This is a set that I’ve been debating getting into for years. I finally found a perfect starter lot and the only regret I have is that I didn’t get into this a lot sooner. I thought they looked cool from a distance, but now having the cards in hand, I’d call them something closer to awesome.
These are 2002-03 Parkhurst retro minis. There were a number of Parkhurst releases that season, including a retro set that was a modern-sized clone of the milestone ’51-52 set. A subset of the retro set was the mini set. This was the same set, but produced at the same size as the originals. There was a base set of 200 plus 50 short-printed rookies (highlighted by Spezza and Nash – thankfully no Crosby or anyone really absurd).
The cards are a pretty solid tribute to the original set. The images are manipulated/washed-out colour shots rather than the colourized black-and-white shots used in 1951. As a result, they’re actually a little less vibrant than the original. They still work, though. As a bonus, a ten-year-old player selection (that happens to land on a period I wasn’t collecting) means that there are still cards of Forsberg, Super Mario, Patrick Roy, etc. It’s a fun set.
Of course, the new cards are better-made. 1951-52 Parkhurst was cut with a paper cutter and collated in a cement mixer. The new ones are both straight and centered – things which cost crazy sums of money for 1951-52. The font is a tad smaller and there’s a bit less contrast, which doesn’t help with legibility.
The cards are exactly half the size of a modern card. This is also true of the originals. They’re a touch wider than the old cigarette cards, so finding an appropriate sheet to store them in is an issue. As I’ve done with the 1951-52 set, they’ll fit in a sticker sheet, but not perfectly.
With my lot now in hand, I’m at 179 of 200 base cards, plus two of the 50 short prints. It’s a solid start and I should be able to salt away at least the base set this year. It’s a lot easier than ’71 OPC baseball high numbers and 1950s hockey.