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Calamity on Cardboard: 1999-2000 Pacific Prism

July 11, 2012

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 “Calamity on Cardboard” was one of many series of articles that I started up in the earlier days of this blog that I have not posted about in quite some time. 

Well the wait is over, welcome to volume 2 in the series, nearly 11 months after the debut article!

A calamity is defined as a great misfortune or disaster and cards or products that I feel were a disaster are what you’ll find featured here.  

I know this topic may seem contrary to my goal of focussing on the positive aspects of my hobby experiences, but I figure that from time to time a little good natured ribbing towards manufacturers is acceptable. 

If anyone who works/worked at some of these places has even the smallest collecting bone in their body then I’m sure they’re looking back on some of these products with a raised eyebrow as well.

As the title of today’s article would clearly suggest, today I am going to look at one of my all-time least favourite products: 1999-2000 Pacific Prism.

I came across the motivation for writing this post – a Patrick Stefan rookie card from the set – quite a while ago while I was in the midst of editing items I was planning to relist in my eBay store.

As soon as it appeared at the top of the pile of cards I was working my way through I thought “what an awful looking card!” and immediate, a sentiment I filed in my bank of potential blog topics and was only reminded about while examining a fellow collector’s want list just the other day.

It certainly didn’t help that the foil sheets on the Stefan example that I have were apparently not aligned properly, nor were they the same tint of silver/white/whatever colour it is I’m being blinded by when I look at this card.

But that is really the least of the problems faced by this product since it looks like an error as opposed to a design element.

I can remember back to when the product first came out and I didn’t like it one bit then either.

The unabashed overuse of foil.  The bland, almost invisible off-centre bulls-eye/ripple effect “design” concept.  The boring fonts and equally boring “Prism” logo.  The complete absence of any team logos.  Serial numbers on parallels that are crammed into the limited space available at the top of the card.

All of these things add up to one awful looking product in my opinion.

I get that prisms are shiny things, but perhaps taking the definition of something a little less literally would have been a starting point with Prism. 

Speaking of overly shiny, how about this example of the Holo-Purple parallel featuring Vincent Lecavalier? 

If blindingly-bright is what Pacific was going for then they certainly accomplished their mission with this one!

To top that off there’s the gem that is the Holo-Gold parallel:

A Tetris theme added to the bulls-eye/water ripples!  Behold!

Thankfully Pacific made some pretty significant improvements to the Prism brand when they dedicated it to their offering through McDonald’s restaurants here in Canada for the following three years, particularly with the 2001-02 and 2002-03 releases.

That does nothing to offset the disaster that was its debut release and its inevitable appearance as a true piece of Calamity on Cardboard.

The only reasons I even own any cards from this set are a) Jeremy Roenick, Sergei Samsonov, Joe Thornton, and Steve Yzerman were all featured on cards in this set; and b) others came my way in lots I purchased in the past, clearly to obtain some other card(s) from within it.

Aside from that, this is one product you won’t see me chasing down for my permanent collection any time soon…or ever for that matter.


Let me know your thoughts on 1999-2000 Pacific Prism by posting a comment, sending me an email at, or connecting with me on Facebook and/or Twitter to share your thoughts.

Until Sunday, all the best in your collecting pursuits!


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