Forty-five seasons before the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues battled it out for the 2019 Stanley Cup, you could still go to the local drug store and pick up a pack of hockey cards (10 cards plus a stick of that bubble gum that got extra hard in the winter).
The cards were colorful and there was something extra inside that was perfect for sticking on the box that held your collection.
- Topps created its biggest hockey set ever in 1973. There were 198 cards in all with designs that included four different colored borders: red, blue, green and yellow.
- The set isn’t bubbling over with great rookie cards but Billy Smith, Dave Schultz, Bill Barber and Gilles Gilbert are here. There are 31 Hall of Famers in the set so the odds of finding one in a pack are pretty good.
- Wax boxes of 1973-74 Topps hockey held 36 packs so with good distribution, a full box would offer a pretty decent start on two complete sets. Packs were still a dime and contained ten cards plus a sticker insert that featured team names and logos. Today, unopened boxes and even the display boxes themselves are fairly rare.
- Wrappers included offers for the Topps Sports Card Locker, an NHL-themed bulletin board, a set of 16 plastic team emblems and a player/team photo album.
- Several vending boxes of ’73-74 Topps hockey have sold at auction in recent years, most originating with the Fritsch Cards archive in recent years.
- As far as we know, there were no cello packs of ’73-74 hockey but Topps did produce rack packs in very limited quantity. As with its baseball and basketball racks, there were 54 cards per pack for 39 cents–easily one of the best deals of the 70s for any kid who could lasso four dimes and find them hanging from a display.
- Vintage Breaks is currently planning a ’73-74 hockey break with spots at $30 each.
You can learn more about participating in vintage pack breaks—or just watch—by visiting VintageBreaks.com.