Wednesday, October 17, 2012

2012-2013 ITG Forever Rivals Review

In the Game (ITG) has come up with another very specifically themed set of hockey cards for collectors to chase, this time focusing on two very storied franchises: the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens. Knowing how crazy collectors of these two teams can get, this product is already assured to be popular. Let's take a look at what ITG serves up in a box of their just released Forever Rivals set!

Base Card Design -
I can say that this base set has by far my favorite ITG design. These cards look sharp! The card is done on foil board and has a shimmer reminiscent of Panini Certified cards. To me this is a giant leap forward in design for ITG - these cards have taken quite a step up. There are many elements to the card that I think make this card especially well done. First of all, I love the shine of the card. The foil gives the card a higher-end feel. And these cards feature a flat foil rather than a speckled looking foil a la Captain-C. These cards are definitely superior to Captain-C as they have a more mature feel. The 'Forever Rivals' logo is another element that I think is spot on. The classy cursive font done in foil at the bottom of each card really caught my attention when I first saw them, and it's my favorite part of the card. Lastly, a more subtle call out to the teams occur in the form of a logo 'cut-out' frame around the player's image. What a great way to bring about the team logo without having it there... genius!

As for the card back, ITG has gone with the paragraph of information approach yet again. The backs of the card are absolutely unspectacular in design, but they make up for it in the interesting-to-read department. It's always great to read the backs of ITG cards to learn a little bit more about the players. With this set featuring many players from the past, newer collectors can easily get caught up on players they may not have seen play. It's a nice little lesson in history for sure.

Base Card Design Score:

Inserts/Game-Used/Autos -
Each box of Forever Rivals will come with 3 inserts, 3 game-used memorabilia cards, and 3 autograph cards - definitely a good amount of hits for a small compact box!

As much as I liked the base cards... I can't say I'm a fan of the standard insert cards found in Forever Rivals. This Double Agents insert card is certainly a good idea - having a card featuring a player who played for both Toronto and Montreal - but the design execution is a bit lacking for me. It's obvious that the design is supposed to be a futuristic government computer screen... but rather than looking modern and slick, the design looks like it came from a 90's science fiction television show. Not good.

And this Immortals card doesn't enhance the product either. In fact, it's a card that looks like it could have come from any of ITG's past offerings. I think ITG could have completely left out these insert cards from their set and collectors would have been completely ok with that. I don't see collectors clamoring for these insert cards. For me, they'll go out as extras in trades that I make with fans of Toronto or Montreal. As I've said in the past, if there are going to be insert cards in a release, they should be of special or unique design - not just different looking standard cards.

Check out this Forever Rivals jersey card... look familiar? To me it does. It's pretty reminiscent of other ITG jersey cards. While I certainly appreciate the size of the swatch and the guarantee that the material is from an actual Leafs gamer, the design of the card needs an update. We've seen this similar look to ITG jersey cards too many times.

Patch card versions feature the same exact design but with a smaller piece of material. With other companies going larger and larger with their patch materials, I would have thought ITG would do the same. I know that ITG has done gigantic pieces of patch in other products so it surprises me to see these smaller pieces continue to be used. Another surprise (this time a good one) with this card is that it is extremely short printed. According to the ITG website, there are only 6 of each of these patch cards produced. It's very cool to find out how few there are of this card out there... but it's hard to tell without something more obvious on it such as serial numbering.

The autographed cards in Forever Rivals definitely have a design unlike other ITG cards... but I can't say I'm a huge fan of them. There is ample room for the autograph, but the overall aesthetic of the card looks a bit muted and faded. And for whatever reason the Forever Rivals logo font is different here (it's also different on some of the other insert cards as well)... kind of strange - definitely a mystery to me as to why they would not keep the logo consistent on all cards within the set. As for positives, ITG has chosen to have Toronto players sign in blue ink and Habs players in red. That is cool. It really goes with the theme of the product and highlights the difference in the teams very well. This kind of detail is much appreciated. As collectors find these autographs in their boxes, it would be a good idea to refer to the ITG checklist to see if you pulled a short print - there are definitely a few short prints to be found.

Inserts/Game-Used/Autos Score:

Overall Rating -
ITG definitely has an interesting product for the collecting masses in Forever Rivals. Having cards of only Leafs and Habs can be limiting... but given the desire and collectibility of the two franchises... they should be safe. I am sure that fans of those two teams will be buying this product up in spades. That being said, I wish the hits in the product had a better design. I found them to be on par with older ITG products. On the bright side, though, the base cards in Forever Rivals are awesome. If I were a Leaf or Habs fan I'd be all over trying to collect the set of my team.

Purchasing a box of Forever Rivals is a pretty safe bet as I'm sure you could find others to trade with. For fans of the two featured teams, I would get as many boxes as I could. As a fan of neither team, busting a box is still fun. And I'm pretty confident that I could sell or trade out the cards I don't want from the break.

I'm looking forward to more creative products from ITG. Who knows... one day they may have a set dedicated to the San Jose Sharks! (A fan can dream, right?)

Overall Rating:

Check out my break of ITG Forever Rivals:


  1. i like the design of this product, both the inserts and the base cards. Not being a fan of either of the two team i cant say I will be picking it up but i will be looking for some of the huge hits.
    Thanks again Luke

  2. Love forever rivals being a habs Fan in all but the base cards are sewer. Wish they had better insert design but great for leafs and habs collectors
    Thanks For the contest Luke

    YouTube Name- cn2117HabsFan

  3. This is another of those moments when I thought they couldn't get any better, and they do!
    Web Designing Services

  4. I really hate itg products. They just all look the same to me, and it is always the same setup. If they could come up with something new and different, that would be cool. The only thing I like about this product is the reallycool base cards

  5. Pretty cool coming from a leaf fan :-)
    Elyk Namhsuc

  6. Unfortunately it's not easy for ITG to do anything innovative without having license to produce cards with logos and whole jerseys on the players. I would love to see how it would look with ITG having license to do that!

    This product wasn't the best I have seen from ITG, but for Toronto and Montreal-fans it's of course really cool!

    Youtube: Majlfp

  7. I love the look of the base cards in Forever Rivals, I think I would buy alot of it if I was A leaf or habs fan. Unfortunately the inserts look bland and the jersey hits look the same as every other ITG product as you pointed out, but the autos look great and the fact that if you get a box you could trade every single card for good value is tempting. Great review!

    Youtube: SuckYourHeadphones

  8. Relay like the forever rivals design! Think i going to agree to your review! And i think i am going to collect the base cards of these product because they look so great!


  9. I have never like this kind of product for 1 reason. The way it looks, but that is just my opinion. I do know you can get some pretty big cards, I just can't stand the look of them. Thanks for the contest!
    Youtube: NothinButHockeyCards

  10. I like this product because I'm o huge leaf fan and that's who I PC. Nice box though some sick cards

    Youtube- notinbutcod

  11. I'm a huge fan of the leafs but don't really like itg products-YouTube:Graboguru

  12. great reveiw this product lookes pretty good

  13. I don't really like the product since I'm not a fan of either team and I agree the design of the game used stuff is getting boring. Good review though.

    Youtube: 49ersfan619

  14. I think the base card and insert design is really good, and I especially like the Double Agents insert. Very clever.

    YT: MechaKingGhidoraa

  15. Really love the product. The chances of getting a really good player are really high. even though the inserts suck, I would like to get this box anyway due to the memorabilia and auto cards.

    YouTube: 16royta

  16. love the product. i opened one and found guy lafuer autograph and carey price jersey. Youtube username erikkarlsson

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. This is a really neat product. The only question is: "what do collectors of maple leafs do with the canadiens cards they pull?!"
    Excellent review.
    TY - Skroeker24

  19. great review as always your review always helps me out.username stevenstamkos

  20. I think ITG Forever Rivals is a dissapointing product. It's one of the most boring products I've ever seen in my life for the price. The jersey and autographs only have one simple design. ITG put in no effort at all.

    Youtube Username: MrHockeynut77

  21. I haven't seen a box in person but I like the look of the cards.

  22. Well as a habs fan i naturally like this product picking up a box soon!


  23. I dont like itg very much. This porduct is a cool topic but i think poorly executed. I do not like any of the inserts. i also think they favor the older players to much. there is barely any newer guys and if you to young you wont know anybody.

    I dont like the design or really anything. 3.5/10
    youtube capitals103

  24. the product is ok considering i'm not a habs or leafs fan

    youtube- phxfan19

  25. this is okay. i do not collect much cards from older players. But i gotta say the design looks great!
    Youtube- Mpb7771

  26. Great new product!!!!


  27. Looks like a good product! Well a good product for Leafs and Habs fan, I hate both teams haha. Still some nice looking cards, and looked like you got some nice hits. I enjoy reading your reviews Luke keep them up!


  28. I think the base cards look the best. Everything else looks very similar to ITG's other products and it has a boring look to it. I love the idea of dedicating the set to the Habs/Leafs rivalry though. If I were a Leafs fan I would probably be buying so much of this product :)Also, I think the box design is very unique! It's different from other products. But that's not really important lol. if ITG releases a product with Flames, I'd consider buying, but they really need to improve in their designs for GUs/Autos/Inserts.


  29. Hey nice cards luke thanks for chance to win another contest
    - YouTube XplodingmonkE11

  30. Nice review I love the product so much because I'm a die hard leaf fan

    YouTube- 81thecoolkid

  31. Sick product I can't wait to break it nice cards

    YouTube name- anfony100

  32. I dont like the base, the inserts, the game-used, I dont like the product.
    YT- adlsam19dew

  33. I think they should have put more rivalries like Boston and Montreal or Detroit and Colorado so they could get more people to but it. I think the cards them selves look too much like all of there other products and would like to see a change. Overall I think that if you are a fan of Montreal or Toronto its great but like broad street boys it isn't for everyone.
    YouTube username is squatchysnakes2012
    P.s. review I think was spot on.

  34. I think that it doesn't reach to as many people as they'd like it too. I mean sure people will buy it because it sounds like a good product but with it only focusing on two teams it won't get as many buys as artifacts or certified . I also think that the cards them selves look too much like there other products. IT IS TIME FOR A CHANGE!!! All of there products look the same. I also think that like broad street boys it isn't worth the 100 dollars and is going to end up coming down to like 75 dollars. Good review Luke !!!

    YouTube name : squatchysnakes2012

  35. Nice stuff and nice design. I wonder if they will do this next year with different teams

    YouTube micerule934

  36. Pretty good product! Definetly different than what itg usually does but still cool.
    My youtube user is:tblightning4life

  37. Nice break I can't wait to get a box one day I PC the leafs so it would be good to get

    Youtube- 81leaffan

  38. Awesome break! I really like the base card design as well!

    Youtube Username: mjhockeycards101

  39. A very big habs fan myself, I should love the product. However I find myself not enjoying being limited to two teams. I always like current players more than old, and I am very loyal to upper deck so it's no surprise I don't love it.

    Love the retail review though, I never miss it! I vote for 10-11 certified!

    Good luck with the break.

    Youtube name: Dan Ezard

  40. Forever rivals was a disappointment. It was more expensive than other products by ITG. Kind of a neat concept. It could be interesting for old-timers who love their respective teams and know the franchise's players well, but not for me.

    - ryannturnaa (don't enter me in the draw, I just wanted to voice my opinion, thanks man)

  41. Forever RIvals is in my point of view a great set even though i`m not a big fan of either teams.
    The base design was reaaly goog looking..!!
    BUt in all i agree as always with your review.

    Youtube: ROggan47

  42. I like it but if ITG is gonna do this they gotta do one of every team.

    Youtube CMAN303030

  43. The base cards in this product are just horrific. I'd put them up there with some of the ugliest cards ever made.This stuff is going to be blown out ASAP, hang in there if you want to buy it for bargain bin prices. Smudged autos and all.

  44. I like the product, the design isn't the best but it stays that the inserts are pretty nice, except if you hate montreal and toronto.

  45. Forerver Rivals is Awesome, it reminds me so much of ITG Broad Street Bullies. But probally not going to buy a box

    Youtube: Sports149

  46. Very unique and interesting product for sure.