Lord Stanley's Mug is ITG's most recent release, and as I'm sure you can imagine from the title, this product focuses specifically on Stanley Cup winners. The nice thing with this, is that no matter what, you will be pulling a card of a winner. Now, the way card companies usually do it, in order to keep prices low, you may get hits of superstar players, but you also get hits of the fourth liners that only play a couple games. In the Game took the high road with this one. Pretty much every autograph and every memorabilia card is of a big-time player, and yes, that is reflected in the cost. It is a bit more expensive, but like anything, you get what you pay for.
So, let's get to it. Here's the video of my box break, with scans to follow:
Each box of Lord Stanley's Mug contains six base cards, and I must say, these are all some pretty awesome cards. The cards are all done with a Chrome-type material, and feature a player photo right next to the Cup. There's also a good mix of Stanley Cup eras, as my players were both recent (Chris Osgood, Corey Crawford, Glenn Anderson) and old (Art Ross, Newsy Lalonde, Charlie Gardiner).
The only non-hit insert is History of Lord Stanley's Mug, which is inserted one per pack. The card features a black-and-white close-up of the player on the front, with a description of the player's Stanley Cup run on the back. I know that this is the insert, but the base cards are actually much cooler than these, and really, just accomplish the same thing.
My first memorabilia hit was a Hoisting the Cup jersey card of Chris Osgood. These are limited to 60 copies and are similar to a lot of the Enforcers cards, in that they feature a painted image of the players. All of these, however, feature the player lifting up the Stanley Cup at the post-game Cup ceremony.
There are also plenty of multi-player jersey cards, such as this dual jersey card of Chris Chelios and Guy Carbonneau. It comes from the Cup Holders memorabilia set and is limited to 80 copies. Apart from being a great card with jersey pieces of two great players, I also like how it identifies the year they won the Cup. It may seem trivial, and I'm sure the jerseys themselves weren't from that actual year, but it is nice for these cards to actually identify which particular Stanley Cup win they are making reference to.
ITG doesn't stamp any serial numbers on even their rarest cards, which can lead to a few surprises, like with this one. It's a Legendary Moments jersey card of Brett Hull, which recognizes his "controversial" Cup-winning overtime goal in 1999. While it may just look like a normal, everyday jersey card, a little bit of research on the product's print run (which can be found at the company's website) reveals that there are only 10 COPIES of each of the Legendary Cup Moments cards produced!
My first of two autographs was of Detroit Red Wings center Igor Larionov. These cards are printed on a foil card stock, which is a bit different from the Chrome that the base cards are printed on. There is a great deal of shine coming from the cards, especially from the silver of the Cup itself. They are amazing cards to see in person, and scans really don't do them justice. At all.
The hit of the break, for me, was this Nicklas Lidstrom autograph. I had not gotten my hands on one up to this point, and I was really hoping acquire one somehow. I am by no means a Detroit Red Wings fan, but he is known as one of the greatest defenseman of all time, so I wanted to find one somewhere. Each player's autographed card also contains a cup year, which is notable, because a player has cards for each year they won the Cup, with a different photo for each one.
As usual, In the Game did a great job with this product. It's always nice when a company will tell you what you get with the product, and you get exactly that. It's a bit pricy compared to some other ITG releases, but they really give you a value with these cards. For example, for the six players featured in my "hits," three are Hall-of-Famers (Hull, Chelios, Larionov), one is sure to be inducted then he is eligible in 2015 (Lidstrom), and the other two are Carbonneau and Osgood. If those two players are the worst that you pull, I'd say you've done pretty good.