1971-72 featured MANY difference between the two sets. First there was a difference in the checklist as Gordie Howe had his own player card in the Topps set instead of a tribute card in the OPC set and the design of the backs of the Topps cards were significantly different.
1971-72 Topps #45 Ken Dryden Rookie
The back side
Here is the back side. Typical of Topps (after OPC started) it features no french. However, unlike the OPC release, this layout has different colour combinations and is a portrait layout instead of landscape.
I never get tired of looking at this one, this is the back of my OPC Ken Dryden rookie. Same comic and same text, but the layout is pretty different.
I am very happy having both versions especially a sharp looking Topps rookie. The Topps looks every bit as nice as the OPC version except when it comes to price tag. OPC books for 300 in strong condition and Topps a mere 125. Depending on your budget there is a rookie out there for you and I was very lucky to steal mine for under 25 bucks.
I am not sure which back I do prefer, I guess I like them both for their individual reasons, but what about you? Do you like the Topps or OPC best?