Miracle on Cardboard

1980 Kellogg’s Olympic Stick’r Trading Cards

1980 US Olympic Team Hockey CardKellogg’s–the makers of cereals such as Corn Flakes–issued a set of smaller-sized, Olympic-themed trading cards. The cards could be peeled away from their cardboard backing and “stuck” to a flat surface-hence calling it a “stick’r trading card”. Released in 1980, these were most likely packed in boxes of cereal. One such card deals with our favorite sport: ice hockey! Here we see some sweet but random hockey action on the front. I’m not sure what teams these are, as the logos have been airbrushed off of the jerseys, but I guess we could assume that the players in white are from Team USA. Adoring the lower left corner of this card is a large and distracting Winter Olympics logo. Continue reading “Miracle on Cardboard”

1992-93 OPC Premier box break


Recently, I went to a card show and picked up a box of 1992-93 O-Pee-Chee Premier hockey cards for $8.

As much as I like old cards and opening packs, this set left me wishing I just bought a complete set online. The problem with that, though, is that many people want to charge you $8 to ship a 132-card set.

So, I thought that I’d buy this box and get a complete set.

I thought wrong. Even though a box would yield you 252 “regular” cards and 36 insert cards, I came surprisingly short of completing a set. Here’s the breakdown of what I got:

Regular cards
– 115 cards towards my set
– 94 doubles
– 42 triples
– 1 quadruple

Insert cards
– 32 “Star Performers” (22 plus 10 doubles)
– 5 “Top Rookies” (4 plus 1 double)

Overall, I now have 88% of a complete set, 100% of the 22-card “Star Performers insert set and 100% of the 4-card “Top Rookies” insert set. Even though it’s cool that I got all the inserts, I really didn’t need them, since I bought those a long time ago.

As you can see, I got a lot of doubles–and quite a few triples too. I even got a quadruple, of Tampa Bay Lightning player Joe Reekie.

Many of the packs had a “packaging flaw”, where you would get two cards of the same player in the same pack. One particular pack gave me three doubles in the same pack, as I pulled two cards of Glen Murray, two cards of Gordie Roberts and two cards of Guy Hebert.

But I ended up with one more insert card than I should have–37 instead of 36…so I guess it wasn’t all bad.

Another interesting tidbit: these cards seemed to “segregate” themselves. In every pack that I pulled a card of Reggie Savage, I also got a card of Darren Banks in the very same pack! I don’t know if the card-packing machines in London, Ontario really intended to put both black players in the same pack, though; it was probably coincidental.

If anyone has doubles and can help me out, I still need 17 cards to complete my set–see my Wantlist here.

I also have numerous doubles to trade of both the base and insert cards, as well as complete insert sets for trade. Reply here, or Contact Me if interested.

Look for a review of this set once I complete it.

Face Time

1981-82 O-Pee-Chee #317 – Dave Farrish

Dave Farrish OPC Hockey CardI wonder why O-Pee-Chee even bothered including a card of Dave Farrish in their 1981-82 set if this was the best photo they had. Sure, the defenseman played 74 games for the Toronto Maple Leafs during the previous season…but he barely appears on his own card. You only catch a glimpse of his visage as he slightly leans over the boards of the penalty box, wistfully gazing upwards at the O-Pee-Chee logo floating above. Continue reading “Face Time”

A Tale of Two Teds

1975-76 Topps card #244 – Ted Irvine

Ted Irvine Topps Hockey CardWhat’s wrong with this picture?

Obviously, this card has been painted over, to change the player’s uniform to that of the St. Louis Blues, mid-1970s. Whenever Topps (or O-Pee-Chee) spent time retouching a player photo, the final result ended up looking like a painting with a superimposed floating head.

The problem here is the floating head belongs to Ted Harris and not Ted Irvine. Continue reading “A Tale of Two Teds”

2006-07 Power Play box break


I went to a card shop on Sunday, and purchased–among other things–a box of 2006-07 Power Play hockey cards. In retrospect, I paid more than I should have for the box–I now see that they don’t sell for much on eBay…damn. But at the time, the price that I paid seemed like a good deal–the card shop owner marked down the price, since it was last year’s product.

I love opening packs, and I figured a full box would make me a complete base set, plus maybe give me a chance to pick up a few special cards. Besides, there’s “one jersey card per box, on average”.

Without further ado, here’s what these 24 packs yielded:

– 131 base cards
– 6 Prospects (Yan Stastny, Marc-Antoine Pouliot, Steve Reiger, Cole Jarrett, Matt Carle & Jeremy Williams)
– 2 Goal Robbers (Manny Fernandez & Marty Turco)
– 3 In Action (Sidney Crosby, Henrik Zetterberg & Matts Sundin)
– 1 Last Man Standing (Chris Simon)
– 1 “Specialist” jersey swatch card (Brad Richards)

I’ve got mixed feelings about these cards.

The set, overall, is just OK. One hundred base cards, and the design is not all that great. I did get a complete base set though, which is always nice.

The Brad Richards card isn’t really worth all that much–I see two currently *not* selling on eBay for 99 cents each, and one that did not sell about two weeks back. It’s the risk you take. Sometimes you get a well-sought after jersey or autograph card, but most times you don’t. No big deal. Richards is a good player, so I don’t mind having this card around if I can’t trade it to someone.

The 30 rookie cards in this set–of which I got six of–are nothing special, either. No Malkin, Staal or Paul Stastny (though his brother Yan is in this set). Why go through the trouble of making the rookie cards six per box if they are going to be of mostly ho-hum players?

I guess that’s why these cards don’t sell for all that much. But then again, I am forgetting *why* I collect. Sure, value is a part of it–I’d be lying if I said that was not a part of it. But what is, and always will be, the most important is the fun factor.

And what was fun, though, is opening the packs, and building a set (yes, even if it’s just a 100-card base set).

Beckett Hockey Magazine suggested that if you want your girlfriend to like, or at least understand, your hobby, then you should ask her to open some packs of cards with you. Well, it worked for me.

After going to the card shop, my girlfriend Shellie and I got dinner and opened some of the packs before dinner, and the rest over desert. She seemed to enjoy opening these packs even more than I did. Whereas I would open the pack, glance at the names, and see if I got any special cards, she would look at each and every card, and notice certain things about many of them. She mentioned that Todd Bertuzzi looked intense and creepy (“You have no idea!” I told her), and the fact that the Ducks are no longer “Mighty”.

So, OK, I overpaid a bit for these “unpopular” cards. But I did get a complete base set, a Sidney Crosby “In Action” card, a lackluster jersey card (white swatch, oh yeah!), some doubles to trade…and the enjoyment of opening some packs. I guess that’s not so bad.

Sooner or later, I will post a review about this set.

Super Soviet Sticker

1979 Panini Hockey Stickers #140 – Vladislav Tretiak

Vladislav Tretiak Panini Hockey StickerAny Canadian over 40 years of age no doubt remembers the 1972 Summit Series, which pitted Canada’s best players against the best players from the Soviet Union. It was a grueling, eight game series – the Canadian Team barely coming out ahead, winning one more game than their opponents. One big reason that the series was so close was because of the amazing play of the Soviet goaltender, Vladislav Tretiak. Continue reading “Super Soviet Sticker”

Review: 1988-89 Panini Hockey Stickers

Quite possibly one of the best hockey sets – ever!

1988-89 Panini Sticker AlbumThe 1988-1989 Panini hockey sticker set was a great series, and possibly the best one a new hockey fan from that era could hope for. Way back in early ’89, I “discovered” hockey when I, at 14 years of age, accidentally put on the wrong channel (I was flipping between SCTV reruns and a biopic on Martin Luther King Jr.). I ended up catching the last five minutes of a Chicago Blackhawks game. Tuning into a game of theirs a few days later, I was hooked–and I needed to start collecting hockey cards.

1988-89 Panini Stickers #24 - Doug WilsonBut hockey cards were hard to find in Chicago in 1989. The only place you could find them was at baseball card stores. However, my local grocery store happened to sell Panini hockey stickers. I decided to start collecting them. Why not?–a pack of six stickers was 25 cents, and the album was only 69 cents.

Little did I know how useful this set would be to help me understand the great game of hockey. Continue reading “Review: 1988-89 Panini Hockey Stickers”