Saturday, January 8, 2011

1991-92 Pro Set Re-Visited Almost 20 years Later

Since my blog is about as popular and in demand as 91-92 Pro Set Hockey, I decided to take a look back on one of the least liked sets of all time. The sad part is, that at the time most collectors really enjoyed breaking the product. Looking back now, most despise it since it is so easily available and has little value.

For some, like me, the set has sentimental value. Pretty much all the cards I have from 91-92 Pro Set were bought for me by my Dad. The local sports store in town had packs for sale and my Dad would always buy me some each time we went for the weekly skate sharpening. Above all I really wanted the Patrick Roy MASK card. This was THE card of 1991-92.

In the 90's my Dad was really in to HAM radio and would go to HAM fests. This was the equivalent of a Sports Card Show for us. Low and behold my Dad would always bring me back TONS of 91-92 Pro Set from the dealers who probably collecting during the trading card boom of the early 90's. I bet they were dirt cheap because I remember my Dad complaining that he spent $75 the year before on cards for my Sister and I.

At the time $75 dollars could net you about 150 packs of assorted cards throughout the year. We had a great dollar store by our house that sold most packs 2 for a $1 or 3 for $1.

In the Charlie Brown Christmas special, Charlie Brown is called a Block Head and blamed for ruining the Christmas play for getting a wimpy tree. Linus replies "It's not such a bad little tree, all it needs is a little love". The same can be said for 91-92 Pro Set. I took the time to look through the series last night and I recalled what I liked about the series.

I really liked that they featured the players in their All-Star Uniforms. This is rarely done in current times considering how many fans do not like the All-Star game. In the 90's they really promoted the All-Star game well through trading cards. Secondly, the athlete's invited did not decline like they do now. It puts a black mark on the game when you hear how many players decline to go because they claimed to be injured or want to rest.

The base design is pretty simple and featured many subsets. You had: Captains, Rookies, Trophy Winners, All Star Game, Leaders and HHOF.

The HHOF cards are actually pretty nice and were designed to look old. They had a great player selection and featured past greats. I've scanned three of the greatest goalies to play the game: Sawchuk, Vezina and Plante.

What went wrong? It all clicked last night when going through the set. While the cards design is nice at first, after a while it becomes pretty dull and plain. At the time Upper Deck was very popular and featured cards with gloss. This really enhanced the picture. Pro Set might have survived a lot longer if they had come out a few years earlier before Upper Deck. As mentioned earlier, these cards were mass produced and easily available. Collectors busted a lot of this product to pull the CC insert cards that featured the MASK card, Pat Falloon RC and Scott Neidemayer RC's.

It also doesn't help that 1991-92 was probably the WORST year for Hockey cards. I challenge anyone to think of a year that  was worse!


  1. Great write-up. I didn't collect hockey cards back then, just football, basketball, and baseball... and pro set always was a cheap and terrible product.

  2. I would take Pro Set cards all day, every day over the JUNK that is being made now. My two year old daughter can design better than the morons in the industry nowadays.

  3. 91-92 was the greatest year ever in hockey card collecting. Every companies' sets made drastic improvements, the first on-card auto cards were introduced, the first important inserts were introduced (the "The Mask" "Le Masque" cards played second fiddle to the UD Hull Hockey Heroes header card and there were several other inserts on par with it), the incredible 90-91 RC class still was developing like with Pavel Bure, UD introduced the WJC cards of all other countries including the sick gold medal USSR team, chase inserts hadn't really entered the hobby yet (and begin the ruin of it), 91-92's RC class was exceptional as well, the re-introduction of Parkhurst, I can go on and on. Want a worse year? The very next year 92-93 was much worse. 98-99, 04-05, 12-13...