Friday, October 10, 2008

Review: 2008-09 O-Pee-Chee

When it comes to hockey hounding with cards, Upper Deck's 2008-09 O-Pee-Chee offering is, by far, the best set that money can buy. From its big-numbers base set (495 cards), the inclusion of players we normally don't find in smaller sets and the Sharpie-ready nature of the cards, this season's O-Pee-Chee should score well.

I must admit, however, to being a bit surprised by it's early release date. If memory serve me correct, this set was released until well into an NHL season. This move is welcomed with open arms, even if it meant a rearranging of card books all set for the Carolina Hurricanes, New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning.

More than anything else, the depth of this set is what makes it among Hound Central 4.0's favorite releases each season. While we have no shortage of cards for such big-name players as Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby and Washington's Alex Ovechkin, adding third-liners and fifth defensemen only adds to the set's value.

Factoring in second-year cards for Montreal's Carey Price, New York's Daniel Girardi and Philly's Steve Downie make this product a welcome addition to our hockey-hounding inventory.

If I have one complaint, the Marquee Rookies lineup, mostly of late-season call-ups, lacks some serious big names. I had to struggle to find someone out of the 11 rookies we pulled from our 36-card box, other than Columbus' Derick Brassard, to scan for this review. Los Angeles' Erik Ersberg just made the cut.

Beyond that, I was midly surprised to find an autographed card among the packs. Sure, it may be of Chicago's Dustin Byfuglien, but it was an unexpected premium, something that only improved value.

I did notice a major "Oops!" on the card, too -- it mispells the player's last name as "Byfuglin." Maybe I'll send Upper Deck another resume, just in case it's looking for some freelance copy editors who are knowledgable about hockey.

The set also features a couple of chase sets, so to speak. A 495-card variation of O-Pee-Chee's vintage 1979-80 offering, blue-bordered cards that use different photos than the base set, as well as a 39-card OPC Legends set, should also appeal to hockey card fans.

My favorite, however, is the 40-card 2008 Winter Classic subset, featuring scenes from the snow-filled contest between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Buffalo Sabres in Western New York.

Bottom line, folks, is any hockey hound who dabbles in cards should snap up at least a hobby box of these cards.

There's no doubt, these cards, among my faborite releases over the past few seasons, will come in handy.

Puckhound's snapshot

Product: 2008-09 O-Pee-Chee Hockey
Vital stats: 495-card base set, 100 OPC Triple Materials memorabilia cars, 87 OPC Signatures autographed cards, 60-card rookie set, gold and rainbow parallels, 39-card Legends set and a 495-card Vintage variation insert set
Something good: A hockey hound's dream -- a big set, including third liners and fifth defenseman, that doesn't need prep work
Something bad: Given today's printing technology, there are way too many cards showing players in the uniforms of their old teams
Puckhound's score: 3.5 pucks of 5 pucks


Anonymous said...

I personally think this set is lacking. What is with the old cardboard style backs?

Puckhound said...

It's probably another way UD tries to keep costs down while possibly pushing a retro look. That's my best guess.

From a hounding viewpoint, I find them hard to beat. Big team sets. No prep work. Decent pictures.

What don't you like about the set?

TJ said...

Yes, I'm commenting on a 2 year old post. I ran into a buch of these cards really cheaply, and now it's my mission in life to complete this set. I agree with everything in your review. The old school cardboard stock is one of the things I like best about this set along with the huge roster. Great review from 2008!