Because of all this, the 1988-89 Topps hockey set brings back a lot of fun memories for me. I'd open those first packs and immediately get hit by the players, the uniforms and logos, and the kid-friendly design.
Just look at the cards. Everything is fun, colorful, and fitting for the decade. The slanted color bar with the pushpin holding it in place will remind any '80s kid of bulletin boards. The dotted pattern underneath is reminiscent of halftone comic book printing. Even the colors themselves are fun, with greens, magentas, yellows, and blues that I wouldn't hesitate to describe as neon. (Or is it Day-Glo?)
Beyond the design, though, this set of cards also helped teach me about the game. Here's how.
Because once that puck dropped, you had to move like these next six guys.
Truth be told, though, this set of cards contains too many images of players leaning their sticks across their shin pads or lining up for a face-off. The six action cards you've just seen are few and far between.
Even the goalies did their share of standing around, look.
Here's an example of a card back.
Note that every card features the game-winning goals box underneath the player stats. (Stephane Richer had the most, with 11). Goalies also had a box on their cards, which listed their shots against totals instead. Grant Fuhr had the most, with 2,066 shots against in a whopping 75 games played.
And finally, just as exciting as the cards were the stickers. They came one per pack, and featured a player who was named to either the first or second all-star team or, even more awesome, a team sticker that included block numbers and sometimes three little hockey puck decals.
Here's the reverse:
Ah, the memories.
Thanks for flipping through some 1988-89 Topps hockey cards with me. The set really is a fun one, and despite the shortage of action shots you'll still find some nice-looking cards and a huge number of Hall of Famers. At a manageable 198 total cards, it's not a daunting task to complete it—even less daunting if you've already got some of the key players like Gretzky, Hull, Shanahan, and Turgeon.
Now who wants to play Blades of Steel on the NES?