Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Pro Set 91-92 Series II

Pro-Set improved on a lot of things for the 91-92 set. Unlike their 90-91 sets, they used photographers who knew how to focus, they put the correct players on the cards, and they didn't give cards to any referees or coaches. Despite (or because of) all of this, I think the 91-92 sets just don't have the character of their predecessor. The design of the 91-92 cards is far too plain to be exciting. From the plain black name bar to the drab grey backs, these cards ooze out about as much excitement as a corporate meeting. Pro-Set tries to make things interesting with NHL history and Hall of Fame cards, but their choice of players, like Bernie Federko and Dale Tallon (at the time the set was released, neither were Hall of Famers) is odd and most the cards, maybe with the exception of the Boston Bruins pictorial history, are just plain boring.

Even Pro-Set's insert cards were plain as can be. Numbered CC1 through CC9, these cards looked almost exactly the same as the regular set. I didn't even know I owned any of these cards until a few days ago when I put all my Pro-Set cards in order. Compare
Adam Oates' insert card to Niklas Lidstrom's leader card. Not a lot of effort there.

I did own the first series of these cards when I was a kid. I'm not sure where that set went, but I can tell you that series one is more of the same-- just better players, and some all-star cards.

Five of my favorites:

#368 - Frank Musil - Look at this guy's face and make a joke in your head.

#470 -
Herb Raglan - Could he not get a proper visor in Quebec?

#478 -
Doug Wilson - There's something weird about seeing an old-school player like Doug Wilson, who had played since 1977 with the Chicago Blackhawks and was one the last NHLers to not wear a helmet, playing in a teal Sharks jersey.

#505 - Gino Odjick - Gino photographs well. I can't think of a single Odjick card that didn't get serious consideration as a top five favorite of its set.

#612, 614, 615 - Play Smart - Some of the worst cards of all time. Motivational messages like 'Get Involved,' 'Stay in School,' and 'Hockey is for Everyone,' are so bad they make kindergarten classroom posters blush.

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Stu said...

I had the first series of this set.. I think my parents got me a box of cards for Christmas one year. It was probably, and still probably is, the cheapest and most worthless set out there..

I never saw any of the set II cards, so I didn't get any of the positive reinforcements that came with the 'stay smart' cards. That's probably why I turned out to be a bum.

Sal said...

Actually, I liked the "Play Smart" card of Jim Kyte (who interestingly does not have a "regular" card in the set).

The reason I like the card is, I have a brother who is hearing-impaired and has to wear hearing aides. Even though the card is kind of useless, I find it inspiring that a deaf guy can play hockey. I even used this point to convince my Dad to let my brother play sports. If a deaf guy can play a brutal sport like hockey--and be an enforcer, no less--then my brother should be able to join the wrestling team.

Anonymous said...

Hi, hard to 'bash' a card set that can be bought for $1!! Better, I think, than the first-year ProSet Series II that featured players who never played an NHL game. O-PEE-CHEE's 'valuable' card from the good ol' days had it down to a science; it got ruined in 1990 and now kids don't get to buy 25 cent packs on their way to school and learn about all the players in the other cities...what a shame. When a team came to town to play the Leafs, I used to dig out all my cards and learn about the players. It was 'meant' to be FUN; now Upper Deck would rather sell high priced junk to 40-somethings.

Anonymous said...