Hockey trading cards became a lucrative business during the 1980s and 1990s, and as a result, several companies tried to cash in with other hockey-related collectibles.
Here are five that didn’t gain traction:
During the 1983-84 season, Quebec-based company Souhaits Renaissance released a colorful set of 140 plastic “key tags.” Measuring just 1-1/4” wide by 2-1/8” tall, these card-like collectibles pictured players from 20 of the 21 NHL teams. The Blues were omitted because the ownership group had fired most of its staff and boycotted the 1983 draft, so the team’s demise appeared imminent. New owners stepped in to save the Blues that July, but Souhaits Renaissance wasn’t so lucky. The key tags were not strong sellers, and the company eventually folded.
Action Player Patches
By 1992, the market was so saturated with hockey cards that Chicago-based company Seasons tried something a little different to stand apart, releasing a set of 70 collectible “Action Player Patches” in 1992-93. The patches were a bit larger than cards and featured embroidered borders and screen-printed player photos. Seasons downsized its offering to just 20 in 1993-94 before leaving the collectibles industry entirely.
Trading card company Action Packed made popular football card sets in the early 1990s but couldn’t get a license to do the same for hockey. So, Action Packed attempted to release several other hockey collectibles for the 1994-95 season, including a series of coasters picturing NHL stars appropriately called “CoaStars.” The front of each CoaStar pictured a player in his home uniform and listed his home stats; the flip side pictured the same player in his road uniform and listed his away stats. Unfortunately, the 1994 NHL lockout quashed CoaStars before they could see the light of day, though six promotional samples were given to retailers.
Chris Martin Enterprises, which specialized in sports and superhero ephemera such as magnets and stickers, attempted to release collectible mouse pads depicting NHL players and team logos called “Pro Pads” for the 1995-96 season. Samples were sent to retailers to create buzz for the product, but the company couldn’t secure the necessary licensing and went out of business soon after.
When trading card giant Upper Deck tried its hand at making a set of collectible hockey coins called “Grandeur” in 2017, the response was anything but grand. Coins picturing 20 different current and former NHL stars were minted and sold blind-boxed for $100 per coin. Grandeur coins were legal tender in the Cook Islands, an associated state of New Zealand, and were made of silver, though gold coins could be found once in about every 66 boxes. Grandeur was a flop with card collectors and coin collectors alike and only lasted a season.