Tuesday, October 13, 2009

ONE SHEET, ONE SET - 1994/95 Pinnacle Series II

This week, I've decided to take a look at a set from a time period when there was an abundance of cards, brands, styles and players available.

To look back to the mid-90's in terms of hockey card collecting means overproduction, saturation of the market and corner cutting. That said, there are times when the industry got it right.

Now I'm not saying that this set is one that got it right, but let's take a closer look at this specific example to get a better idea of what those positives are.

1994/95 Pinnacle Series II

A popular trend in the 90's were the "Series I, Series II" thing. In this instance, 270 cards per series.

A 540 card set, for me lends to only one thing... no-name players and fourth liners. That's a lot of cards.

Upon first glance, you will notice something a little different than most sets from the 70's and 80's (and for that matter, most of the sets today). The attempt at action photography and unique photos. I'll just say this, some work - most don't. Guys giving the puck a "high five" or being tripped do not a good card make. Sometimes simpler is better. The Messier card is a good example of that (but a bad example of a card reminding me how close Trevor Linden came to hoisting the Cup).

The Samuelsson card I think was a real good attempt, but would have worked better as a horizontal card.

Now this is a perfect example of poor photo selection for a hockey card. Graceful - isn't it. Looking at the design of the card, it goes into the group of simple. No border, just the one name bar (vertical on the left side - unique, but doesn't quite work for me) and the gold foil thing was all the rage at that time.

Another note on the Turgeon card. For those of you who don't know, this is the infamous Patrick Kane pre-rookie card. That little kid in the stands on the right hand side....yup, that's Patrick. Once revealed, the value of this card skyrocketed. I think at it's highest, people were selling it for over $50. It's still the highest valued card in the set. I guess it's good to be remembered for something, hey Sylvain?

The back of the card.....wait a second, my brain hurts.

What happened to the good ol' days of hockey cards, where the back had a simple cardboard look, there were no pictures and I got a complete rundown of the player's stats?

Gone! All gone! To make room for another photo of the player. The color selections and text font styles do not hold the test of time, and the lack of statistical information is sorely missed by this collector.

Overall, it comes in as a typical set for it's time. While there are a lot of distractions and "whiffs of the bat", it manages to connect every once in a while. The nicest thing is nowadays, you can pretty much find this entire set for mere pennies. I bet you could even find someone looking to give it away.

1.5 masks out of 5


  1. Yeah, despite the action shots, those were some pretty ugly cards. Thanks, too, for the head's up on the Patrick Kane pre-rookie card. I'm embarrassed to admit that I don't know that.

  2. Yeah, I guess the information on the Kane just surfaced a year or so ago. Prices for the cards went absolutely crazy for a few weeks. It still hasn't calmed all the way back down.

  3. Why aren't there more cards of guys holding the stanley cup? That's what its all about dammit! Maybe they're out there and I'm so out of touch that I don't know it? It would be a nice tradition for Upper Deck to have at least the captain of the stanley cup winner hoisting the cup for the following year's run wouldn't it?

  4. That's a good question. I don't notice too many "Stanley Cup hoists" cards out there (but I'm gonna start keeping my eye out for them).

    That said, does Upper Deck want to bypass all the other Sid The Kid photos to go with one of him lifting the Cup over his head?

    Maybe they should!