I just received an email blast from In the Game that openly speaks of poor sales for their upcoming goalie-centric 2008-09 Between the Pipes Hockey set. Rather than cancelling the set entirely or delaying it, production was cut resulting in better insertion rates for autograph, memorabilia and Masked Men inserts. So if you are busting boxes, you're going to get better value than what the packaging tells you. Exactly how much more wasn't announced, though.
This announcement says a couple of things about the current state of the hobby. The first is that these are tough times for the manufacturers. In the last two weeks we've had Inkworks go under and Donruss sold to Panini. Coming out and publicly saying sales stink shows that others are hurting too.
The production slash will also give the appearance of a short run. But isn't it more with supply meeting demand? I'm sure there will be a bit of a sales blip for In the Game. Maybe it'll be big. But in the bigger scheme of things, if these are the new sales tactics, I can't help but wonder if there's bigger issues on the horizon for another manufacturer.