2019-20 Topps Hockey Stickers Box Break #3

This is my third and final box of 2019-20 Topps Hockey Stickers. With each box containing 250 stickers, my hope was that I would get pretty close to having a complete 630-sticker set. The first box gave me over 39% of the set, while the second box put me at 62%. While I know that I am not going to get every sticker that I need, my hope is that I am at a respectable enough number that I could finish the set off in a few trades.

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2019-20 Topps Hockey Stickers Box Break #2

If you want to build a set of 2019-20 Topps Hockey Stickers, you’re going to need to buy many packs. Considering that you get five stickers per pack and there are 630 stickers in the set, you would need to purchase at least 126 packs, or about 2-1/2 boxes. I purchased three boxes — each has 50 packs — and posted the results of the first box last week.

Opening packs of stickers is not for the “hit chasers,” as there are no hits to speak of. Really, a good box is one that has few doubles in its collation; a great box is one that has very few doubles from the previous box. Hopefully, this box is a “hit” by not giving me most of the stickers that I got in my previous box. So, without further ado, here are the results of my second box break of 2019-20 Topps Hockey Stickers:

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2019-20 Topps Hockey Stickers Box Break #1

I bought three boxes of 2019-20 Topps Hockey Stickers way back in January, but a lot of stuff happened in my life that kept me from opening and sorting through them. When the NHL restarted its season in late July, I finally had the time and the motivation to open my sticker boxes to try and build a set.

The 2019-20 season is the first time in a long time that Topps made any sort of tangible hockey collectible; the company last made hockey cards for the 2003-04 season. Topps also made sticker albums way back during the 1982-83 and 1983-84 seasons. Over the past three decades, Panini was the preeminent manufacturer of hockey stickers until Topps got the license for the 2019-20 season. 

About 2019-20 Topps Hockey Stickers

2019-20 Topps Hockey Stickers cost about $1 per pack and contain five stickers: four regular stickers and one shiny “foil” sticker. Boxes contain $50 packs and can be bought from the Topps Online Shop. However, you can find boxes in the $30-$40 range on Ebay and from various online card retailers. 

Interestingly, the stickers come in foil wrappers that are “crimped” at the top and bottom, just like how sports trading cards are packaged today. 

There are 630 stickers in the 2019-20 Topps Hockey Sticker collection, so you would need three boxes to hope to make a complete set. Here is what I got in my first box. 

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Puck Junk Pack Break: 1990-91 Pro Set Hockey Series 1

If you are anything like me, you are probably thinking, “Man, what the world really needs right now is another chubby geek opening packs of trading cards on YouTube.” 

Thus, I am happy to report that I am going to start doing hockey card pack breaks on YouTube. Or perhaps I should say restart, as I did do a few pack breaks on YouTube back in 2011, when I was less chubby but equally as geeky. 

Truth be told, I’ve been itching to restart making pack break videos ever since the COVID-19 pandemic gave me good reason to shelter-at-home. I work from home, and spend most of my time at home. I’m around my collection a lot more, and rediscovered a two-column shoe box of unopened hockey packs from various sets and years…and I think it is time I start opening these packs! 

But before I could attempt to become the George Lucas of hockey card pack break videos — who you calling scruffy-looking? — I had to change my living situation first. I had to find a new place to live, pack my belongings, move, unpack and get settled. I’m unpacked and settled enough that I can finally start creating some videos. 

To launch the return of my pack break videos, I’m starting with a pack of my favorite  cards of all-time: 1990-91 Pro Set Hockey Series 1. You get a lot of cards in the pack — and I actually got an extra card in this one. Plus, I pulled a pretty good card…well, good for Pro Set. 

If you watch this video, please fire off a comment, either here or on YouTube. Let me know what you think, either about the video itself and how it could be better, or about the cards that I got in this pack. Oh, and please be sure to subscribe to the Puck Junk YouTube Channel. ■ 

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Custom Card: 1978-79 Topps Bobby Orr

It’s the 50th anniversary of Bobby Orr’s most memorable goal —  the one where he’s flying through the air and celebrating after clinching a Stanley Cup victory — and that got me thinking. Bobby Orr, the greatest defenseman to ever play the great game of hockey, never had a decent hockey card when he played for the Chicago Black Hawks. All of his card from 1976-77 and 1977-78 use photos that have been crudely repainted, while his final card from 1978-79 used a photo of Orr in a Team Canada uniform. 

That always bothered me. So, I decided to give Orr a final card that is more fitting for a player of his magnitude.  Continue reading “Custom Card: 1978-79 Topps Bobby Orr”

The 15 Best Hockey Cards from 1989-90

Hockey card collecting was on a precipice during the 1989-90 season. It hadn’t yet taken the plunge into the abyss of overproduction, inflated prices and rookie cards of practically anyone who got within 10 feet of an NHL uniform — succinctly known as the “Junk Wax Era.”  Hockey cards were rapidly becoming more and more popular, accelerated by the trade of Wayne Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings in 1988. 

Yet, only two companies issued mainstream sets that season. The 198-card Topps set was sold in the U.S. and its near-identical, though slightly larger, cousin O-Pee-Chee sold a 330-card set in Canada. 

But if you dig a little deeper, you will find that there were many other cards issued that year that stray from the beaten path — from team-issue cards to minor and junior league trading card sets, to cards printed on the side of food boxes. 

Here is a look at the 15 best hockey cards from the 1989-90 season. Keep in mind that most of these cards aren’t particularly valuable, with most ranging from $2 to $5 each — and even that might be pushing it. Anyone with a love of hockey cards and hockey history should consider having these in their cardboard collection. 

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The Quest for Khabibulin

One collector. One mission. 24 cards.

Collector Daniel Gilchrist has collected everything and anything related to Nikolai Khabibulin for 25 years. He owns several game-used goalie sticks, a game-used jersey and game-used goalie pads once worn by “The Bulin Wall.” He also has dozens of autographs and thousands of cards of Khabibulin, who is — if you haven’t guessed it by now — Gilchrist’s favorite player.

Gilchrist set out on one of his biggest collecting goals in 2016 when he decided to track down all 24 Nikolai Khabibulin logo patch cards from the 2013-14 Upper Deck Edmonton Oilers Collection trading card set. Although the pieces of Oilers logo aren’t from a game-worn jersey, they are still a sight to be seen when assembled. Gilchrist recently talked with Puck Junk about what challenges there were in his quest to collect all 24 logo patch cards of his favorite player.

Sal Barry: How long have you been a hockey card collector?

Daniel Gilchrist: Since I was 14. My family moved from Winnipeg to Edmonton in 1988, a few days after Wayne Gretzky was traded to the Kings. My cousins sent me a care package when we moved, and it had a bunch of hockey cards in it, including a Brett Hull rookie card. That’s how I got started.

SB: How did Nikolai Khabibulin become your favorite player?

DC: It’s actually a pretty funny story. Continue reading “The Quest for Khabibulin”

2019-20 Allure Hockey Box Break #2

As a hockey card collector, I like chrome sets. I missed out on the whole Topps Chrome Hockey era in the early 2000s, and am envious whenever I see baseball card collectors get shiny sets like Bowman Chrome and Topps Chrome each year. I liked some of Panini’s chrome cards, especially Prizm from 2013-14. I also like O-Pee-Chee Platinum cards by Upper Deck. So, I was intrigued by Upper Deck’s new Allure hockey set, which was all about the shiny, reflective cards.

I recently busted a box of 2019-20 Upper Deck Allure Hockey cards. It was only eight packs, so it didn’t take me too long. Here’s what I got:

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1990-91 Pro Set Series 1 Sell Sheet

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.

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