Friday, August 31, 2012

Oh Precious Cardboard! A Review of 2012-13 O-Pee-Chee

It’s getting close to that time of year.  Everyone has a favorite month of the year (yes EVERYONE). Mine is right around the corner.  The month when the leaves change and the nights start to cool off.  Weekends are consumed with football and a little thing called hockey training camp fires up. It’s almost September - a.k.a. my birthday month. And if all goes well, there will be an added surprise to this month as well.  More on that in future posts (I swear there will be future posts!)

For now, however, we’re still in the dog days of summer. After a brief dalliance with cooler weather, Mother Nature has revealed her ornery side once again and slammed Chicago with three straight +90 degree days.  If I had wanted this kind of weather I would have stayed in the TBA (plus I could have bitched about the problems caused by the RNC even if I didn’t set foot in Tampa all week).

So what’s the best way to overcome the lingering heat wave that has the windows closed and the poor, beleaguered AC unit running 24/7 (actually more like 4/7 – electricity ain’t cheap folks!)?  How about a review of this year’s Hopeful Chase Hopeless Set Completion Chase of The Year (Hockey Edition)?  This year’s set is the 2012-13 O-Pee-Chee flagship product. It consists of 600 cards, bunch of short prints, no big hits, random “who the hell is this guy” rookie cards and some shiny, chrome-y, parallels.

Thanks to a $5.00 coupon I saw on the back of a Beckett magazine I placed my order with Dave and Adam’s and received a decent deal on a hobby box ($53.95 after the coupon).  Even with the $9.00 in shipping it was cheaper than the local card shop so I added a few small things to the order and then sat around waiting for UPS to deliver.  Is there anything worse than expecting a package one day and missing the delivery so you have to wait a whole extra day?  Probably things like war, mass mall shootings, unemployment, stepping in a puddle and getting your socks wet, but in the context of the card world, not much.

So after a day’s delay I received the delivery and went to busting some wax.  Here are the results:

Base cards

Sigh. Another box and another whiff on Lecavalier cards. 

The reason I went with O-Pee-Chee instead of Score this year is because of the base design.  The cards are clean with a retro feel to them and Upper Deck finally stopped making the O-Pee-Chee logo so damn big. 
The cards are boarded with a yellowish, cream border AND a thin, white border at the very edge.  It’s not super noticeable upon first glance, but I think they would have been better off removing the white border all together.

There is a nice big photo of the player, the names are easy to read and I’m always a fan of generic silhouettes by the positions. There are no super exciting action shots or unique angles, but that’s not what this set is all about.  It’s mostly about representing a solid portion of each team and driving collectors nuts trying to complete the short print side of the set.

The backs are ho-hum.  Dark grey cardboard and complete career stats.

Short Prints

I forgot to scan them and am too lazy to go back and do it. So you get JesusCat in a box.

 As usual for this set, the last 100 cards are made up of rookies and “Marquee” retired players.  The Marquee legends cards feature the usual crop of stars from the past, along with their career stats on the back.  Always a good way to get younger players in touch with the past.

Having to fill up 50 slots for rookies can lead to the inclusion of a lot of players. This year O-Pee-Chee filled some slots by posting “rookie” cards of some of the players mentioned in the Marquee Legends section.  Therefore you get to see cards showing a young Mario Lemiux or Patrick Roy (quick sidenote – the Duchess opened one pack with a mocking, “if you were on a podcast you’d do this” voice and managed to handle all the other names correctly, but she did refer to St. Patrick as a “good American boy named Patrick ROY” instead of the “WaH” pronunciation.  When I huffily corrected her pronunciation she called me a dork and launched into a fit of giggles that left her crying.  After 8 years I think she finally snapped and temporarily lost her mind).


Can you please get out of Mr. Halak's way? He has a game to  play!

As much as I hate minis (and I DO hate me some minis) I love me some stickers.  Following on the retro theme, this year’s crop of stickers really stand out from the muted base set with the vibrant color scheme.  My only regret, not getting any Blackhawk stickers to stick on newspaper machines downtown.  Odds 1:3 packs. Number of stickers received: 11


Mario in the six seconds he wasn't scoring a point during his younger days.

A parallel set (because, I’m not really sure why they have to do one, but they do) that’s a one per pack insert.  If I did any research at all I would tell you what set these cards are based on.  We don’t do research here at the Hopeful Chase studios.  If you want actual, real hockey card knowledge go to Sal’s place on the web.

What I can say is that I really like these cards for the purpose of Through The Mail or in-person autographs.  The cardboard stock with a clean, white background should let the Sharpie show up nicely on the card.  Since the players are going to be locked out maybe they’ll have more time to sign things. To The Post Office! Odds 1:1 pack. Number received 32.


What is Carey Price thinking about? I bet it's pancakes. Pancakes. Bathgate is thinking about nailing your mom.
Officially I believe these are called “Rainbow Parallel” cards.  To me they’re chrome.  Not much to say about them as they’re just shiner versions of the base cards. I’m sure someone collects them, but not me. Odds 1:4 packs Number Received 8

Different Shiny

I don't even have anything to say about these cards. Yea, serial numbered?

Because collectors like shiny cards that are serial numbered there is also the “Black Border Rainbow Parallel” cards.  Great, another ploy to get me to go on eBay to track down and overpay for Vinny Lecavalier cards.  They are numbered out of 100 with the numbers printed on the back instead of stamped.  No odds on this one, but I did get two in this box.

Pop Ups

OMG PK still doesn't have a contract!!!!

I think these are supposed to resemble the pop up portion of the box that you see in hobby shops selling packs of cards.  They are die-cut inserts with just the name of the player on the back.  No extra information there folks! Odds 1:16 packs.  Number received: 2

Super Extra Case Hit!

Getting a case hit is always exciting.  You feel like you beat the odds and have a card that is really worth something. That worth can be monetary (eBay) or sentimental (something rare of a team or player you collect) or tradable (more better stuff for something you don’t really want).

Getting a case hit in the first pack you open, kind of anti-climatic.  Here it is…..

It doesn't come in a tamper-proof holder. It's just the only one  I had.

Manufactured patch of the Eastern Conference logo.  Umm.  Yea? It’s cool to get a path (even if it’s manufactured specifically for the card), but of a conference logo?  Yeah, that’s not exactly in my wheelhouse. I’ll probably put it up on eBay and see what it fetches just because I don’t think they’ll be a lot of folks clamoring on my door to trade for it.

Wrap up

O-Pee-Chee meets expectations (oooh does that remind you of a work evaluation?) It’s a set designed for set builders and team collectors.  Lots of cards, no big chase cards to drive up the price or endless parallels to drive you insane.

It’s always nice to see a set that includes some extra defensemen or third line centers (Dominic Moore, FTW!) and this product delivers that. The stickers are fun inserts that provides some color in a set that is quite monochromatic.

All in all a solid product at a good price point.

Once I pick up a few more packs (or another box) I’ll post my want list.  The trade bait list will go up shortly (FYI the pop ups are already spoken for).  


Captain Canuck said...

I like the pop ups... I really like the set this year. I feel like doing the retros more than the regular set, AGAIN. And I'm in on the stickers as well. I think I've got 40 of them so far....

I thought because I got two patches, that was the reason I didn't get any pop ups in my box. Then I see you got them AND a patch.

This proves I know nothing.

dogfacedgremlin said...

I got one of those manu-patch thingys too. It's the WInnipeg Jets. I had one hobby box with three pop ups...two in the same pack. Obviously an error on their part. But good for me.