Collectors have sometimes griped that modern O-Pee-Chee base card designs don’t live up to the iconic designs of yesteryear. With this week’s release of 2012-13 O-Pee-Chee hockey, collectors could have the nicest base design in recent memory.
In truth, modern designs are often lost in the so-called traffic jam of modern releases: in the 1980s and earlier, there was usually just one main card set (and one main design) per season; in the 2011-12, there were more than two dozen hockey card sets released.
The 2012-13 design is clean and simple, with an important emphasis on the player photo. The player’s last name is printed in big, clear type. Also featured on the front is the player’s first name, his team name and his position (along with a groovy, black-on-yellow position logo).
Unlike recent years, the border design does not dominate the O-Pee-Chee card face. Also of note, the O-Pee-Chee typeface has been appropriately shrunk into the bottom right corner of the card front design (it was waaaay too big in recent years).
Only time will tell whether this year’s O-Pee-Chee design can join the likes of hockey’s memorable hockey card designs from the past. Compared to the most recent designs, however, 2012-13 O-Pee-Chee is already a big winner.
Base card back: This year’s O-Pee-Chee card back is printed on a brown card stock (instead of grey or silver as it was in recent years). Like the front, the 2012-13 back design is superior to recent editions. We like the larger type for the last name (with a similar font as on the card front) and the use of a team logo (on the back instead of the front). The card back text could be a little tougher to read on the brown stock, but then again new O-Pee-Chee cards still offer too little to read for young collectors (no change from recent editions).
MORE 2012-13 O-PEE-CHEE DESIGN NOTES:
Retro variations: This year’s one-per-pack Retro design features a 1950s look. The card face features a cut-out player photo on a white background; the card front also features a team logo in the top corner and the player name and team on a coloured bar at the bottom. It’s a bit of a toss up whether we like this year’s 1950s design tribute or last year’s Retro 1930s design tribute more; no question that this year’s Retro design is far superior to past Retro designs in 2010-11 (which we did not like) and 2009-10 (which was better than the regular design, but nothing special).
Pop Ups: The Pop Ups insert features a modern tribute to the old 1936-37 O-Pee-Chee base design. While the old cards were perforated (do-it-yourself), the new cards are already pre-cut around the black-and-white action photo. Unlike the old cards that featured no colour, the new cards feature a coloured background (a fading blue background and an anchored red bar and “Pop Ups” type).
Stickers: This insert features a clean, crisp design which could have easily passed for a winning base design in future years. The insert design is nicer than base designs from recent years. While the sticker concept is a play on the old O-Pee-Chee Sticker sets from the 1980s (which were smaller in size), the new 2012-13 O-Pee-Chee Stickers are closer in resemblance to the old Fleer Stickers baseball sets from the 1980s (which were the same size as the traditional cards).
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