My Playoff Collection (Updated December 24th, 2021)
In 1992 the hobby saw another new entry into the world of football card collecting; Playoff. For me, Playoff was a hit right off the bat, (Maybe 'Right off the bat' isn't the correct description for Football). Anyway, I have always liked Playoff. That first year, in 1992, the initial Playoff release was barely that. It was a 150-card set with no insert sets. It didn't even have a slew of error cards, like Pro Set, to chase after. Sometimes it's nice to get just the main set, then you're done. No prolonged waiting for cards you never see to complete your "Master Set". Then again, sets like this are easy to master, (See the 1992 Playoff: "Chris Doleman" #26 left). The initial release from Playoff may not be worth much, but it is a great set, regardless.
In 1993, Playoff continued with their "TekChrome" look, but this time, they increased their set size up to a very satisfying 315 cards. They also added 6 insert sets to accompany their 2nd release. The only bad thing about the '93 release was the fact that it looked very similar to the '92 release. That's not good, however, it's a good thing the '92 release looked good or else this would've been really bad, (See the 1993 Playoff: "Audray McMillian" #49 right). The 6 insert sets that they released were also very nice and not one of them was over 10 cards. My favorite was the "Club" set,(See the 1993 Playoff: "Anthony Munoz" Club #6 below left). I really liked the short player selection for this set and the write-up on back.
1992 Playoff: “Chris Doleman” #26
1993 Playoff: “Audray McMillian” #49
1994 Playoff: “Rob Burnett" #21
1993 Playoff: “Anthony Munoz" Club #6
The '94 release brought a change to the Playoff design. Gone was the black background, I guess the Playoff release landed in oz in '94, (See the 1994 Playoff: "Rob Burnett" #21 below right). The design still had the chrome look to it, but the black background was definitely gone. Playoff must have been making a positive impact on the hobby because, for the 2nd straight year, Playoff increased its set size. The '94 set had was a 336-card set. Also, the # of insert sets rose dramatically, this time to a staggering 10. And again, no insert sets were over 10 cards. My favorite of the bunch is the "Julie Bell" graphic artist set. (See the 1994 Playoff: "Marcus Allen" Julie Bell #2 below right). So very cool cards that can be had without breaking the bank.
1994 Playoff: “Reggie Brooks" (Back) #260
The only thing that I did not like about the Playoff sets were the backsides. I didn't care for Playoff's decision to forego the season's stats, (See the 1994 Playoff: "Reggie Brooks" (Back) #260 left). Stats are part of the game. Not every set has to have stats, but when you only had one or two releases over the course of 3 years and you
1994 Playoff: “Marcus Allen” Julie Bell #2
In closing, the "Playoff" brand was just a great title. It's a great reminder of what the sets were like in the early 90s. Fortunately, the Playoff brand didn't go away, it kinda spawned into a new title; "Playoff" became "Playoff: Absolute". And what a magnificent new title that turned out to be. So if I was a collector looking for cards from the early 90s this would definitely be a title I would highly consider.
didn't include any stats, that's not good, (Note: in 1993 Playoff also released the "Playoff: Contenders" title, which didn't have any stats on the back either.). Now if Playoff just wanted to be different, by all means, please do so, but stats and/or bio information are almost as essential as a photo on the front. You can't go forever without them.
I have complete sets:
1) 1992 Playoff Set
2) 1993 Playoff Set
A) Club Insert
B) Checklist Insert
C) Brett Favre Insert
D) Ricky Watters Insert
E) Headliners Redemption Insert
F) Rookie Roundup Redemption Insert
3) 1994 Playoff Set
A) Club Insert
B) Checklist Insert
C) Julie Bell Insert
D) Jerry Rice Insert
E) Jerome Bettis Insert
F) Barry Sanders Insert
G) Super Bowl Insert
H) Headliners Redemption Insert
I) Rookie Roundup Redemption Insert