Sunday, August 21, 2011

#5 - Value Vintage Sets - 89/90 OPC

When I was shopping online last month, I wanted to make my funds stretch as far as they could. Certainly my card collection is far from complete and there were a few holes I wanted to start filling. Most collectors in my age and financial demographic probably have the early 90's nailed down to the extreme and then some sets here and there depending on interests etc.

Well I decided that I needed more vintage sets and I went and got myself a couple for under a 100 bucks total. I based my choices on the best value and substance in the sets. Then I thought it would make a good serial on my blog so I am going to share what I think are the top 5 Value sets from 1970-1989.

Number 5 on my list is the 89-90 OPC Set.

Why you ask? Here are some of the redeeming qualities:

330 Cards
Sets can be had for under the BV of 20 bucks
Great Hall of Fame players and rookies in the set
Design is simple and attractive
You can afford to build the set from packs if you wish (boxes of 36 packs under $40)
The OPC set also has some rookies that can't be found in the Topps version (Fleury, Corson, Tugnett etc.)

Card design:
Here is what the front of the cards look like.

The front looks clean with blue trim on the top and bottom (which is prone to chipping) and a "marble-ized" sides which tend to be a little off centre (my scans ended up all looking off-centre as I used a camera).

Backside of the cards
The back shows both season and playoff stats along with player vitals. Again like the front, the cards look clean and simple.

Key card:

Without a doubt is the Joe Sakic RC.

Joe front side
Joe backside
The BV for the set is 10-20 dollars with the Sakic rookie listing at 5-12 dollars which is a significant percentage of the set.

Other notable cards:

There are plenty of other cool cards in the set including early career cards of Mario Lemieux, Patrick Roy, Brendan Shanahan, Adam Oates, Brett Hull etc.
Hull 2nd year card.

The rookies:

The set contains a fair number of Hall of Fame and star rookies (59 Rookie Cards in total). The rookies include Theo Fleury, Brian Leetch, Joe Sakic, Craig Janney, Derek King, Tony Granato, Ron Tugnutt just to name a few.

Linden RC

Fleury RC
This set is no where near the greatest ever created but there are many intangibles which make this set a great value. The rookies, the stars, the design of the cards and the fact that they can all be yours for much less than a box of 11-12 Victory Hockey all suggest it is jam-packed with value.

I added this set to my collection in the early 90's. I probably bought 2 boxes with of 89-90 OPC and have two complete sets as a result. Certainly the smart way would be to pick up a set at a show or card shop to avoid those pesky shipping charges. Either way, it certainly can be had on the cheap and I think is a must for any hockey card collector.

Do you agree it is a good value? Let me know!


  1. I think somewhere in lower Ontario, the printing presses are still churning out this set...

  2. may be right! I built my set paying 1.75 per pack. I think 20 years later, packs can be had for almost the same price they were in '89.

  3. I absolutely love the 89-90 O-Pee-Chee/Topps sets, they were the first I ever collected as a kid. I still have my old binders with the cards sorted by team, but in recent years have picked up mint O-Pee-Chee and Topps copies as well just because they are so cheap.

  4. I don't know when exactly it was announced that UD, Score et al were going to be producing hockey cards, but this set always struck me as OPC/Topps trying to get their game together in the last season they had the market to themselves.

    They bumped the set size up from 264 to 330 (still not 296, but it was a start), gave us team cards for the first time since '84-85, and that design was a real departure.

    Shame it gets lumped in with the early 90's junk wax in terms of value. It was kind of interesting. I really stockpiled the Hulls at about $8 a pop.

  5. So now you've got me thinking about other "value" sets. There are three or four that come to mind immediately and a couple more that probably qualify. I'm curious how well your list and my list will line up.

  6. @Shoebox I don't blame you, I have one topps and two OPC and I am always tempted to pick up a box and see what I can build.

    @1967ers When I am finished I would love to hear your top 5 as well as anyone willing to share!

  7. I kind of expect 2 of my list to be on your list, but I bet I've got 2 nobody thinks of. :) We'll see how it plays out!