logos and symbols.  It's unfortunate that these are the images ITG has to work with, but I understand it's the best they can do with what they have.

Base Card Design Score:

Inserts/Game-Used/Autos -
Each box of Enforcers will come packed with 2 jersey/patch cards and 5 autographs.  It's impressive that the majority of memorabilia cards are autographs.  In my opinion, it's always nicer to have a signature rather than a piece of cloth.

The standard autographs come on a very smartly designed card.  As with the insert cards I was not impressed with the tacky blood splatter or late 90's style graphics and font, but I did really enjoy the idea of the signatures being on large band-aids.  What a perfect idea for this set of cards!  This idea makes perfect sense and certainly does stand out in a fun and cool way.  The autographs are on stickers, but because of the design, you can hardly tell.  The slight 'bump' of the sticker mimics the cloth under the band-aid just right.  Give whoever came up with this idea a raise Dr. Price!

Single player jersey cards contain a generous swatch of jersey.  I particularly like the Tony Twist jersey piece in this Instigator memorabilia card because the color of it is so bright on the card.  This jersey insert set design is on the busier side, but works well.  The left side border gives the card a more current look.  As per all ITG memorabilia cards, the back clearly states that the jersey piece came from a St. Louis Blues jersey that was game-worn by Tony Twist.  Love how ITG steps up and does this.  Can other card companies follow suit with this practice?

This Combatants dual jersey card shown above is typical of a card featuring two players.  The swatches are smaller than those of their single player card brethren.  Unlike the Instigator insert, this one goes for an extreme industrial or possibly alien/space-marine type feel - at least that's what it reminds me of - could also be some sort of military or underground fighting ring design... not sure.  I am sure, however, that I am not a fan of the design here.  'Dated' would again apply here.

Some of the nicest cards in the Enforcers set are also the most difficult to get.  ITG has included Tough Patch 1 of 1 gigantic game-used patch pieces in this set.  These cards look amazing and deserve the hardest-to-get status they hold in the product.

Inserts/Game-Used/Autos Score:

Overall Rating -
11/12 ITG Enforcers is a product for a very niche portion of an already niche collecting base.  The set focuses on players that are not the big scorers, most skilled skaters, or flashiest goalies.  It's a set of the tough guys.  To make a comparison, it would be similar to a football card set composed of only the defensive players.  Would people buy it?  Well... yes... some, but definitely not a majority.

Though I am not a fan of these players as a whole, I really appreciate what ITG has done here.  They have come out with a set that fills a void in the hobby.  It's great to see cards of players that made an impact on the ice that didn't involve filling up the offensive side of the score sheet.  These players played pivotal roles on their teams and certainly have fans.  Now these fans can get some autograph and memorabilia cards of these players.

I would not recommend this product to anyone except those who would appreciate it.  It's definitely not a product to go out and buy to get traders or cards to flip for a quick profit.  I found it fun to open and enjoy, but I probably will not be dipping into it any more than that.  I do hope, however, that there are tough guy fans out there who will buy heavily into this product and really savor it.  It's a rare treat for sure.

Overall Score:
(not and average)


  1. Not a big fan of this product, but obviously it's a product made for a certain individual. I guess it's just a checklist that, to me, is very weak, as 50% of the names are not household names.

    Thanks again for the contest, and another review!

    - ethannyk

  2. I dont really like Enforcers, this is because of no big players. You are really only able to pull though guys that fight. Most of the names are not even known! But for the price its not so bad. You could be lucky and get a Chara auto or somthing along that line.

    Thanks for the contest! Love the Review.


  3. Its better than a set of penalty killers--love to win one of these --thanks for the contest--hockey kazi

  4. great product and well done by ITG... not all the names are headliners, but the true hockey fan will know all of them.
    I personally, am after any Lyle Odelein, Chris Nilan or Joe Watson cards from ENFORCERS.

    the biggest peeve about Boxrippers.... is the 15 emails a day that fill up my inbox. One every couple of days would be fine thank you.

    oh yeah, youtube name is volleygod67, thanks

  5. Personally I love anything that ITG does, And this is a great example. Even though this set isn't comprised of the regular stars that are in every other set, I find this product extremely interesting. I like the designs of most of the cards and the older feel they have. It's neat to be able to get autographs and memorabilia pieces of old Canucks like tiger Williams and Harold Snepsts. I would give ITG Enforcers an 8/10


    Thanks Luke! :)

  6. great product inserts, autos, and mems 9.5

  7. looks ok but I think ITG could have done better. Thanks for the contest.
    youtube name- reptiledude14

  8. ITG is always satisfying their consumers. Enforcers was a great idea, The card designs are amazing. I really like the autographs. It looks like a bandage which genius because it really fits in with the theme of the product. It's a 70-80 dollar box and you are receiving 3 mems. Way better than what you can get from an opechee. I personally am not a fan with this product mainly because I only know some of the enforcers. This is not a product that would interest me so i give it a 5/10

    - MrSport4life

  9. This is a great product, just for a certain type of ppl out there. I think they did a great job in trying something new like this, i just think they should include 1 other card thats not a enforcer, like jordan staal, players around that skill, so its not too good of a card but something to look forward to at the end of the box.

    Thanks for the contest,


  10. itg always has sick stuff but i dont relay like the product right knooow.but u do get 3 autos or 2
    card designs:7
    sick reveiew

  11. Personally I don't really like enforsers this year. You get a lot of hits for what your pay. I'm not that big of a fan of many ITG products. I would have to give it a 6 out of 10.

  12. I like the idea of the product I think that a lot of people will like it but it is not one of my favorite products this year.
    - C2netsniper

  13. i dont really like itg that much i dont really like the product all that much but its not bad but not really what most people are looking for


  14. In my opinion, your ranking seems a little low overall. I think ITG does a really good job with cards, seeing as they aren't officially licensed. They come up with creative ways to get cards out that will keep collectors happy.


    1. yea, they did what they could, but the lower ranking mostly comes from the design of the cards. i was just not a fan of them. and as for overall rating it scores lower because it is just too niche of a product. thanks for the input!

  15. i like this product a lot the autos r the best but yeah i probs wont buy any but its soo cool its got nice stuff


  16. I agree with Black Sheep that this is very niche. Some cards look alright, but I think a pack is too expensive for just fighters. I could see this being popular if was in smaller packs, like the UD Be A Player set. Great review.

    - jpbboyle

  17. enforcers is interesting but not worth byuing not any good names

  18. that was mrredwingsfan131

  19. Personally I think this is a great product for those old school collectors. Definitely a creative product and would love to open some in the future. Although there aren't any superstars such as Crosby, RNH, etc. They have many great pieces. For instance, the Tough Patches 1/1s have a absolutely digusting large piece, and are very popular to collectors. I like how ITG decided to try something new.

    HockeyCardFan1000 on YT

  20. Enforcers is a cool product and I love it's design but I don't like it overall.


  21. I think this pruduct is cool but not worth getting, it seems to appeal to a very small amount of collectors so it would be hard to sell or trade

  22. Well I unlike many other people, LOVE IT! I don't like the inserts/bases except the bloody battles which i'm gonna try to do the set of. I love the idea of the autos with the bandaid, but i wish they weren't stickers. However I love the chances of this product, it's either no namer or all time great enforcer. The memorbilia's design i think can be inproved, but the quality of this product for only $60.....Is Almost Too Good


  23. I think that the desing of this product is cool. I love the design of the dual jersey. But the problem is that, there are names that no one have not even heard of. It's not a product for everybody.
    I'd give it 5/10


  24. I think ITG were very smart for putting out a product like Enforcers. I mean its not for me but for the people that do enjoy the tough guys which don't get much recognition in other products, it was a great idea! I have to say they were really creative with the design of the cards. For example the autos on the bandades is pretty sick! And also they have some really really cool fight shots that once again you wouldn't normally see on your everyday products. Overall I think it was a great idea by ITG but Its not a product for me.

    Thanks for the contest!!


  25. I think the product is okay. It doesn't have the best checklist, but it has the names to make it essential for any collector that loves watching those epic fights and rooting for their teams tough guys, current or retired. This product has a great concept, and has the effort inserted to be great but, i don't think the interest is there.

    -- Canuckscollector

  26. I Personally don't really like this product. This difinately is targeted at a select few hockey fans. I think that the aged design would be cool to old collectors who appreciate the old but new look. Thanks again for the contest Luke!


  27. CONTEST IS OVER but feel free to leave more comments on 11/12 ITG Enforcers!

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