Checklists Are Dead!

1971-72 Topps #110 - Checklist
Once upon a time, people used to write on their trading cards…

When you open up a pack of hockey cards and get a checklist card do you…

a. Smile?
b. Frown?

Checklists. They used to mean something “back in the day.” That day could have been in the 1980s or 1990s, when one or several checklist cards informed us which players were in a set, as well as cluing us in to how big the set was.

But now checklist cards are pointless.

We know how many cards are in a set because companies like Upper Deck, Panini and In The Game convey that information to retailers, who in turn give us the details when selling us new cards. The card companies also post this information to their websites, many times making checklists of new sets available as a downloadable Excel spreadsheet.

And when was the last time you actually took a pen and “checked off” your checklist?


So why does Upper Deck continue to include checklists, in both their Upper Deck and O-Pee-Chee card sets?

Would you rather get an Upper Deck Young Guns card of a prospective NHL player, or an Upper Deck Young Guns CHECKLIST card?

Would you rather get an O-Pee-Chee CHECKLIST card, or a duplicate of Hal Gill?

(Is Hall Gill still even playing?)

Checklists are useless. Sure, really old ones are worth some money if they are unmarked. Some newer checklists might be worth a few bucks if they picture a popular player on the front, like Sidney Crosby.

But really, what’s the point? Take out the checklists, and no one will care.

Checklists are dead.

What do you think? Do you like checklist cards? Vote in the poll (in the sidebar on the right) and post a reply below telling me your thoughts on checklists.


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

15 thoughts on “Checklists Are Dead!”

  1. While I agree with you that the purpose of the checklist as a card is rather pointless with the information overload all over the interweb, I think they cater to someone who likes the vintage feel of the 70’s and 80’s where these cards were staples.

    Nothing more than trying to give that authentic retro feel.

    I’d laugh my butt off if a product like Dominion or The Cup threw a checklist card into the mix. They only work for products looking to throw you back in time.

  2. I’m kind of on the fence with this one. I don’t like a checklist card that takes the place of another card in the set, especially in Upper Deck Hockey. I’d much rather have two more base cards per series and one more Young Gun. At this point we all know it’s 200 base cards and 50 Young Guns per series.

    On the other hand, I like them in Retro sets like OPC. It reminds me of the good ol’ days of my youth and I feel like they have a place in these types of sets.

    I think it would be cool if they came back with the team checklists and used a painting on the front like Upper Deck use to back in the early 90’s. Make them a subset, use the best players on the team, and then have jersey/patch and auto parallels, much like 2008 Upper Deck Heroes Football.

  3. I agree with Sal. Checklists are dea. Yes, back in the day they were helpful, but it still got me mad if I pulled one in any pack. If anything, they should make checklists free to those who want them. Maybe send a SASE, and have the company mail them off to you.

  4. No need for the checklists anymore. And I agree with the comments above…nothing worse than getting a checklist instead of card!

  5. I don’t like set checklists.
    But I would like to see team checklists in the larger sets. Or team leader cards again, but only as part of the base in the larger sets.

  6. I, too, like the checklists as it brings me back to my childhood days–marking the checklists so you would know who you need–got em got em need em–I’ll trade you my 2 of my extra Howes for your Parker MacDonald–that’s how we did it

  7. To be honest, for me checklists are part of card tradition, so I like to have them in packs and sets. It´s something that is not useful anymore, true, but it connects present with the past and hope they will stay in sets for a long time 🙂

  8. Here’s a brainwave for either Panini or UD to adopt:
    Print a checklist on your spacers/decoy cards. They are equally useless – but together create a useful piece of cardboard.

      1. Agreed, that is an awesome idea. I am surprised that ITG doesn’t already do something like that since they are always the kings of the decoy.

        That being said, I do have a bigger appreciation of checklists now that I am tackling older sets and I hope to do a post sharing some of my various ones year by year. However, I would never put pen to paper on that one! 🙂

  9. I just got a checklist out of a pack of O-Pee-Chee, and surprisingly I was not hat mad. Maybe because the rest of the pack was really good, or maybe I just have a soft for them. But I usually I don’t like them. The nostalgia can sometimes be kind of cool, but they really just seem irrelevant now. However, I think the 1990’s UD portrait checklists are really cool.

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