Lost Cards: 1990-91 Pro Set Kari Takko

1990-91 Pro Set Kari Takko - A card that never wasFor my first installment of “The Lost Cards,” we will look at a card that was featured heavily in promotional materials, as well as on packaging, but never made it into anyone’s collection. Former NHL goalie Kari Takko almost had a card in 1990-91 Pro Set Series 2.

Promotional ads for 1990-91 Pro Set Series 2 showed the Minnesota North Stars goalie:

1990-91 Pro Set Hockey Series 2 advertisement
1990-91 Pro Set Hockey Series 2 advertisement. Click to see larger.

The same “mock up” cards were also featured on the packaging:

1990-91 Pro Set Hockey Series 2 wax boxLet’s take a closer look at that advertisement:

1990-91 Pro Set Hockey Series 2 ad (close up)
Click to see larger

Here we have 5 player cards and an Oilers Team Statistics card (that doesn’t exist either–but that’s a story for a later date). The player cards are of North Stars goalie Kari Takko. Bruins’ winger Nevin Markwart, Flames center Jiri Hrdina, Canucks’ winger Stan Smyl and Oilers’ winger Kelly Buchberger.

An interesting note is that none of the player cards shown use the proper names or statistics–that is why all of the names are obscured. For example, the photo of Smyl appears on Igor Larionov’s card. The Takko card shows the text “MO” at the bottom, meaning that Pro Set used Mike Modano’s card when making this mock-up.

Markwart, Hrdina, Smyl and Buchberger all had cards in Pro Set Series 2–although their cards used different photos than what was shown in the ad and on the box.

But Takko was not included in Series 2.Here are three possible reasons why:

Takko’s old mask (left) and new mask (right)

1. Pro Set wanted to get a more up-to-date photo.
Sometime after the 1987-88 season, Takko switched from the “birdcage” style mask to the hybrid style. Wanting a more recent photo is probably not the reason Takko didn’t get a card, though, as Pro Set had no problem using outdated photos for other players. (Both Denis Savard and Robert Nordmark both use photos from two seasons back).

Series 2 cards that used an old photo included a message in the corner

2. Takko was traded to the Edmonton Oilers in November 1990.
Pro Set might have decided against including Takko because he was traded to the Oilers, so any photo of him as a North Stars player would be out of date. This is also unlikely, because many cards–including the (real) card of Hrdina—show the player with their old team and have text on the front noting their trade.

3. Pro Set Series 2 was originally supposed to have more cards.
This might be the real reason. Series 1 had 405 cards, and it is likely that Series 2 was originally slated to have around the same number of cards. Pro Set’s 1990 football set had a total of 800 cards between Series 1 and Series 2. It is likely that Pro Set wanted their hockey set to be just as big–remember, the bigger the set, the more packs you had to buy to complete it. Plus, I can name many players that could have been in Series 2 but were not. If and when a decision was made to make Series 2 only 300 cards, Takko–who was then the third-string goalie for the Oilers–likely didn’t make the cut.

As you might have guessed, it annoyed me that Pro Set did not make a Kari Takko card. There it was, right on the wax box, mocking me–a card that I could see, but not have. So, I decided to give Mr. Takko his due and make a few custom cards.

Kari Takko custom card #1

This is probably what Takko’s card would have looked like if he wasn’t traded, showing the netminder with his newer style of mask.

Kari Takko custom card #2If Takko did get a card in Pro Set Series 2, it might have looked like this–Edmonton Oilers color scheme, but a North Stars photo and the “traded message” in the corner.

Kari Takko custom card #3If Pro Set Series 2 had been released a little later (to get photos from trades during the first few months of the 90-91 season), and had more than 300 cards, then Takko’s supposed card would have used an Oilers photo.

Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk


Author: Sal Barry

Sal Barry is the editor and webmaster of Puck Junk. He is a freelance hockey writer, college professor and terrible hockey player. Follow him on Twitter @puckjunk

17 thoughts on “Lost Cards: 1990-91 Pro Set Kari Takko”

  1. Odd how they have random names (and possibly stats?) on the cards. And is it just me or does the Oilers team card (which is non-existent) have no oil drop on the logo?

  2. I know there must be several Kari Takko ESPN sayings but I can’t think of anything good. “Kari Takko Bell”? “Kari makes the save. Takko very much.”?

    1. Well, Kari Takko was traded to the Edmonton Oilers for Bruce Bell in 1990, making it the “Takko Bell Trade.”

    1. Yeah, I thought it was Jarmo Myllys too, but I’m 99% sure it isn’t. The MO is for MODANO. If the name was supposed to read JARMO MYLLYS, then the MO would be before the right half of the card. All the prototypes used borders from existing cards, but obscured the names.

    1. The Oilers stat card shown in the advertisement differs greatly from the Oilers card that was actually released.

  3. Great card. Is it a virtual card or an actual card that you made of K. Takko. Because if it is, I would be interested in acquiring one of those cards…Let me know.

    1. Luis,
      It is a custom (or virtual) card. I never had it printed. Go ahead and right-click on it and save it to your computer. I am glad that you enjoy it.

  4. The real missing link in this checklist is Brian Hayward, traded to the North Stars. BTW, I miss those jerseys and logo!

  5. The mockups look really great!

    One of the card magazines from early 1991 (not Beckett) mentioned that Pro Set had announced/planned a final update series for the 1990-91 set, just as they had with their 1989-1991 sets. I want to say I read it in an SCD but not 100% sure which mag it was.

    Pro Set made many conflicting announcements to hobby shops and publications. When they released their official errors & variations checklist, they stated that Chris Nilan, Denis Savard, Dale Hawerchuck, Brad McCrimmon, Chris Chelios and Phil Housley cards could be found without their traded snipes on front. To date, I’ve yet to see a single example.

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