Review: 1992-93 Team Pinnacle

6 cards, 12 illustrations of 90s greats

1992-93 Team Pinnacle Ed BelfourInserted in packs of 1992-93 Pinnacle hockey trading cards, Team Pinnacle featured twelve of the greatest men to lace up skates in the 1990s. Two centers, two left wingers, two right wingers, two goalies and four defensemen are depicted in these action-oriented illustrations. While you’d think these dudes were starters in the NHL All-Star Game, or named to the NHL All-Star Team (as selected by the sports writers), that is not the case here. These guys are “Team Pinnacle”, as selected by Pinnacle (a.k.a. Score) Trading Card Company. Continue reading “Review: 1992-93 Team Pinnacle”

Review: 1987-88 O-Pee-Chee Hockey

Overlooked set has many good rookie cards

1987-88 OPC #53 - Wayne GretzkyLike the previous year, this season’s O-Pee-Chee set contained 264 cards. The first 198 cards were identical to the 1987-88 Topps Hockey set – both Topps and O-Pee-Chee use the same photographs. Cards of players traded in the off-season differ slightly in this set. Players who got traded have a short text blurb mentioning the player’s new whereabouts (“Now with Black Hawks”, “Now with Maple Leafs”, and so forth). The team name on the front of the card is also changed to reflect the player’s new digs. Continue reading “Review: 1987-88 O-Pee-Chee Hockey”

Review: 1993-94 Leaf Painted Warriors

Ten-card set a must for goalie collectors

1992-93 Leaf Painted Warriors Kirk McLeanOne of the coolest things that makes hockey so different is the uniqueness of the goaltender. Not only do hockey goalies wear padding all over their body to stop flying pucks, but they can have their mask painted any way they want – a tradition that started with Gerry Cheevers in the 1970s and continues to this day. You would never see a football quarterback paint his helmet differently than his teammates, or a baseball power hitter emblazon his batting helmet with his nickname. But in hockey, this is perfectly normal – hell it’s almost expected. From Cheever’s “stitches” to John Vanbiesbrouck’s “Panther”, custom goalie masks are as much a part of the game of hockey as an open ice hit, the slap shot or the Zamboni itself.

In 1993, Leaf Trading Card company released “The Leaf Set”, a high-quality hockey card set which featured several insert sets. One of these was a ten-card set called “Painted Warriors”, which keyed in on ten of the best goalies of the 1990s. Continue reading “Review: 1993-94 Leaf Painted Warriors”

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”