Friday, November 15, 2013

1980-81 OPC Wayne Gretzky

I have mentioned in a previous post my admiration for the 80-81 Gretzky card. That was my first ever 80-81 Gretzky and not long after that I landed a second one as part of a complete 80-81 Topps set. So it would only make sense that someday I would land the OPC version right? Lucky for me this past spring my LCS landed a boat load of Gretzkys including his rookie and a few others. I sadly couldn't leave with the Gretzky which was easily in EX-MT condition with a $450 dollar price tag on it but I did manage to get his OPC 2nd year card for a very nice price which was in even better shape than the rookie.

80-81 OPC Wayne Gretzky
Classic photo!

Here is the back, avec texte francais. Currently the card books for $80 which I think is a travesty, but value is determined by whatever collectors will pay and obviously this isn't as desirable as his rookie or even other cards in the set. Still a drop off of 90% from rookie to second year card is pretty steep when you compare it with player cards. For example, Ray Bourque drop from an $80 RC to a $40 2nd year which is a 50% drop; Paul Coffey starts at 50 for a rookie and 12 for a 2nd year card in a very unpopular set. Paul's drop off is only 76% despite those factors. Messier is along the same path with a rookie booking for $100 and a second year at $25. I think the Bourque drop off is less because he is the first card in the set and they typically are higher because condition is sometimes a factor with first and last cards. If you used a Messier or Coffey model you would expect the Gretzky second year card to book closer to $200, but I guess supply and demand doesn't always follow patterns and trends. Personally I love looking at values and trends and this is one that I always found very interesting.

I do regret not trying work out a trade/pay deal for that rookie but I suppose there are many more of those rookies out there and I will someday land one of each (Topps and OPC) and it will be a very sweet day when that happens! 


  1. Super nice card Dave! I've only got the Topps version but that's a really good looking OPC example...

  2. Nice card! That was the first year I collected seriously and I'll always have a soft spot for it.

    I think the Gretzky RC is actually overvalued relative to his later cards because it's from such a condition-sensitive set. I keep being surprised that the second card is really that expensive. :)

    1. Great perspective and I can definitely see some truth in that. I have a soft spot for this card because I spent years seeing it in display cases and it always just seemed out of reach to a 12 year old with a love for vintage.