Review: 1987-88 Topps Hockey

Robitaille and Oates stand out in this sleeper set.

1987-88 OPC #15 - Mario LemieuxDuring the 1986-87 season, Topps increased its hockey set from 165 cards to 198 cards. This year continued the trend of 198 cards, as that seemed to be a comfortable number of cards for Topps to handle. Hockey cards were not popular in the United States in the 1980s – remember, there were no Topps hockey card sets for 1982-83 or 1983-84. So, it would not make sense to make their hockey sets as large as say, their annual Football set, which was usually around 396 cards. Continue reading “Review: 1987-88 Topps Hockey”

Review: 2006-07 SP Authentic

Run-of-the-mill set with legends thrown in for good measure

2006-07 SP Authentic #89 - Ryan Miller

The 2006-07 SP Authentic set featured the typical short-printed rookie cards and one-per-box autographs. The short-printed cards were limited to just 999 copies each. Since many collectors bought multiple boxes with dreams of getting some expensive insert card, the result is that they end up with multiple base sets (1-100). Go on eBay, and you’ll find people trying to get rid of base sets for $5 or $10.

Since I only have the base set, that is what is reviewed here. Continue reading “Review: 2006-07 SP Authentic”

Review: 1980-81 O-Pee-Chee Hockey Super Photos

Four times the size and almost twice the fun of regular hockey cards

1980-81 OPC Super Photos #5 - Lanny McDonaldBigger is better, or so they usually say. The O-Pee-Chee Super Photos set, released in 1981, features cards that are 5″ wide by 7″ tall – four times the size of a standard hockey card. Twenty four portrait-type photographs comprise the set. As cool as these jumbo cards are, the bland, almost blank backs, leave something to be desired. Continue reading “Review: 1980-81 O-Pee-Chee Hockey Super Photos”

Review: 1985-86 New Jersey Devils postcard set

Ten card set is 30% goalies, 100% mediocre.

1985-86 New Jersey Devils #1 - Mark JohnsonThe 1985-86 New Jersey Devils postcard set was very small, consisting of only ten cards. Allegedly, only 3,000 sets were produced. While I am not sure if this is true or not, I don’t think the demand for this set is going to raise its value anytime soon – you can probably find it in the $10-15 range. Continue reading “Review: 1985-86 New Jersey Devils postcard set”

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”