2011-12 O-Pee-Chee Hockey CardsBrand: O-Pee-Chee
The classic O-Pee-Chee brand is back with a 600-card base set. 2011-12 O-Pee-Chee continues to be one of the products of choice for set builders and team set collectors. Marquee Rookies return showcasing hockey's promising youngsters who debuted late last season. Just as the O-Pee-Chee name evokes a sense of tradition, new Playoff Beard variations focus on one of sport's most hallowed superstitions. Other inserts include Team Canada autographs and quad jerseys.
Hobby Box Configuration: 36 packs
Product Type: Low-End Hockey
Geared Toward: Set Builders, Team Collectors, Rookie Card Collectors, NHL Fans
- 36 Retro variations.
- One In-Action laminated card.
- Four 2010-11 Rookie Updates.
- One Rookie 2010-11 Update Retro.
- Nine Rainbow Parallels.
- 600-card base set (500 regular cards, 50 Marquee Rookies, 50 Legends).
- Marquee Rookie checklist includes Cody Hodgson, Blake Geoffrion, Alex Stalock, Adam Henrique, Greg Nemisz, Jonathan Blum, Aaron Palushaj and more.
- Playoff Beard Variations: Compare facial hair with these first-time base set variations (1:25).
- League Leaders, Team Leaders and Trophy Winners return to make up the basic insert checklist.
- Retro Parallel (1:1).
- Rainbow Parallels (1:4), Black Border versions (/100).
- 2010-11 OPC Rookie Update completes last year's set with late-season roster additions (1:9). Parallels: Retro (1:36), Retro Rainbow (1:144), Retro Black Border Rainbow (/100).
- In Action focus on spectacular photography. Regular print versions of these laminated cards fall 1:40 packs. Short-prints come 1:400 packs.
- Team Canada Signatures honor those who have donned the maple leaf. Signers include Sidney Crosby, Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle (1:432).
- O-Pee-Chee Signatures return for another year, offering tough autograph odds (1:216).
- O-Pee-Chee Souvenirs up the ante to quad jerseys this year (1:144).
2011-12 O-Pee-Chee Hockey Product Review
Reviewed by Ryan Cracknell
Good: Great for set builders, Retro parallels look fantastic, brand continues to offer a modern spin that stays true to the brand's roots.
Bad: Insert bloat, over-powering borders dominate card fronts, lackluster rookie selection.
The Bottom Line: One of the premier brands among hockey card historians, 2011-12 O-Pee-Chee Hockey provides a challenging but not impossible base set. The release may not be the most valuable, but for those looking to build a big set, it's a fun option. The design isn't the best Upper Deck has done, but it's an improvement over last year. The Retro parallels are some of the best I've seen. The fact that they're a totally different design and not just a small foil or color adjustment is also appreciated. Some collectors may not like the fact that there's no guaranteed hit per box, but there's still a good amount of value. Besides, O-Pee-Chee is more about chasing a complete set and not an autographed or game-used hit.
Card Design: 3.0/5.0
The 2011-12 O-Pee-Chee base set has a distinctly retro look and feel about it. For the feel, it's a great thing for those who love slipping cardboard card stock through their fingers. As for the design, the massive borders and name plates on the card fronts leave little room for good photographs. Full stats on the back are great, but the addition of short bios for younger players without a lot of experience would have been even better.
After opening my third pack, I decided that I was going to undertake the daunting task of piecing together the Retro parallels. For someone who has put together a total of one parallel set in my life, that's a compliment to the set's design. Reminiscent of the 1933-34 O-Pee-Chee design, I love the contrast of the black and white full-body player shots with the colorful backdrops.
As far as veterans go, you're unlikely to get a more in-depth checklist all season. At 500 cards, every team set goes beyond the first line. The final 100 cards are a short printed split of legends and rookies. Releasing so early in the season, the rookie selection is limited to lower-impact guys who had short stints in the NHL late last season. The set would benefit from a slightly later release date so that the opening day rookies could make the cut. Instead, collectors will have to track down update cards inserted in 2011-12 Upper Deck Series 2 Hockey to get their O-Pee-Chee Ryan Nugent-Hopkins rookies.
Even without a guaranteed hit, 2011-12 O-Pee-Chee Hockey has a ton of value. Not costing much in the first place, collectors should expect to find a handful of short-printed rookies, a couple parallels numbered to 100 and a few other inserts. Although not high-ticket items, the Retro parallels and stealth Playoff Beard Variations add further value as set builders chase them down. When you do hit a jersey card, they're all team-themed quad cards. Ultra-tough autographs feature many top names, including several standouts from Canadian National Team alumni.
The Fun Factor: 4.0/5.0
Those who go into 2011-12 O-Pee-Chee knowing what they're buying should have a lot of fun with it. I freely admit, I get a little nostalgic anytime I open a pack of O-Pee-Chee cards. Although I'm getting today's stars, I'm also taken back to a time when I could get away with buying my mom a pack of smokes and getting a pack of cards with the change. I enjoy the challenge of building Upper Deck's version of the brand. With that in mind, when I bust a pack of a set I'm working on and I get as many inserts as I do base cards, it can be a little annoying, particularly when the inserts are the less imaginative ones. I also love the uncertainty of not having the hits guaranteed. The unexpected nature of it makes finding one so much more meaningful. That said, the box I opened had neither a game-used card or an autograph. It didn't matter. I had a blast with what I got and wasn't wishing for more.2011-12 O-Pee-Chee Hockey Cards,