Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Back Checking - Ken Dryden Rookies

When you look at old OPC and Topps cards, depending on the decade the number of differences can vary from minor to significant. For example some of the releases in the late 60's feature no differences on the front and on the back the inclusion of french is the biggest difference. However, if you look at the ones in the 80's, Topps has their dark back and Topps logo on the front where OPC will have a light back and their branding on the front plus the typical french and english text. Set size is another difference too, but that varies very signficantly depending on the release. Some years they are the same (early 90's) and other years the difference can range from 66 to 198 more cards in the OPC sets.

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
I already had the OPC rookie but I recently landed the Topps version online for the cost of a blaster and when it arrived I couldn't have been more happy. Here is the front of the card, looks exactly like the OPC version, it even is off-centered!

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.

OPC Back

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?


  1. Cool rookie. I like both designs either way, but for some reason I like the back f the OPC more.

  2. A Dryden rookie is a treasure to have in any collection regardless of condition.