For the most part, the 1976-77 Topps hockey set was your standard run-of-the-mill 1970s hockey issue. But in addition to numerous subsets in the release, Topps also introduced a unique insert, which helped it stand out from others. Here’s a closer look at Topps’ issue for the 1976-77 hockey season.
1976-77 Topps Hockey Overview
The 1976-77 Topps hockey set was a 264-card issue. While that was a larger set than the earlier editions in the 1970s, it was actually a dropoff from the massive 330-card issue produced the year before. Topps had steadily increased the number of cards in its sets and 1976 was the first time in a while where the number of cards actually decreased.
The reasons for that are unclear but, as you can imagine, that meant the checklist took a bit of a hit. As a result, there isn’t much here in the way of key rookie cards. Hall of Famer Bryan Trottier leads the way but that’s about it. The rest of the set relies upon the usual collection of big name stars, including Bobby Clarke, Ken Dryden, Phil Esposito, Guy LaFleur, Bobby Orr, and others.
Wax packs remained at 15 cents.
Design for the cards was pretty simple. The set featured white-bordered cards with a player’s name printed boldly at the bottom, along with his position. The player teams were at the top in a curved manner above the player’s image, which is the most unique design aspect of the series. The backs utilized blue ink against a mostly green backdrop and offered statistics, a biography, card number, and a cartoon sketch, representative of other Topps issues.
Subsets and Inserts
While the number of cards decreased, Topps made up for that a bit with the inclusion of several subsets and a special insert set. Those allowed the company to include more cards of some of the bigger names in the sport.
The set begins with a six-card League Leaders set and a four-card Record Breakers set follows a little bit deeper into the release. The Record Breakers set is desirable because it includes a second Trottier rookie card in addition to his base issue. He was featured on the card for his record year the season earlier when he set a new rookie scoring record with 95 points.
In addition to a subset featuring team cards, Trottier has a third card as he is pictured in another subset featuring some of the top lines in the game. He joins teammate wingers Clark Gillies and Billy Harris on a card for their line, nicknamed the Long Island Lightning Company. While there weren’t many quality rookies in the issue, so many Trottier cards helped make up for that in a way.
Topps didn’t stop with only subsets, either. The company produced a glossy insert set, which was rare for 1970s issues. Among players there, you will find (you guessed it) Trottier yet again. Other keys to the 22-card set include cards featuring Orr, Dryden, Esposito, Lafleur, Clarke, and others. The inserts had rounded corners and replica signatures, making them easily distinguishable from the regular cards.
1976-77 Topps Hockey Prices
1976-77 Topps hockey cards are plentiful and inexpensive. The Orr and Trottier base cards are the most expensive in the set and can be found in decent condition starting around $15-$20 but for around $100, you can own a fairly nice complete set. The special insert cards are even less expensive with complete sets costing just a few dollars.
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