Wednesday, June 27, 2012

85-86 Topps Master Set

A life long goal I have for collecting is to try and get one complete set from every year hockey cards were produced. This is of course a goal, and I am not sure if I will ever reach it, but it certainly will keep me busy and interested in collecting  year after year. 

Last summer I made a trade with Sal from for a pretty amazing Mario Lemieux Topps rookie. As far as cards go in my collection, this is in the top 10 and what makes it extra cool is the wax stain on the reverse.

85/86 Topps #9 Mario Lemieux Rookie
Here is the front of the card....iconic.

Here is the back side, and you can see some wax stainage by the Mario and vitals.

After I got the card, I went on the hunt for the rest of the set. After a few months I found an auction that was almost ending and I landed the set minus Lemieux for 41 bucks including shipping. That might seem a little steep to some, but to me it was the right price for the quality. Every card was near-mint to mint.

Now that I had the "complete set", I wanted to try and go after the master set. In 85/86, each pack of Topps hockey included a sticker. I actually already had the Lindbergh sticker as part of my PC but I wanted to try and get the complete set. After doing some research, the set books for about 20 bucks and they can easily be had for about 12 bucks shipped online. I tried to do better and this week one my "Father's Day" gifts came in and it cost $8.15 shipped.

So here are the 33 stickers that make up the All-Star insert set.  The first 6 represent the first all-star team for the season, and the second 6 represent the second all-star team. The last 21 are stickers for each NHL club that participated in the 84-85 NHL season.

 Card 1 John Ogrodnick. I sometimes forget he was an all-star. John had three 40 goal seasons and one 50 goal season to his credit. This card represents his finest season where he had 55 goals and 105 points.

Card 2 Wayne Gretzky. An 80's set without Wayne is incomplete. This was Wayne at his finest, 73 goals, 208 points and an NHL record 47 points in the playoffs. 

Card 3 Jari Kurri. You could actually have the entire first all-star team be comprised of all Oilers, but then again that wouldn't be fair for other fans. However, Jari's season was great and that is why he was included on the first all-star team. 71 goals good enough for second in the league and 135 points also good enough for second, hence a first team all-star. BTW, Jari also had an NHL record 19 goals that post-season as well.

Card 4 Paul Coffey. Paul finished with 121 points and finished 5th in league scoring. He would only play 2 more seasons with the Oilers.

Card 5 Ray Bourque. Ray posted solid offensive numbers to go along with a better defensive game than Pual Coffey.

Card 6 Pelle Lindbergh. Pelle was the Vezina trophy winner from the 84-85 season, thanks in part to 40 wins and a stellar 3.02 GAA. Pelle had seven wins more than the second highest goalie.

Card 7 John Tonelli. The season was the only one where Tonelli would top 100 points and he would also post a career high in goals with 42.

Card 8 Dale Hawerchuk. Like Tonelli, Hawerchuk posted career highs of 53 goals and 130 points during the 84/85 season.

Card 9 Mike Bossy. A perennial all-star, Mike was demoted to second all-star this season despite scoring 58 goals and 117 points.  

Card 10 Rod Langway. Rod a two-time Norris Trophy winner made his  third and final all-star  team appearance.

Card 11 Doug Wilson. 84/85 was a pretty decent year for Mr. Wilson. Doug had 22 goals and 76 points during that season and chipped in another13 points in 12 playoff games.

Card 12 Tom Barrasso. Tom came out of the gates hot into his NHL career and then finished rather quietly. I almost don't even remember him leaving the NHL to be honest. 84/85 was a pretty solid year for Tom, he lead the league in GAA and Shutouts.

In case you were wondering, here is what the sticker backs look like. Stats from that year's All Star Game as well as career totals.

The rest of the stickers are team logos with numbers and pucks.

 Finally, here is what the backs of the stickers look like.

There you have it, a pretty cool insert set to go along with a solid and iconic base set. If it wasn't for the Lemieux rookie card this set might be very forgettable. However, if you combine the Lemieux rookie with rookies from Kevin Dineen, Thomas Sandstrom, Kirk Muller, Kelly Hrudy, and a solid collection of star cards, this set is a solid offering from the mid 80's.


  1. nice looking set-I remember when they first came out, I was working part time at a card shop--they were $8.00 a set--only bought 2--left some for other people--aahhhh---are you sure thats wax stainage beside Mario's vitals

  2. Wow. Hearing stories like that make me wish I was about 5 years older. How many good deals have I missed out on.

    I am 99% sure it is wax, it looks more like it in person than on the scan. What might you think it is?

  3. I bought 3-4 packs of the Topps when it came out, but didn't get a Mario.

    I was so mad when this set wes released in OPC. That was the year they cut the set size from 396 to 264 and did away with team cards, etc. It is now growing on me, though. Nice to polish it off!

  4. BTW, if you want to go completely crazy on the master set notion, each of the team stickers exists in two varieties - logo on the top and logo on the bottom. This was certainly true of OPC, anyway. :)

    What years are you targeting next?

    1. I am completely crazy, because I am trying to get the different logo variations of the stickers.

  5. Wow, I didn't know about the two variations....that might be a back burner side project..

    Right now, I am working on a few years:
    and I might try and get a box or two from the mid 90's and hand collate a set or two. The only set I am missing from the 80's is 79-80 OPC or Topps and I might try and snag a partial set of that if the price is right.

    I am sort of scattered, but then again it is fun to try and do it that way.

  6. Oops...I am also missing 86-87 as well. I do have a Topps Roy rookie, so I might also try and land a partial set of that....silly me, I forget that year every now and again!