Base Card Design -
The OPC Platinum base cards take their design straight from the base OPC set released at the very beginning of the hockey season. The only difference with these cards is that they have been dressed with a nice shiny platinum foil coat. Each card is very reflective and looks good. If you're a fan of Bowman or Topps Chrome in baseball, these cards will be right up your alley. I think that they extra shine does the standard OPC cards good and enhances them quite a bit. The cards are, of course, just the foundation for having heaps and heaps of parallels, which I will cover in the Inserts/Game-Used/Autos section of the review.
There isn't anything too crazy going on with the back of the card. The backs are simple and give collectors a complete run-down of the player's career. Unfortunately there aren't any write-ups of the individual players - these cards keep it very sparse. One key difference between these backs and the standard OPC ones is that these backs have a glossy feel rather than the cardboard feel. This, of course, makes sense... but I think having a cardboard back on these cards would make for a really cool fusion of modern and retro.
Each box promises a Rookie Auto card that is hard-signed. My box contained Jacob de la Rose. These autographed rookie cards have a similar design to the base card except for the top which has a banner with 'Rookie Auto' in it. These rookie autographs are part of the main set rather than the Marquee Rookies from the standard OPC set. I thought this distinction was pretty interesting as the Marquee Rookies are now considered an insert to the main set. It is also important to note that these hard-signed rookie cards are not equal in terms of pull-rate. Though unnumbered, there is a tiered system of rookies that are easier to pull and rookies that are harder. Think Connor McDavid is just as easy to pull as another rookie? Think again, he's of course one of the tougher ones to get.
Base Card Design Score:
OPC Platinum comes with 20 packs per box. The box states that there is one hard-signed rookie card in it, but it is possible to pull more than just one autograph! My box actually came with another autographed card, though that one was a sticker auto. Still, I'm not complaining about getting an autograph I wasn't expecting. The rest of the box consists of inserts and parallel cards.
As I mentioned before, the Marquee Rookies have been given their own insert set numbering. You get quite a few Marquee Rookies per box. Like just about everything in OPC Platinum, there are many, many parallel versions of these cards - all the way down to one-of-one variations. The Marquee Rookie cards look great in foil, and I'm sure many collectors will be on the chase for the parallels of their favorite rookies this season.
And speaking of parallels, there are too many to list when it comes to OPC Platinum. Some collectors will probably get overwhelmed by the sheer number of parallels offered in the set. Thankfully, Upper Deck has decided to put the name of the parallel card on the back of the card under the number to help collectors figure out exactly what is it they've got. The Claude Giroux parallel shown above is a Red Prism parallel and has serial numbering to 149.
Die-cut cards make a return to OPC Platinum this year. I liked the die-cuts from last year and am glad to see them back in this set. They definitely add a bit of variety to OPC Platinum. Shown above is a Team Logos card of Joe Sakic. I get a kick out of this card as he is shown in his old Quebec Nordiques sweater. Besides team logo die-cuts, there are also superstar die-cuts and trophy die-cut cards.
The surprise of my box was definitely this Tobias Rieder Blue Rainbow Autographed card. This card features a sticker autograph rather than a hard-signed one. Though it is a sticker, the autograph still looks great on the front of the card. The blue ink and the blue borders work well together. Just like the base autographed rookie cards, these also come in different rarity tiers.
Aside from the cards shown above, OPC Platinum has a huge amount of Retro card parallels to find. These cards mirror the ones found in the the standard OPC release. Also, autographed versions of the die-cut cards are out there for collectors to collect.
Overall Rating -
Upper Deck didn't really do much to change OPC Platinum from last year. It actually really feels exactly the same as the previous release. I guess that's good in terms of keeping a product consistent, but I can't help but wish for some more excitement with OPC Platinum. It seems like UD is really going for what Topps has done with their Chrome brands. Topps keeps those cards very basic. It'd be cool if UD went above and beyond what Topps did rather than follow them almost to a tee.
OPC Platinum is priced around $80 USD give or take. With that money you are guaranteed just one autographed card. It is a lot for one autograph, but there is also the possibility of getting rare parallel cards as well.
To me, OPC Platinum is what it is. Perhaps some collectors will really enjoy it. I personally look for a bit more pizzaz in my releases. OPC Platinum is a solid product based on a tried and true formula, so if you're into it, I'm sure it will satisfy.
Check out my box of OPC Platinum here: