Friday, October 14, 2011

Value Vintage Sets # 2 - 78-79 Topps

Well it has been a while since I have had time to do a vintage post, so here we go. The number value vintage set of all-time is the 78-79 Topps set. I love the look of this set, maybe not as much as the 81-82 set but this set is classic.

Redeeming Qualities:
The design one front is pleasing to the eye and cool back sides
A decent sized set at 264 cards
(I noticed centering is better on Topps than OPC....can't verify if this is true though)
A number of good veteran players (Dryden, Mikita, Esposito etc)
The set is over 33 years old
28 rookies in the set
Mint sets can be found on ebay for under 50 bucks

Card Design:
The front side
Here is Bernie going out for a skate without his glove (warm up maybe?). Lots of the cards feature some decent action shots which I always preferred over studio shots.

The back side

Love the backs. The Special Autograph Series aspect of it is pretty cool. It is a shame that Howe and Hull were in the WHA and Orr was not part of the Topps set! Nevertheless, the backs are simple with stats and a write up on some players cards.

Key Cards AND Rookies

Mike Bossy Rookie

Without a doubt, the big card in this set is THIS ONE! I didn't have a Bossy rookie which is one reason why I wanted this set. Second reason is I have sorta always wished I owned this set and it was certainly high on my to-do list. When one popped up on ebay claiming to be NrMt-Mt I was a little skeptical. The set is 33 years old, sometimes things happen. I took a chance and I am ever glad I did. This Bossy is one of the niceset cards in the set and is really and honestly NrMt. I think it might even grade around a 9. The ONLY thing wrong is the centering. 4 sharp corners and a beautiful surface. This card books for 50 bucks and if you can land the set for that price you are essetially getting the other 263 cards for free!

Bernie Federko Rookie

The other 27 rookies in the set are pretty decent. Ranging from talents like Bernie Federko who made the Hall of Fame in 2002 to Pierre Mondou who had some pretty good years with the Habs to Jim Bedard who has had more success as a goalie coach than he did as a player. Lots of decent rookies are in this set. One downer, is Dave Taylor and a few others who have rookies in the OPC set aren't found in the Topps release.

Doug Wilson
Another quality rookie in the set is Doug Wilson. A really good d-man who hasn't made it into the Hall yet, and maybe never will, but there is a facebook group trying to accomplish that. One neat fact about Doug, is in 81-82 he scored 39 goals as a defenseman. That is still the 4th highest total ever by a defenseman.

Other notable cards:

Larry Robinson

Here is one of the cool action shots I was talking about. To make up for a small set, Topps put All-Star team status under the players names if it applied rather than make a second card. This is neat because the OPC version of Larry Robinson's card looks different than the Topps.

Phil Esposito

Here is Phil in the twilight of his career with the Rangers. Rod Gilbert had number 7 so Phil had to wear 77.

Ken Dryden
2nd last Dryden card from his playing days.

SO there you have it. I like this set very much and having only paid 44.99 (56.99 with shipping) I am way ahead on that deal. Keep an eye out if you are looking to pick one up yourself. The good quality sets are out there and they can be had for a pretty decent price. The OPC version is larger and more complete when you think there are 51 rookies and Orr's last card in that set. But cost-wise and bang for your buck, there really aren't many more sets that offer you value than the 78-79 Topps set!

Recap so far

#2 - 78/79 Topps

#3 - 81/82 Topps

#4 - 84/85 Topps

#5 - 89/90 OPC

I hope to get the #1 set up in the next week or so.


  1. I think this is one of the most under-appreciated sets out there. It gets forgotten because it's not the Gretzky set and the rookie class is pretty weak after Bossy. It's such a great design, though.

    '78-79 OPC was one of the five on my own list. :)

  2. Centering certainly doesn't look bad on the Bossy.

  3. I really like the shot of Parent and would love to score a Bossy rookie, I've only recently gotten into him.