Monday, August 20, 2012

Product Review: 2012-2013 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee Hockey Hobby Box

So I left this one alone on release day but had some interest from the beginning, but it was more about the Canadian Redemption instead of the Hobby box as a whole. Yes 2012-23 O-Pee-Chee have been released and are out there on the market for all. This set was a "maybe" purchase for me at Release day instead of the typical "Go get it" feeling. The base cards have a non-flashy design, but are looking more retro each year which is nice. Parallels are in the set with Rainbow and Black Rainbow foils, along with stickers and other inserts. New for this year were Team logo Patches and Autographs with the addition of Buy-Back Autographs.
Now the one thing about this product that is not available for everyone is the "Canadian Only" Red Parallel Wrapper Redemption. The Wrapper redemption only works through Upper-Deck "Approved" hobby stores and they are the only ones to send in the wrappers to Upper-Deck for the redemption packs. This is very tight on the process along with only available to Canadians. The redemption's will come in a 6 card pack which includes Red Parallels Cards from the 600 base set, with 1 All-Star card from a 50 card subset only through this wrapper redemption. The secondary market of these cards, sets should be pretty high. I will provide an update as to my redemption pack I receive in a future blog.
As for the O-Pee-Chee product it's self, it is a big Base set this year with 600 cards. This includes 43 Rookies and Marquee Legends included int he 600 base set. In addition to the 600 base card set there is also a Retro Parallel set of the same 600 base cards! In each box you will receive 32 of these which is one per pack. So with a huge base set, Upper Deck included the Rainbow foil Parallels which are loaded in each box as 8 per box with the Black Rainbow (which are very hard to tell from the front) numbered out of 100 with a serial number on the back of these cards. They also added in a 100 Sticker card set and a 50 card Pop-up set.
So a lot product for your money on this one. But again with low value boxes you always have a lower secondary market to go along with it. Now like other lower valued offerings this year Upper Deck has included Team Manufactured Patches and Autographs to the product. Now finding one of these is going to be tough as the Patches are 4 per case with different odds for the different variations of the patches from 1:125 packs to 1:14,056! And these are hot currently in the secondary market, lots of big money being throw around on these for the even the lower tiered patches. To join in the search are Autographs with the same tough pull odds from 1:240 packs to 1:7144 for the Team Canada Signatures. Not to mention they have Buy-Backs included in the product of Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin.
So looking through this at first glace it is a like it or leave it box to buy, but for Canadians we have an advantage with the Wrapper Redemption, so this is more of a reason to buy a box or two in order to obtain 50 wrappers for the redemption. With this in mind I took off to the local shop Monday to buy a couple of boxes and get the wrappers in. My shop had a number of boxes still from last Wednesday so I picked up 2 random boxes and here is my results:

Box #1:                                                                   Box#2:
Base cards: 184                                                      Base cards: 178
Marquee Rookie cards: 7                                         Marquee Rookie cards: 7
Marquee Rookie Veteran: 1                                     Marquee Rookie Veteran: 1
Rainbow: 8                                                             Rainbow: 8
Black Rainbow: 3                                                   Black Rainbow: 3
Pop-Up: 2                                                              Pop-Up: 2
Sticker cards: 10                                                    Sticker cards: 11
Marquee Legends: 8                                               Marquee Legends: 8
Retro Base: 26                                                       Retro Base: 26             
Marquee Rookie Retro: 3                                         Marquee Rookie Retro: 2
Marquee Legends Retro: 3                                       Marquee Legends Retro: 3
O-Pee-Chee Signatures: Jonathan Ericsson               Manufactured Patch: Calgary Flames (Modern)

Overall this was a really decent break for this product. I was happy with both boxes and the selection for each. The only difference was I had 1 Sticker card more in Box #2 which gave me 1 less Marquee Retro Rookie. I have gone through most of the base and I don't think either box had any doubles which is fantastic and a great start for anyone wanting to try the 600 card set. Both boxes I pulled hits out of which is really nice. Both aren't the big pulls but are both hard to find among a case so I will take this as a big win. Looking over the product again while writing the review and it isn't the flash of other sets but the photography is sharp on the base cards and the inserts and parallels give a good variety to the product. Aside from my Canadian exclusive Red Border pack that I will see later on, I'm very happy with this purchase, Upper Deck did a great job on this one and I would recommend this to any hockey fan out there.

Gambler Overall Rating: 4.7 out of 5
Cost: 5/5
Autographs/Patches: 4/5 
Inserts/Parallels: 5/5
Design: 4.5/5
Rookies: 4.5/5
Fun Aspect: 5/5

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