Flashback Product of the Week: 1987-88 Panini Hockey Stickers

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For the most part, sets from the 1980’s don’t carry that much value.  But there are always some exceptions.  One of those exceptions happens to be 1987-88 Panini Hockey Stickers.

Panini got it’s start producing stickers in the early 1960’s and continues to make them today.  In 1987 Panini and the NHL came together to issue a 396 sticker set.  It was the first of it’s kind for NHL fans here in the U.S.  This product was more or less a test to see if hockey fans in America would be interested in an all NHL sticker set.  It turns out that fans were very interested.  The product was a major hit with collectors.  Many collectors consider it to be one of the best hockey products to come out of the 1980’s.  The key rookies include Luc Robitaille, Mike Vernon, Ron Hextall, and Bill Ranford.

Wayne Gretzky has nine different stickers in this set.  He has been with Upper Deck for years.  Its funny to think that Panini once had him.  Given today’s exclusives, I highly doubt we’ll ever seen Gretzky on a Panini card again.  Not unless Panini buys up all the competition, which has been a rumor floating around.  They’ve got all that international sticker money to play with.

If your lucky to find a sealed box, be prepared to open your wallet.  Asking prices are quite high, usually $1,000+.  100 packs come in a box, and each pack contains 6 stickers.  Given the success of the 1987-88 test release, Panini drove up production for the following years.  None of their other NHL sticker sets ever reached the popularity and/or value of their first.

One Response

  1. I love the 1987 set! The 1988 is almost as good. The only problem I have is the price tag (I’ve seen $1,400.00 – $2,000.00!). It’s quite comical when you see these stickers sell for $1.00 individually on ebay. That’s if you can even sell them. I’ve seen the exact same stickers from the exact same seller’s for years. They just keep getting reposted and few want them. So why the high price tag for a box of 100 stickers (6 per pack) making a total of 600 stickers that you can’t even sell for $1.00 a piece?Rare! That’s the word I hear. Yes, less were made, but if only a few people want them, then they aren’t exactly rare. Iwould say there are more than enough for the small market that wants them.I purchased a box of them in 2011 for about $100.00. I couldn’t even build the complete set (396 stickers) with one box. The same goes for any Panini hockey box I have purchased. It always took two boxes to complete the set. Doubles, that is what we’ll have to discuss. From what I can tell, Panini gave you two Wayne Gretzky traditional stickers in every box , in every year they produced stickers. So they like Topps and the others strategically organized their packs.Wayne Gretzky has nine different stickers in this set, and you will get doubles of them. There was a box break in 2012 that counted out the amount of his doubles. The grand total was 18 (again, only two were his traditional Edmonton Oilers sticker). 18 Gretzky’s are a lot. But if you payed $1,800.00 for the box, you would NEED to get $100.00 a piece for each one. That is not going to happen when they sell for $1.00 – $5.00 each.I’ve seen the complete set go anywhere from $400.00 – $600.00. Yet, the box that has 600 stickers and not even the full complete set can go up to $2,000.00! Something is definitely WRONG here! When you are struggling to sell something for $1.00, and 600 items that all sell for $1.00 each are being sold for $2,000.00, there is definitely a problem.If you buy that box of 100 packs, you can’t recoup your losses. Yes, it’s rare meaning less were made, but its not $2,000.00 rare! The product inside doesn’t equal the price tag on the outside. You would need to charge $2.80 a sticker to break even if you spent $1,600.00 on the box. It’s simple mathematics. Imagine someone trying to charge $2,000.00 for a box of 1991 Score baseball cards. We know the product in there doesn’t balance out to what the price tag is. GrantPaed more exist of the Score card, but it’s the same principle. You’re charging too much. This should have been picked up on years ago. It isn’t until now that the Panini hockey sticker collection is given the credit it deserves.A guideline must be set on them . A legit price tag so we can set a bar. That way the dealers and customers have a rough idea of what they should be charging and buying them for. That was the whole point of price guides to begin with. Even though something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it, we still need a rough idea for fair marketplace.If it’s going to cost someone almost $2,000.00 to buy a box, then they better start valuing the rookies, the semi-stars, the all-stars, and the special stickers. Nobody would spend $300,000.00 on a Ferrari if had a 1979 Datsun four cylinder motor in it. Either raise the rates per sticker, or drop the value on the box.The only guess I have as to why the individual stickers don’t sell for more is not enough people know about them. They need to be updated and educated about them before any real value can be found. If no one is collecting them, then the price falls.

    Panini hockey sticker sets are a welcomed edition to any hockey collectors set of cards. They look great, are fun to get into, less exist that haven’t been peeled and stuck in the accompanying book, and they have rookies! Few fail to realize that the 1988 set have a rookie of Brian Leetch one year before his rookie card came out. That set is great too and should be sought after as well.

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