Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2011 Top 20 Under $25 - #6 - 1985-86 7-Eleven Hockey Set

What is it? A 1985-86 7-Eleven hockey card set
When and where did I get it? Flea market, in October
How much did it cost me? Ready for this? $1.

Back in early October I went to a very small, hole-in-the-wall flea market with my younger brother. The place was nothing special, maybe 20 total tables and only two people there with any form of sports cards. One guy had a glass case with terribly overpriced '90s singles and inserts, no thank you. The other guy was a disorganized mess, with boxes, binders and piles everywhere. I don't think he had any idea what he had, just a gigantic cardboard disaster spread out on some folding tables and bookshelves. This is more my type of seller, so I decided to poke around for a few. I ended up spending $11 with this guy and coming away with two items. The first was my 1992 Topps baseball factory set, and the other was this hockey card set.

I found this small stack of cards in a ziploc bag at the bottom of a shoebox that was filled with mostly small, non-sport sets. I wasn't entirely sure what they were myself, although they were obviously released by the 7-Eleven chain in the mid-80s. I would have purchased these had he said $10, or maybe even $15, but all he wanted was $1. Sold! I didn't even bother looking beforehand, but after buying them I was psyched to see that it was a complete 25-card set.

They aren't the world's most exciting cards. The front is largely plain black, and contains two (often blurry) portraits of notable players from an NHL franchise. Each of the 21 teams that existed at the time has a card, and the teams are sorted alphabetically.

The backs are not that exciting either, with the left portion dedicated to card number, team logo and 7-Eleven logo, and the right portion reserved for team name and a brief write-up on the organization. According to the copyright these were produced by Super Star Sports. I scanned in the fronts and backs of all 25 cards in case you'd like to see what Super Star Sports had to say about your favorite franchise.

Tom Barrasso's is arguably the cheesiest photo of the 42 subjects pictured.


I always appreciate the chance to add a new Lanny McDonald to the collection. Heck, I would have forked over $1 for just this card.


In looking these up after the fact, I've seen them referred to as the 1985-86 7-Eleven "credit cards" set. I can see that, given that they are a bit smaller than your average card, and have a horizontal layout and rounded corners. I'd say they're slightly smaller than a credit card though, and thicker as well.


Ron Duguay's photo is the one most obviously from the '80s. He looks like he could step in and play guitar for Winger if they were in a pinch.


Wayne Gretzky is not present in this set, which seems odd given the year these came out.


Even the Whalers get a card. I guess this is technically one of my older Ron Francis cards. Mike Liut is obviously wearing a St. Louis sweater in his photo. This is the last time the Whalers will be featured in this countdown.

I like that the back of the card mentions the infamous Hartford Civic Center roof collapse!








I have to say, these write-ups are more informative than half the crap that gets released these days...

For a small set, there are Hall-of-Famers a plenty.






This would be the most valuable card in the set, if anyone considers any of these valuable that is. I guess this is technically a Lemieux rookie, although it doesn't feel right to call it that. Obviously it can't compete with the 1985-86 Topps/OPC Lemieux but it's not a bad companion to that card.


I don't know how these were distributed by 7-Eleven...can anyone help?











The next three cards in the set are the ones I like most, as they feature some of hockey's hardware.






Finally we close things out with a checklist.

These are certainly unique, and while they aren't exactly the best of what '80s hockey cards have to offer there's no way I could turn them down for the price. I hope you enjoyed this look at a set that you don't see every day.

8 comments:

TheHitKing said...

That's a nice set. I have about half the set...just kinda stopped it..Ughh I am jelous. I am glad they went away from the hish school portrait cards by now. Again, nice set!

Dave H said...

Great Score!

I love that Bridgman's eyebrows are as think as his 'stache!

Sal said...

Wow, dude. For a buck I'm jealous. I've tried to win this set on eBay for less than $20, so getting it for less than $2 is freaking awesome.

Sal said...

Also, I love the way you said "gigantic cardboard disaster". Hilarious!

Drop The Gloves! said...

The photos used for this set absolutely kill me. I mean, you have Doug Wilson's perm, Ron Duguay's teased out rocker do, Chico Resch's child molester look, and best of all, Barry Beck's "Ladies..." pose, not to mention the abundance of thick, glorious 'staches.

Justin G. said...

gotta saw the Minnesota card is my favorite since it had two future Lightning "stars" on it....Good lord Mario and Yzerman look young on those cards.

1967ers said...

I can't believe I never saw these things when they came out.

Neat pickup!

Unknown said...

For anyone interested, I just picked up 12 of these sets and would sell them for $20 each including shipping in North America. I have them listed in my eBay store (ID: hit_the_Icebox), but you can contact me directly at hittheicebox@gmail.com

Also, I LOVE finding tables like that at flea markets. I hit one in Buffalo last year and the guy had STACKS of early 2000s Upper Deck autographs for $1 each. Some awesome finds in there!

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