Pittsburgh Penguins toothbrush

My sister gave this to me a few years ago. I still haven’t gotten around to opening and using it…and I probably never will:

Click on image to enlarge.

The Slap Shot Hockey Stick Toothbrush, made by a company aptly named Sportbrush, is “Your best shot against tooth decay.” It is a toothbrush that is shaped like a hockey stick, and comes with a black “self adhesive puck holder”, which you would mount on your bathroom wall and use to hold the toothbrush. There’s something ironic about using a puck to hold a hockey stick.) Continue reading “Pittsburgh Penguins toothbrush”

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”

Stick it!

Recently, I completed my 1990-91 Panini hockey sticker set.
For some reason, I never got around to getting the last two I needed, Patrick Roy and Andy Moog, until now.

I used to buy Panini stickers diligently “back in the day”. They were easy to find, as most drug, convenience and grocery stores carried them. They were also very affordable; a pack of six stickers cost about a quarter or thirty cents. Finally, the sticker sets were larger than most hockey card sets–and all teams got “equal treatment”. Meaning, if there were 16 Blackhawks stickers, then there were 16 Nordiques stickers–and 16 stickers for every other team too.

I think I learned more about hockey during my first few years of fandom by collecting stickers–a lot of players were featured, and many times other aspects of the game (rules, signals, all-stars, stadiums, uniforms) were covered.

For these reasons, the Panini sticker albums were always a treat to collect. You could even trade with (or buy from) Panini the few stickers you needed to finish your set. I’m not sure why I didn’t just pick these two up for ten cents each back then. I probably forgot all about needing these two when the 1991-92 set came out.

This week, I plan on adding several articles about hockey stickers. Check back every day this week, as I have three sticker-related articles in the queue, ready for your enjoyment. First up is an article about where my hockey memorabilia collecting all began.

Hockey card haul

This past Saturday, I went to the twice-yearly Chicago Sun-Times Sports Collectors Convention. The show is held in March and November. Back in November, I purchased the one card I needed to complete my 1970-71 Topps Hockey Set. This time around, I had similar luck. Here’s some of the cards I picked up:

This 1969-70 Topps checklist is unmarked, and completes my set.

1969-70 Henri Richard – this was an upgrade, as the one I already have has a bad wax stain on the front. Now, my set is EX/NrMt overall.

I purchased this 1953-54 Parkhurst Leonard “Red” Kelly card for $10. I thought that seemed steep at first, since the card has three major creases. But then I remembered that this card is 55 years old! Suddenly, ten bucks didn’t seem like much for it.

That said, $15 for a 1951-52 Parkhurst Gus Bodnar card seemed like a pretty sweet deal, even though it is creased across the front.

I plan on getting this 1978-79 Topps Dale Tallon card signed at the upcoming Chicago Blackhawks convention in July.

Likewise, I will send this 1976-77 Topps card to Fred Stanfield to get autographed–I have had success with him in the past

Other highlights include:

  • Several Chris Chelios cards (I try and collect all of his cards)
  • A complete set of 1996-97 Leaf Hockey for $8
  • 1990-91 OHL complete set, 1990-91 WHL complete set and 1990-91 QMJHL complete set –all three for $10
  • Mario Lemieux “Bun Candy” 3-card set for $3
  • A Penguins puck–with the oldschool “scarf” logo–for $5
  • Numerous 2006-07 O-Pee-Chee inserts for 50 cents to a buck each.
  • Signed photos of Pat Lafontaine, Jari Kurri, Brian Hayward, Rick Tocchet and Bernie Parent–all for $5 each! (links are to scans)When I went to this show, I was just so in the zone. I was on my feet for seven hours straight–I did not break for lunch, nor did I have to use the restroom. I was thorough and methodical in my perusing of the dealer tables. I think I did pretty good, too. Some of the stuff I bought was impulse buys, like 3 issues of the old “Legends” magazine for $5 total, or the autographed photos. I set out to complete my 69-70 set and pick up a few “old as dirt” 1950s cards. I accomplished both of those goals, and got some other cool stuff too.

    Now, I just gotta sit down and put everything away…