Motown Madness Box Break

In The Game Motown Madness - unopened boxMotown Madness, released at the end of February 2013, continues In The Game’s series of team-centric hockey card sets. Previously, ITG has released sets focusing on the Montreal Canadiens (Blue, Blanc et Rouge) and the Philadelphia Flyers (Broad Street Bullies). This set is all about the Detroit Red Wings.

A box of Motown Madness currently sells for around $90 and contains 12 cards. Each box guarantees 4 autographs and 2 game-used memorabilia cards.

Here are the results of the box I opened.

base_mahovlich base_goldham  base_federko base_dion base_dineen

5 Base Cards – Pete Mahovlich, Bill Goldham, Bernie Federko, Connie Dion and Bill Dineen. Some of these names are a little surprising. Pete Mahovlich and  Bernie Federko are better known as members of the Montreal Canadiens and St. Louis Blues, respectively, than from their time with Detroit. Bob Goldham and Bill Dineen were regulars with the Red Wings in the 1950s. Goaltender Connie Dion is an interesting choice, as he only played 38 games in the NHL–all with Detroit–in the 1940s, but never had a card issued until this one. Overall, this shows the variety of players that can be found in the 150-card base set.

Also, the base cards are printed on shiny foil stock, which is very unusual choice for In The Game, who tends to shy away from holograms, die cuts or “the foil.”

auto_thompson auto_hextallauto_dugay auto_grimson

4 Autographed Cards – Errol Thompson, Dennis Hextall, Ron Dugay and Stu Grimson. No company does “sticker autos” better than In The Game. I say that because you really have to “feel up” the card to figure out that they are signed on a sticker, and not the card itself. Everything about them is perfect, from their meticulous application of the clear sticker to the choice of black marker for the signature (blue wouldn’t work here). These autographed cards look great!

While none of these guys would be considered all-time greats with the Wings, their time in Detroit was still significant. Ron Dugay and Errol Thompson enjoyed 30-goal seasons with the Red Wings. Dennis Hextall and Thompson would both spend time as Detroit’s team captain, and enforcer Stu Grimson was arguably the toughest fighter in the NHL when with Detroit.


2 Game-Used Memorabilia Cards – Mike Vernon & Darren Helm. Both cards use a 1-inch by 1-inch swatch from a game-used jersey. Other possible memorabilia cards include Quads, which use jersey swatches from 4 different players; Teammates, which use a pair of jersey swatches from two players who played together; and Stickwork, which feature a piece of a game-used hockey stick.

patch_lumleyHarry Lumley “Patch of Honor” card. These “Patch of Honor” cards use a manufactured patch–meaning that the piece of patch you see here was not ever a part of a game-used jersey, but was made solely for the intention of putting on these cards to make them “look cool.” Another odd choice, as In The Game usually sticks to using only game-used memorabilia on their cards.

The patch used on this card of Harry “Apple Cheeks” Lumley is a reproduction of this “Buy War Bonds” patch:

War Bonds PatchThe Detroit Red Wings wore this patch on their sleeve from 1941 to 1944 to encourage Detroit citizens to purchase war bonds during World War II.

If the Detroit Red WIngs are your team, then you’d definitely enjoy breaking a few boxes of Motown Madness. Some of the better “hits” you can get include autographs and memorabilia of Gordie Howe, Nicklas Lidstrom and Steve Yzerman, as well as “papercut” autographs of deceased players like Terry Sawchuk and Sid Abel.

To view the entire checklist of Motown Madness, visit the In The Game website.

Special thanks to In The Game for providing the box for this break.


Author: Sal Barry

Sal Barry is the editor and webmaster of Puck Junk. He is a freelance hockey writer, college professor and terrible hockey player. Follow him on Twitter @puckjunk

6 thoughts on “Motown Madness Box Break”

  1. Interesting. I never thought you for on of the team-centric ITG sets, Sal. Maybe if they did a Hawks one (which I’m sure is in the pike, along with Toronto, Boston, and New York)…maybe.

    But to comment on the box at hand, I’m not sure the value is there for this one at $90 a pop (maybe at $60). Especially considering the hits you got and the fact that no one in their right mind would build a base set. I have seen some Canadiens boxes and some Philly boxes that faired pretty nicely with autos and GU cards. But I’m kind of disappointed in these. The manu-patch thing on that Lumley card? Really? I have always admired ITG for going after it with all their GU swatches and as you mention, the awesome autographs. But to phone it in with a manu-patch (eventhough it is a replica of an actual patch [$15 online]) just seems cheesy and very unlike ITG to me.

    Maybe that’s the direction we are taking with the high price of authentic game-worn stuff these days. I guess now more than ever, card manufacturers are trying to protect their bottom line so to buy some of this stuff on the secondary market would put them in the hole by tens of thousands. I can’t imagine there are that many of those original War Bond patches left out there either.

    1. I will admit that the pulls in this box were less-than-stellar. If the autos were of Howe, Lindsay, Sawchuk and Yzerman, of course that would be better, but not likely.

      I think a lot of it is in the eye of the beholder when it comes to team-centric sets. Like, if this was a Blackhawks set, and the autographs pulled were of, say, Terry Ruskowski, Bruce Bodreau, Greg Gilbert and Mike Peluso, I’d be pretty happy. None of these guys will be remembered as “all time greats” among the ‘Hawks, but I can still see some coolness in having autographs of each of them. Plus, if you remember back at the 2011 National, I couldn’t trade you guys fast enough for those 4-swatch Hawks jersey cards…and I hate jersey cards 🙂

  2. I’d be in if they do a Chicago release, especially after getting the shaft by Upper Deck when they won the Cup. All we have to chase are hose stupid manu-patches from SP Game Used that people think are worth $150.00.

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