Taking a puck in the mouth has never been sweeter than new Pro Set package


Now that Topps has removed its gum, leaving collectors with reasonably pristine cards coming out of wax/foil/plastic packs, Pro Set is ready to give them something to chew on.

It's candy in a big way, a large, round confection packaged with three cards (the cards come in a plastic sleeve that keeps the chocolate off) and called Puck. It's for hockey-card fans with a sweet tooth.

The package, black foil, announces it as candy with three cards enclosed. Clearly, the emphasis is on chocolate, not cards.

The candy weighs less than a puck, but it's still a mouthful at 2.2 ounces (minus the cards). It's a tasty combination of chocolate, peanut, vanilla and caramel, but be aware that one piece is more than a snack and that the packaging is not resealable. It cuts easily and is not gooey, so it can be shared.

There are 30 cards in the set, and they only come in candy packs, so getting the whole set could be fattening. Most teams are represented by one player. For the Washington Capitals, it's Kevin Hatcher. Notables include Ray Bourque, Jeremy Roenick, Wayne Gretzky, Patrick Roy, Mark Messier, Paul Coffey, Brett Hull and Adam Oates.

These are not regular Pro Set NHL cards but complement them. Fronts have no team logos, but the Puck logo (an exploding star that is reminiscent of Action Packed's All-Madden logo) as well as Pro Set's logo. Backs have a color head shot and personal information, including hobbies, set on a background of the exploding star.

The first series will be available in the Northeast and U.S. markets where there are NHL teams. Pro Set plans to market Puck nationwide next fall if sales are encouraging.

Breakfast with the stars: Kellogg's, which put baseball stars in Corn Flakes last year, has the meal ticket for basketball fans -- cards of former college stars in Raisin Bran. Each specially marked box contains three cards. The set of 18 includes four members of the 1992 U.S. Olympic team -- Larry Bird, Scottie Pippin, Karl Malone and John Stockton. Card fronts show action photos of the players in their college days, a Kellogg's pennant and the team logo. Border colors are those of the player's college. Backs are white and give college statistics, honors and draft information. The senior member of the group is Bernard King, who starred at Tennessee from 1974-77. Collectors who can't eat cereal fast enough to collect the whole set can send away for a binder with all the cards. Details on the box.


New on ice: Pro Set Platinum II is 150 cards strong, including 10 bonus collectibles, and will be limited to 15,000 cases. New subsets include milestones of the 1991-92 season and top rookies such as Niklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings and Tony Amonte of the New York Rangers. . . . Pro Set NHL Series II is out in French. It is identical to the 270-card English version but will be limited to 5,000 numbered cases There will also be 1,000 randomly inserted autographed Patrick Roy cards. . . . Pro Set has randomly inserted 10,000 special holograms in Series II foil packs. The card shows the NHL 75th anniversary logo superimposed on a rink where a game is being played. Backs give a capsule history of the league.


Wrapping up football: Pro Set's 40-card update set includes Detroit Lions' Erik Kramer's first NFL card, a special card of Lions' lineman Mike Utley, who was paralyzed during the season and inspired his teammates' playoff drive, top rookies from beyond the third round and traded players who starred with their new teams.



Upcoming events:

Today, baseball card show, Freedom District Fire Hall (Route 32 between I-70 and Route 26, Sykesville), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 922-8366.

Friday, baseball card show, West Middle School, Westminster, 5 to 10 p.m., (410) 848-8411 or (410) 346-7837.

Saturday-Sunday, baseball card show, Glen Burnie Mall, 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Sunday, baseball card show, Pikesville Volunteer Fire Company, E. Sudbrook Lane, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

March 21, baseball card show, Holiday Inn-Cromwell Bridge (I-695, Exit 29A), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 893-0013.

March 22, baseball card show, Towson Quality Inn (I-695, Exit 26 S), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., (410) 239-7446.

March 28, baseball card show, Security Holiday Inn (I-695, Exit 17), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 922-8366.

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