Anyone who knows me knows how much I love the 1990-91 Pro Set Hockey card set. Even almost 30 years later, it remains one of my favorite card sets of all time. Yes, they were printed by the boatload and had a ton of errors, but the set was colorful, had a ton of different cards to collect, and the most sought-after hockey insert ever made: the Stanley Cup Hologram!
This sell sheet, which measures 6″ x 6″, was given out in Canada in the summer of 1990 to promote the forthcoming release of 1990-91 Pro Set Series 1 Hockey cards.
The front of the sell sheet pictures Pro Set cards of Brett Hull and Wayne Gretzky at actual size. There’s also two hockey stick blades — mostly obscured by the cards — and a beat-up hockey puck.
Sadly, this little offbeat Pro Set memento is way too overdesigned. The puck and stick blades are smaller than the cards (which are actual card size). The puck partially covers the Gretzky card — why would you ever do that? — and the sticks are only visible between the cards, but not on either side of the cards.
I get it. Pro Set wanted to play off of their tagline of “The Hottest Card on Ice” by showing the cards in a face-off. Instead, it all just looks like a bunch of clutter.
The back has a lot of text and reiterates the Pro Set logo.
I’ve taken the liberty of transcribing the text, since the text on the image above might be hard to read:
The Hottest Card on Ice!
NHL Pro Set Cards
In 1989, NFL Pro Set established a new standard of quality and enjoyment for trading-card collectors.
In 1990, Pro Set has done it again!
Pro Set captures the sizzle and excitement of NHL Hockey with all new, 1990 NHL Pro Set Cards. Each card features top quality action photos, stat tables, player bios and a special twist: some of the bio information is in French!
405 Card Set
The 1990 Series 1 set includes 336 player cards, 40 NHL All Star cards, 12 rookie draft choice, stat leader and Hall of Fame players, 17 NHL Trophy Collectibles – plus NHL Pro Set point books.
Stanley Cup Hologram
As a special bonus, 5000 hand numbered Stanley Cup Trophy Hologram Collectibles are randomly inserted in the 1990 set.
Got ’em. Need ’em.
Get ’em. They’re Hot
Available at Selected Retail Outlets
In Canada distributed by Victory Productions Inc. 1625 Simset Road, Mississauga, Ontario L4W 1V6
It is interesting how Pro Set touted the use of French text on the card backs as a feature, when in fact it was a workaround. In order to be sold in Quebec, the cards had to have some French on them. The sell sheet also mentions that the set would include Pro Set point books. I think they are referring to the coupons that came in each pack that could be used on the purchase of merchandise from the Pro Set catalog. But I never heard them referred to as “point books” before or since.
When it comes to Pro Set hockey cards, I try to collect every promo, mail-away, premium or other special or oddball item the company has made. I have never seen this item before, not on Ebay or at card shows.
So when I found this sell sheet at the National Sports Collectors Convention in 1990, I was psyched. It was just causally tossed in a box with other hockey items, none of which I needed. I pulled this out and asked the dealer what he wanted for it. He looked at it, shook his head, and told me I could have it for free. I insisted on paying for it, but he told me it wasn’t worth it. After all these years, some people still don’t appreciate Pro Set. Or, at least not as much as I do. ■