(This is my attempt at scanning the item. As you can see, not so successful.)
This, my friends, is what is known as a ROXX (As "a" ROXX? Or "as" ROXX? I don't know).
ROXX are manufactured by a company called TCG (or The Canadian Group) and were released last year in Canada with the NHL endorsement. Here in the states, we now have our own version of ROXX only they are what the company calls, "edgy, collectible game pieces featuring unique art in diverse themes that appeal to school-age and tween boys, including skate, hip hop, grunge, humor, super heroes, action figures and much more." Apparently, these are supposed to be modeled after the so-called "street game" of Skully. I can't really speak to that because until I read that on their website, I never heard of Skully (other than Fox Mulder's partner). I will take their word for it.
(Here is a better shot of the item. This is the auction scan. Yes, I stole it, but I'm acknowledging that.)
(Here is the back of the item. You can see the copyright of 2012.)
I'm not sure what these retail for or where you can find them because, well, I don't live in Canada. Maybe some of my awesome Canadian audience can enlighten the rest of us. What I can tell you is they sell for a buck or two on the secondary market all the way up to double digits for some of the more "rare" pieces. You can go to www.ROXXNATION.com to find out more about the checklist and see if your favorite NHLer was included. But chances are, they were.
The checklist features 243 of what are called "Classic" ROXX, 71 Rare "Starzz" "Cage Masters" and "Trophy Winners" ROXX, 36 Ultra Rare "Starzz" and "Original 6" ROXX, and 30 Limited Edition "Starzz" ROXX which are a metallic gold color around the name area. Essentially the LE ones are the same as the Ultra Rare ones but without the Original 6 pieces.
I think the scans do a good job of showing what these look like. Essentially, they are small (the size of a 50 cent piece [remember those?]) disc-like objects. They remind me of a good skipping rock you would find on a beachfront somewhere. They almost have a "flying saucer" type shape to them with thin sides and bulging in the middle. At first I thought there was something wrong with the back of mine with that white "stressed plastic" type crease in it. Upon further investigation, that's the glare off the graphic of the hockey puck. See, it pays to be observant.
I'm not going to nitpick on these here (well actually I am) but I want to point out one thing about this Tangradi piece. If you notice on the front under his name, it says "Rookie/Recrue", indicating that Mr. Tangradi is a rookie. However, these were manufactured in 2012, supposedly beginning last summer. At that point, Tangradi had already played 1 game in 2009-10, 15 games in 2010-11, and another 24 games in 2011-12. I would hardly consider that to be a rookie piece. I'm not sure how many others in the checklist have the same treatment but I'm not liking that because it makes it seem like these should be older than they are. Not nitpicking. I swear.
I think these are sort of neat but I won't be trying to collect all 380 of the NHL ones, partly because they just don't store very well, the other part being that I don't live in Canada (that's a theme of this post). I wouldn't mind putting together all the Pens but that would require some work. If any readers out there have any of the Penguin ones and want to trade for something, let me know.