This year I've been pretty successful with knocking off some completed sets, particularly as it pertains to my goal of completing the 1980s Topps hockey run. I've already completed the final three Topps sets of the decade, '87-88 through '89-90, so today we'll continue backwards and look at another one I've scratched off the list in 2012, 1986-87 Topps. Here's a look at a few select favorites from the set:
This set was never up there with certain other '80s sets whenever I'd rank them in my mind. I never owned a single one in my first go at collecting as a kid, so they don't hold really any nostalgic value to me. I think that might be a big part of why I'm sort of indifferent to the set, because the design itself has kind of grown on me over time.
Alongside the '84-85 set, this one does the best job of any Topps hockey release from the decade at integrating team colors into the design.
Unfortunately the majority of the photos are what you see here, closely cropped shots of guys standing around. Wayne Gretzky represents the third most valuable card in the set according to Beckett, if you care about that sort of thing.
You have to love this Tiger Williams card, just look at that Kings sweater. To me these always looked like there was way too much white (or yellow I guess) space right above the logo.
Here's an example of the team-colored borders really working well. This is one of my all-time favorite Lanny McDonald cards.
There aren't really any big-name Hall-of-Fame rookies in this set aside from the Patrick Roy. This John Vanbiesbrouck is probably the most sought after rookie after the Montreal netminder's.
Yzerman's third Topps card is in the set's top 5 book-value-wise.
Here's a look at a back. Pretty standard Topps fare for the time period. No cartoons, nothing flashy at all really.
Always good to see the Whalers and Nordiques on a checklist...
Here's Kelly Hrudey on the set of Karate Kid (Ralph Macchio is a big Islanders fan actually
As usual there is some heavy airbrushing to be had.
The fourth leading scorer in NHL history...
...and the man who'd soon join him on the Whalers, if only for a few years.
Here's the big card in the set, Patrick Roy's rookie. Like 99% of people who chase this set, this was the very last card I needed to finish it off. Definitely one of the most iconic cards from the decade, this is one of the bigger cards in my hockey collection period, and certainly one of my top buys of 2012. I've already selected it at slot 53 in my Ultimate Hockey Card Set.
Second year card of one of my favorite Whalers, Kevin Dineen...
Mike Bossy's penultimate Topps card is in this set.
I think Mario Lemieux may be my favorite card in the set. I picked this card up last year
. Super Mario's second Topps card is also the second most valuable card in this set behind the Roy RC. Just a great looking card in my opinion.
If my count is accurate, Liut's is one of only two cards in the set (#79 - Gil Perreault being the other) where the puck actually makes an appearance. If that doesn't tell you all you need to know about the photography then I'm not sure what will.
There may not be any Hall-of-Fame rookies aside from Roy in the '86-87 set, but there are a lot of interesting rookies of second and third tier guys. Guys like John MacLean, Clint Malarchuk, Ray Ferraro, Russ Courtnall, and Dirk Graham here.
I think Wendel Clark's rookie was probably one of the
cards to have when packs of '86-87 Topps hit the shelves, since he was drafted #1 overall in the 1985 entry draft.
I'm fairly certain this is Borje's final Topps card, although he would appear in the 1988-89 O-Pee-Chee set.
I had a bit of a tough time tracking down Al MacInnis' card. It's technically not a rookie card, since he did appear in the '85-86 O-Pee-Chee set, but it is Al's very first Topps card.
Here's a great shot of Murray Bannerman's mask.
And finally, my nomination for the worst card in the set, #153 Doug Shedden. This is the one and only time Doug would be included in a Topps flagship hockey set, and I'm sure he'd like a mulligan. I challenge you to find a worse card than this one on the 198-card checklist (checklist cards included!).
Well, I hope you enjoyed this look at 1986-87 Topps hockey. On the whole, it's a set that few collectors count among their favorites, but as is generally the case if you look a little deeper there are some nice individual cards. If you're a hockey card collector (or even if you're not), what's your opinion on the '86-87 design?
My completed Topps hockey sets
1979-80 Topps Hockey
1986-87 Topps Hockey
1987-88 Topps Hockey
1988-89 Topps Hockey
1989-90 Topps Hockey
I have no problem with the design. The use of team colours, the team logo, player name and position.
Everything you need in a card.
Now the photography........... meh.
I was a little more forgiving of this set than the one that came before it, but I was still mad OPC stuck with 264 instead of 396 cards. The Wendel remains one of my all-time favourite cards, though.
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