It is no secret that Todd McFarlane, the founder and CEO of McFarlane Toys, is a huge hockey fan. McFarlane was a part-owner of the Edmonton Oilers from 1998 to 2008, and designed the “gear” logo that adorned the Oilers’ third jersey from 2001 to 2007. His toy company made a line of hockey action figures called SportsPicks from 2000 to 2014.
SportsPicks were the “gold standard” when it came to hockey action figures, for their attention to detail and great player likenesses.
As popular as the figures were, McFarlane Toys stopped making them in 2014. But after a nine-year gap, SportsPicks are coming back with an all-new line of action figures featuring eight different NHL players.
I recently had the opportunity to ask McFarlane about the new line of NHL SportsPicks figures – and why they stopped making hockey figures in the first place.
Sal Barry: Why did McFarlane Toys stop making NHL SportsPicks figures in 2013? And hockey SportsPicks altogether in 2014? (NOTE: The 2014 figures were in Team Canada Olympic jerseys and were not licensed by the NHL.)
On March 12, 1966, Bobby Hull became the first NHL player to score over 50 goals in one season when he scored his 51st goal of the 1965-66 campaign.
That historic puck is now available for bid at Classic Auctions. The puck is from Bobby Hull’s personal collection and is covered in gold. Hull did this with all of the pucks that he kept from his career. The puck is mounted to a marble base and has two engraved plates detailing his accomplishment.
The puck also comes with a certificate of authenticity, on vintage Chicago Blackhawks letterhead, signed by Hull.
Also included is a signed 11″ x 14″ photo of Hull celebrating his accomplishment after the game.
Hull’s 51st goal puck is currently at $2,469.00. The auction ends March 1, 2023. It should be interesting to see how much this puck sells for, considering its significance in hockey history.
Other Blackhawks items currently open for bid at Classic Auctions include:
How the pandemic and professional grading have made ticket stub collecting more popular than ever.
While trading cards may always be number one among sports memorabilia enthusiasts, ticket stub collecting has gradually heated up over the past two years. It has done so for two reasons. The COVID-19 pandemic and grading companies have both made collecting physical ticket stubs more popular than ever. However, digital ticketing may erode some of that enthusiasm – but maybe not for long.
When the COVID-19 pandemic first caused shutdowns and “shelter at home” orders in March 2020, many people started at-home hobbies. Some discovered, or rediscovered, sports card collecting, causing cards to surge in popularity and price over the past two years. Then, ticket stubs experienced its own uptick in interest.
“The pandemic got more people to look at their ticket stubs and see if they could sell them on eBay,” said Paul White, who has collected ticket stubs for 30 years. “People wanted to see if their ticket stubs are worth something, and to some people, they are. I’ve actually found more ticket stubs on eBay since the pandemic, which has been a benefit.” Read the rest of the story at the BCW Supplies Blog.
If you subscribed to cable television in the 1980s and 1990s, you no doubt remember the monthly cable guide that was mailed to your home. Those thick, black-and-white magazines, usually printed on cheap newsprint-type paper, would list out everything that was scheduled to air on cable TV that month. When I was a kid, I would go through it page-by-page — hell, I’d study the thing like there was going to be a test about it — and note what hockey games were being televised that month.
Back in October of 1990, my monthly cable guide included this special, pull-out “1990-91 NHL Season Preview Special Advertising Supplement.” Measuring 5″ by 7-1/4″, it is an eight-page, full-color booklet printed on magazine paper instead of the typical newsprint. It has two hockey articles, some random trivia, and the burning questions for the season.
This “advertising supplement” seems like the thing that most people would have read once and thrown away, and not carefully preserved for 30 years like I did.
But I think we established that I am not like “most people,” and have saved some of the most random “puck junk” over the years. So, let’s take a look at what the big stories were prior to the 1990-91 NHL season.
This cardboard goalie mask was given away at the 42nd NHL All-Star Game, hosted at the Chicago Stadium on Saturday, January 19, 1991. I believe these masks were not handed out upon entry, but instead put on all the seats at the Stadium ahead of time. However, my memory of 30 years ago is kind of fuzzy now. It’s a good thing I blogged about this game in 2011, as I remembered more back then. Now, if only my blog had existed in 1991.
Anyway, it is somewhat of a miracle that this mask survived in my collection the past three decades. What is even more amazing, though, is that I managed to get this goalie mask out of the All-Star Game in one piece and without any tears or creases. Continue reading “1991 NHL All-Star Game Goalie Mask”
I loved saving the ticket stubs from the Chicago Blackhawks hockey games I went to when I was a kid. Each time I went to a game, I was sure to bring my stub to school the next day to show off to my friends and prove that I was there.
Sometimes the games were important – all-star or playoff games – and sometimes it was just a Tuesday night regular season game. Regardless, it was cool to just go and then have that small, visual reminder that I could look back at.
Over the years, I have also saved pocket schedules, rosters, lineup cards, score cards and any other piece of game or team-related memorabilia I could find. I even saved concert ticket and movie ticket stubs. After a while, all of that started to add up, so I had to get it organized. BCW makes many different sizes of pocket pages that will fit almost any “non-card” collectible you may have. Read the rest of the story at the BCW Supplies Blog.
Many puck collectors I know are the “all-in” type who purchase almost every unique puck they find and then put it on display with the hundreds of other pucks in their collection, usually in some custom-built display that costs a lot of money and takes up an entire wall.
Me? I don’t have the space or the budget for that. I’m more of a casual puck collector. Card collecting is my favorite hobby, but it is hard for me to resist buying a hockey puck every now and then, be it from a special game or commemorative event, or with the logo of some long-gone team. And I love getting pucks signed by my favorite players; pucks look great when signed in silver Sharpie or silver paint pen, and it is a shame to not display those. The problem is that over time, all these pucks start to pile up, can take a lot of display space and be tricky to store without damaging them.
Comic book creator and artist Todd McFarlane is a legend in his industry, having worked for many years on The Amazing Spider-Man and Spawn. But he’s also a huge hockey fan and has been involved with the sport in one way or another over the past 30 years.
1. Spawn-Themed Hockey Merchandise
McFarlane’s Spawn comic character appeared on some hockey-related merchandise in the 1990s. Spawn, dressed up as a hockey player, was pictured on a trading card that was given away with a sports magazine in 1994. Then, in 1998, the Spawn logo was emblazoned on a pair of 1:45-scale die-cast Olympia ice resurfacers sold in stores, as well as a puck given away at OHL Plymouth Whalers games on “Spawn Night.”
Today marks the 25th anniversary of the New York Rangers 1994 Stanley Cup Championship. Earlier this season, the Rangers gave away a replica Stanley Cup ring to fans who attended the February 8, 2019 game vs. the Carolina Hurricanes — and it is awesome!