I have to say this this is a really nice product. Well... you get one pack of 4-6 cards in a box that costs nearly $200, it should be nice. Thankfully, it is. In my pack I got the great one himself, Wayne Gretzky, for my base card. It's probably going to be one of the higher booking base cards, so I'm pretty happy about that. The design is very classy, albeit a bit busy. It has a darker motif that highlights a cut out of the player. The cards are numbered to 225 so they're fairly limited. If I were a high end collector I might consider collecting the base set - but I personally wouldn't if I had the money because the cards to me are a little drab and unexciting. They are nice, but nothing special. I'm a big fan of cleanly designed cards and these are a little too cluttered for me. I don't think they'd look great in your hockey album - well, not as good as some other sets out there at least.
What will definitely look great in your album, though, are the rookie cards in this set. They are really stunningly gorgeous cards. Each rookie card is has a signature in GOLD as well as a quad piece of jersey (or patch in the more limited version). It's also limited numberd too! I'm a huge fan of this part of the base set, and if you can afford it, it's what really saves the base set in terms of it's design and look. From my box I got Yannick Weber - already traded it for some autos I need to complete the SPA Future Watch Auto set though. (edit: I just bought another pack at my local card shop and pulled John Tavares! OMG SWEEEEET!)
Base Design Score:
It's funny that in products like these you get hardly and base cards and a lot of 'insert' cards. But you should since this is what you're paying for - the goodies! The inserts in this set really shine. I received a Gilbert Perreault Premier Signings card /50, a Luke Schenn Stitchings card /199, and a Mario Lemieux Remnants Triple Patch /25.
The Perreault auto might not be a card that's worth a lot of money, but it's a very nice looking card. It carries the 'classy' theme that the base cards tried to convey, just much better. It has beautiful holofoil highlights, a very limited print run, and a nice big spot for the signature. I'd love to have more of these cards, especially players for my personal collection. These are great looking cards. Sorry, the scan doesn't really do the holofoil highlights any justice. This card looks GREAT up close!
The Schenn Stitchings insert card is probably the card I like the least out of my box. I really like having a picture of the player on the front of the card. If they could do that, I'd probably go for these patches more. Even the autographed versions of the Stitchings inserts just has the signature below the patch. They are kinda neat... but they don't have any real meaning other than the company decided to make a patch of the player. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who doesn't like the manufactured patches that much. They're either going to have to get more creative or they should go the way of the dinosaur. Unfortunately, these cards bring down the score for the inserts from OPC Premier. Boo!
My big pull out of my box was Super Mario! I was stoked to get a triple patch card numbered to 25. It sort of saved my box in terms of overall value. These Remnant cards are really a sight to behold. Upper Deck has really got the patches bursting with color and design out of these. I've seen a lot of patch cards on eBay, and most have looked really good. These cards are clean and uncluttered. Superior designed cards. These cards come in many different flavors like jersey version, patch versions, and auto versions. Just look at how clean and sharp this card is! O man, I wish this one was autographed too! Still happy though!
Inserts/Game-used/Autos Score:Overall Rating -
O-Pee-Chee Premier really takes it to the heart of collectors with this release. It puts itself between Upper Deck's other two high end products - Ultimate Collection and The Cup. This offering is definitely in my book more worthwhile than Ultimate Collection. The design of most of the insert cards and the rookie relic cards really outclass Ultimate. But, like Ultimate Collection, it is a very hit or miss product. I'd be pretty sad to buy a box on a limited budget and get nothing. Watching box breaks though, there have been more winners out of these boxes than in Ultimate. For me, I would not go and pursue a set of this product, but I'd definitely not pass it up either. It doesn't have 'timeless' written all over it, but it would definitely be worth it to get some of your favorite players on nice looking insert cards from it, and also be totally fun to bust open a few boxes and see what happens.
Let me know what you get!
Overall Rating: 9/10
(not an average)
(not an average)