Goalie mask cards are pretty commonplace nowadays, but 15-20 years ago they were a rare addition to products.
I discovered mask cards in 1997 (remember the Pinnacle tins shaped like goalie masks?). I pulled a Patrick Roy Masks card and was hooked. I quickly built the set and immediately started looking at what other mask-type sets existed.
I was happy to find that there had been some sets released in previous Pinnacle products.
I was not happy to find the price tags associated with some of the cards.
Nonetheless, I slowly but surely built the sets. Believe it or not, I still need a couple cards to finish off one of the sets, but I'm in no rush.
So I'd like to show off one of my more favorite mask sets from that mid-90's era. The 1995/96 Pinnacle Masks.
It was a 10-card insert set that showcased some of the cooler masks worn in the league at that time.
This Brodeur is probably the biggest name in the set and in my opinion he has a very underrated mask design. I'm not as big of a fan as his modified look these days and will always consider this mask design to be his true colors.
The cards have a nice reflective shine to them (I believe they call it 'dufex' as in DOO-fex). The thunderbolt design in the background is a little odd, but the colors more than make up for it.
How about some of these names - Vernon, Potvin, Moog, Burke, Thibault and Hextall. Not too shabby (although I would have liked a Roy in there along with a Joseph). The change up with player selection to go in the set made it a more interesting project in my opinion.
Nope. This is not John Vanbeisbrouck, it's Mark Fitzpatrick. Very similar masks though. In fact, Mark's might be a tad cooler.
On a side note, I bet that tandem holds the record for the most letters used in their last names combined. The sweater guys must have hated them.
Now, on to the cream of the crop. Jim Carey...the 'Net Detective' had a really cool mask. Too bad he decided to have a 'one hit wonder' career.
With nicknames like 'Ace' and 'The Mask', it's obvious to see that the actor he shares the same name with played a huge part in his goalie mask persona.
He's one of the few goalies never to have changed his design once being brought up from the farm (he played for the Portland Pirates in 1994). Clearly, the huge pirate on the crown of his mask is a result of that. The 4 aces on his chin are in response to his nickname 'Ace' and all of it sits in front of a red brick wall base.
Definitely a fun design in an era where personality was not as readily portrayed on masks.
Perhaps my favorite of them all was this sweet Blaine Lacher mask.
'Locks' as he was known used the Loch Ness Monster character and amped it up a ton to create a menacing figure on top of his mask.
His nickname sat on the chin and what you don't see in the card are hands on either side reaching out. It really sells the idea of this monster attacking you.
Yeah....that's pretty cool, even by today's standards.
So that's it. One of the many mask sets I have built over the years. One of my favorites as well.