Review: 1991-92 Parkhurst Hockey

First Parkies set in over 25 years a mediocre offering in crowded 90’s market

1991-92 Parkhurst #26 - Doug GilmourThe 1991-92 Parkhurst Hockey set was manufactured by now-defunct trading card company Pro Set, who was the first company to lease the Parkhurst name. Parkhurst made hockey cards from 1951 until 1964. Pro Set’s big idea was to use the name to brand another set of their own hockey cards, hoping that its nostalgic ties would help it stand out in an increasingly crowded hockey card market. Continue reading “Review: 1991-92 Parkhurst Hockey”

Review: 1993-94 Donruss Ice Kings

Striking portraits of hockey immortals make this 90’s insert set memorable today

1993-94 Donruss Kings Ice Chris CheliosIn 1993, trading card manufacturer Donruss released its first set of hockey cards. Until then, the company had focused mainly on baseball cards. One of the coolest things about Donruss baseball cards was a yearly insert set called “Diamond Kings”, which featured paintings of the best players in Major League Baseball – usually one player per team. These paintings, by renowned sports artist Dick Perez, were the true highlight of the Donruss baseball card series.

Fortunately, Donruss commissioned Perez to do a series of 10 cards in their inaugural hockey set, known as “Ice Kings”. The set contained ten of the best players at that time. Of course, most of these players would be considered the best players of all time – including Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Patrick Roy. Featuring striking portraits, this insert set is a worthwhile addition to any hockey card collection. Continue reading “Review: 1993-94 Donruss Ice Kings”

Review: 2005-06 Upper Deck Ice

Fantastic design, great photography make for a worthwhile base set

2005-06 Upper Deck Ice #9 - Patrice BergeronThis day and age of short-printed rookie cards has led to a plethora of “base sets” that can be purchased “on the cheap”. Base sets have become a byproduct – almost an epidemic – in the hockey card collecting world.

Since collectors will buy multiple boxes in an attempt to get either all the short prints – or a lot of inserts – they usually end up with numerous base sets. Look on eBay, and you will see many people trying to sell you a “base set” with “no SPs” or “no RCs”. Many times, you can get these base sets for a bargain.

2005-06 Upper Deck Ice was a set that a lot of people went crazy over, because of ultra-limited rookie cards of Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovehckin. Cards 101-268 were all short prints, many of them selling now for hundreds of dollars…or thousands, if it’s Crosby’s RC. Some RCs were limited to 2,999 copies, while others – such as Crosby – were limited to just 99 copies, making them among the hardest to find, and therefore most expensive, rookie cards in existence.

The first 100 cards, on the other hand, are not so desirable, since they were printed in much higher numbers. Cards 1-100 – known in price guides as the “base set” – is what is reviewed here. Continue reading “Review: 2005-06 Upper Deck Ice”

Review: 1986-87 Chicago Blackhawks team set

Nice portrait photographs make this set a winner

1986-87 Chicago Blackhawks - Denis SavardReleased during the 1986-87 season, this Chicago Blackhawks team-issued set was sponsored by Coca-Cola. Twenty-four close-up portraits comprise the set, making these cards ideal for both identifying players or for getting autographed. Continue reading “Review: 1986-87 Chicago Blackhawks team set”

Review: 1998-99 Panini Photocards

Bad photography makes this one forgettable set

1998-99 Panini Photocards - Patrick RoyThe 1998-99 Photocards set was an odd release for Panini. While the company usually focused on making sticker albums, this season they also made this set of “photo cards,” which were similar in size to postcards. Panini also issued a small hardcover album to store the photocards.

You would think that a larger-sized format set of cards would excel, but this one unfortunately does not. This set falters because of mediocre photography, bad cropping and color problems.  Continue reading “Review: 1998-99 Panini Photocards”

2007-2008 Victory Box Breakdown

Earlier this month, I wrote a review of the 2007-2008 Victory Hockey Set.

This is a bit late, but I thought I’d post the box breakdown for the two boxes of Victory that I purchased.

Box 1

  • 177 base cards
  • 18 MVP Rookies
  • 9 Game Breakers inserts
  • 9 Stars On Ice inserts
  • 3 EA Sports Face-Off inserts

Box 2

  • 176 base cards
  • 18 MVP Rookies
  • 9 Game Breakers inserts
  • 9 Stars On Ice inserts
  • 4 EA Sports Face-Off inserts

The collation of cards was very good. Between two boxes, I got an entire base set. Of the 36 rookie cards (18 per box), none of them were doubles. I was able to track down the last 9 rookie cards on eBay.

The insert cards were another story. I got duplicates of several of them, which is frustrating, because there are so many of them. But I’m not sure if I really want them; I mean, will I feel a great sense of accomplishment when I get all 50 “Game Breakers”, or all 50 “Stars on Ice”?

The Hockey-Mask of Death!

Strange Sports Stories, Volume 2, Number 5, May–June 1974

Strange Sports Stories, Volume 2, Number 5, May--June 1974

One afternoon, my former roommate Dave — who played floor hockey with me in college — came home from his job at the local comic book store. “Sal, I found something you’d love,” he said as he handed me a beat-up old comic book from the 1970s. But this was not your typical Superman or Richie Rich.

ALL NEW! Strange Sports Stories exclaimed the title. Underneath it was a picture of two men playing hockey, and asking us the question “What was the sinister secret of the goalie who wore a hockey-mask of death?”

Dying to know? Then read on. Continue reading “The Hockey-Mask of Death!”

Upcoming McFarlane hockey toys

NHL Series 17
McFarlane Toys has added photos of NHL Series 17 to their website.

Due out in January of ’08, Series 17 will give us figures of Evgeny Malkin, Jason Blake, Ryan Miller and a new pose of Alexander Ovheckin–all wearing the new RBK Edge Jerseys.

Even more exciting is the inclusion of two more figures–Joe Sakic as a Quebec Nordique and Trevor Lindin wearing a retro Canucks uniform. And I don’t mean those weird “stick logo” jerseys–I mean the flying skate, baby!

I guess McFarlane Toys has to do something with all of those “obsolete” figure molds. The tooling for an action figure costs toy companies a lot of money. So, companies try to re-use tooling as much as possible, hence repaints, goalies that use the same pose, etc. Hopefully, we can grow to expect more “retro” figures using the “old style” of jerseys.

What are you waiting for? Check them out!

Hockey Goal Display Stand
Taking a cue from their success of last year’s Hockey Rink Playset, McFarlane Toys will also issue a Hockey Goal display stand. This is much needed, considering that all new goalie figures no longer include a net. Half the time, the best thing about adding a goalie figure to your collection was getting a “free net” with it. This new display, however, will be a vast improvement, as it will have room for both a goalie and a shooter. Better yet, it will come in both Classic (pictured) and Modern designs. More about those here.

Even more figures
McFarlane Toys has also announced the figures for NHL 19, NHL Legends 7 and NHL 3-inch Series Six. I won’t list them all here, but I think I speak for all of us in saying that it is awesome that they are making a figure of Guy Lafleur as a Nordique! You can read up on all this here–scroll about halfway down.