Review: 1993-94 Pittsburgh Penguins

1_Mario_LemieuxDuring the 1990s, Pittsburgh-area grocery chain FoodLand sponsored an annual set of Penguins trading cards. Children in and around the Pittsburgh area could get a card for free by from an on-duty police officer, who probably stored the cards in their back pockets, forever keeping them from a BGS 10 rating.

But I digress. The 1993-94 Penguins set looks good and has cards of many star players who went onto Hall of Fame careers.

At a glance:
– 1993-94 Pittsburgh Penguins
– 25 cards
– Size: 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
Download checklist

Player Selection: 5 out of 5
Locally-issued team sets usually do not disappoint when it comes to player selection, including this one. The 1993-94 Pittsburgh Penguins team set has 23 player cards, as well as cards of Head Coach Ed Johnston and Assistant Coach Rick Kehoe, for a total of 25 cards.

5_Marty_McSorley

19_Ed_Johnston

The set is loaded with some of the best players of the 1980s and 1990s: Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, Ron Francis, Joe Mullen, Rich Tocchet, Kevin Stevens Bryan Trottier and Larry Murphy. Also included are goaltenders Tom Barrasso and Ken Wregget. Overall, the set includes pretty much every player who played a significant role in the Pens’ 1993-94 season.

18_Ken_Wregget

20_Markus_Naslund

Front Design: 4 out of 5
Despite the overabundance — more like borderline abuse, really — of gradients, the set’s design is pretty good. Sure, every single design element, save for the “FoodLandYES!” logo at the bottom, has a gradient: from the border to the team logo to all of the text. But this was the 1990s, so gradients galore is almost expected.

21_Mike_Stapleton

3_Ulf_Samuelsson

The only drawback of the design is the gaudy “FoodLandYES!” logo, which is red and quite distracting. Had the logo been white, or even black, it would have fit in nicely with the rest of the design.

4_Rick_Tocchet

17_Kevin_Stevens

Stats & Info / Back Design: 2 out of 5
The back of each card does not have any statistics or biographical information about the player. The cards do have a “Penguins Tip” and a “Safety Tip” on the back. The “Penguins Tip” explains the rules of hockey, such as offside, the role of the team captain and the penalty for, as they call it, “fisticuffs.” The “Safety Tip” is the usual advice for children: fire safety, the dangers of drugs, wearing a bicycle helmet and that stealing is bad, mmmkay.

1_Mario_Lemieux_back

23_Jaromir_Jagr_back

19_Ed_Johnston_back

As much as I make fun of the silly little cartoons on the back, if they helped one kid avoid drugs or not get hurt, then they have done their job. I mean, those ridiculous “Say No To Drugs” commercials from the 1980s — specifically the one below — were a positive influence on me during my childhood.

You have a ri-eee-ri-ee-ight to say NO! NO! Right to say NO!

Notes
The set was sponsored by the FoodLand grocery chain, and given away by police officers in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area. Children could get a card from an on-duty police officer for free. Cards were allegedly rubber-banded together, so it is likely that you may find nicks on the edges of the cards. Also, the cards were printed on very thin card stock.

4.5 out of 5

Despite the flimsy card stock, garish sponsor logo and lack of player statistics, the 1993-94 Pittsburgh Penguins set is worth owning, even if you aren’t a die-hard Pens’ fan. The set looks sharp — albeit a bit “nineties” — and is loaded with stars. Speaking of which…

BONUS
Six players who ended up in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

1_Mario_Lemieux

1 – Mario Lemieux – Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 1997. (back)

12_Bryan_Trottier 12 – Bryan Trottier – Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 1997. (back)

13_Larry_Murphy

13 – Larry Murphy – Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2004. (back)

14_Ron_Francis

14 – Ron Francis – Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2007. (back)

23_Jaromir_Jagr

23 – Jaromir Jagr – Hockey Hall of Fame Class of ???? (back)

25_Joe_Mullen

25 – Joe Mullen – Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2000. (back) ■

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

3 thoughts on “Review: 1993-94 Pittsburgh Penguins”

    1. AJ, glad I could tell you about something you didn’t know about 🙂

      Next week, I will show you another Penguins set that I’m pretty sure you haven’t seen either.

      1. I’m looking forward to it. Up in the Ottawa area, you were always really limited in what you could get for the Penguins in the 90’s and early 2000’s (exception being the Mario buns which were awesome!). With the net and eBay it helps, however I have no history to draw from to know what to look for and have ended up stumbling across items now and then over the years.

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