Topps Surprises Hockey Fans With Brett Hull Signed Stickers

Topps left the NHL licensed card business in 2004.  In 2017 they jumped back in with their Topps NHL SKATE digital trading card app.  In 2019 Topps took things a step further acquiring a license to produce NHL stickers.

Leading up to the 2020 NHL All-Star Game in St. Louis, hockey fans enjoyed the events at the NHL Fan Fair.  One of the biggest moments took place at the Topps booth when St. Louis Blues legend, and 2009 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Brett Hull arrived.  Topps printed stickers which resemble Brett Hull’s 1988-89 Topps #66 rookie card.  Fans were quite eager to snatch the stickers up, and have him sign them.

They might not be “cards”, but these stickers look darn good.  Topps is as close as possible to making NHL licensed cards as they can get.  Upper Deck currently has an exclusive NHL license to make cards.

Card of the Day: Phillie Phanatic 2015 Topps Stickers #202

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Flashback Product of the Week: 1985 Prism/Jewel Stickers

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There is an endless amount of “I wish I could go back in time” moments when it comes to this industry.  Some people would travel back to when Mickey Mantle signed baseballs at a show for only $40.00.  Others would go back even further to snatch up tobacco packs containing Old Judge cards.  Basketball fans would no doubt take a trip to 1986 to buy boxes of 1986-87 Fleer.  The list goes on and on.

If you did have a time machine, visiting your local grocery store or department store in 1985 might be a good place to check out.  Among all the neon clothing, He-Man action figures, and cases of New Coke, it wasn’t uncommon to find vending machines filled with shiny stickers.  Stickers ruled in the 1980’s.

You can’t miss the line of Prism/Jewel Stickers that were released in ’85.  Looking at them for too long could easily burn your eyes out.  To say they’re shiny is an understatement.  There are (14) basketball stickers to collect.  It shouldn’t surprise you that the Michael Jordan is the most valuable.  That sticker predates his ’86-’87 Fleer rookie.  Examples have easily sold for over $1,000 depending on the condition.  Other stickers in this set include Larry Bird, Patrick Ewing, Magic Johnson, and Moses Malone.

Unlike cards, when these stickers came out most people didn’t think about their value.  Many fans simply peeled off the back and slapped them on pretty much anything.  Prism/Jewel Stickers were found all over the country, jammed inside tiny vending machines.  But not every vending machine contained the same stickers.  A lot of the basketball stickers were found out west.

Most collectors think these are ugly as hell.  I might agree with them if the picture was a photograph.  But I like the animated drawings.  The reflective surface looks just like a Superfractor.  In a way I believe the design was way ahead of it’s time.

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.

Flashback Product of the Week: 1976 Fleer Team Action Stickers

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Fleer took an interesting approach with their 1976 Team Action Stickers set.  The 66-card set features action shots only and focuses more on the play going on in the picture rather than the players.  There are two cards for each NFL team and one card for every Super Bowl.  Given that this product isn’t focused on the individual players, the cards aren’t in high demand.  Collectors want player driven cards.  Despite all of that, collectors must have been purchasing them because Fleer continued to release a Team Action set well into the 1980’s.  There really aren’t any key cards to look for, and this product is probably more valuable in set or sealed box form.

Flashback Product of the Week: 1976 Donruss Skateboard Stickers & Bubble Gum

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Here we have another neat little artistic set made by Donruss back in 1976.  Skateboard Stickers & Bubble Gum is a set that consists of 44-cards/stickers.  The artwork was done by comic-book artist Alex Niño who has worked with DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Warren Publishing, and Heavy Metal magazine in the past.  On browsing through the set you can see why Donruss would pick an artist like Niño.  It is filled with crazy skateboarding creatures.  The demand for these stickers isn’t all that good.  Full boxes with all their packs can sell for as little as $20.00.  Two years later in 1978 Donruss released another skateboarding product called All-Pro Skateboard.  This set contains artistic monsters as well as actual skateboarding photos.

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Flashback Product of the Week: 1972 Donruss Vote For Bubble Gum Stickers

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The act of voting is probably the most boring concept to build a product around, but Donruss actually pulled it off with 1972 Vote For Bubble Gum Stickers.  This 33-sticker set features an American flag like image on each sticker encouraging you to vote.  Some stickers tell you to vote for specific things such as peace or peanut butter.  Boxes contain 23 packs and can be picked up for $200.00 today.  This is one of those vintage products that if your lucky enough to purchase a box sealed, you leave it that way.  The individual stickers outside of the packs are barely worth a nickel.