Saturday, June 20, 2009

Video Box Break and Review: 2009 Upper Deck OPC

One Hobby box of 2009 Upper Deck OPC
36 packs per box, six cards per pack (Paid $59)

Part One:

Part Two:

The Pulls

Base Set: 159 of 600 (26.50%)

35 Black (one-per-pack)
1 Blank-Backed Black: P. Polanco
1 Mini Black (1:36): S. Olsen

2 2008 Highlights & Milestones (15 cards): A. Beltre, C. Gomez
1 Walk-Off Winners (ten cards): J. Damon
1 2008 OPC All-Rookie Team (ten cards): J. Bruce
1 Midsummer Memories (15 cards): C. Crawford
2 Face of the Franchise (30 cards): M. Young, E. Longoria
2 The Award Show (20 cards): A. Beltre, T. Hunter
1 New York, New York (30 cards, 1:36): J. Posada
1 1979-80 OPC Hockey (33 cards, 1:36): J. Toews (Hockey Player)
6 20th Anniversary: L. Berkman, R. Ankiel, T. Woods (three different), Jeter

1 20th Anniversary Memorabilia (1:432/packs): I. Rodriguez

The Review

When I first saw the sell-sheets for '09 UDOPC back in February, with it's faux '76 Topps design and one-per-pack '71 Topps parallel, my first thought was to the litigation that was all but inevitable. With the lawsuit now all but settled, I still have to wonder what Upper Deck was thinking with this product.

I get the fact that Upper Deck wanted to throw a bone to the set collectors; and with a large 600 base set, they have. But I don't understand why they had to call it "O-Pee-Chee." For baseball card collectors O-Pee-Chee will always be nothing more than Canadian Topps. (The fact that all the cards are in English-only goes against the spirit of the originals, but that's for another post.) Issuing a card set called "O-Pee-Chee," and shamelessly ripping off vintage Topps/OPC designs, was all but inviting a Topps lawsuit.

What I also don't understand is why UD decided to kill off a brand name they paid a lot of money for (Fleer), and revive a brand more associated with their competitor? Maybe it was to stick it to Topps?

The Bottom Line

2009 UDOPC is what it is. It's 2009 Fleer Tradition, but under a different name. I received a little more than a quarter of the base set, a bunch of black-bordered parallels, and a one-per-box mini parallel of former Marlin and current Nats pitcher Scott Olsen. I also pulled a black-bordered card of Placido Polanco with a blank-bank, that I didn't notice until after I was done sorting my box. Apparently, these blank-backed black-backs (try saying that five times as fast as you can) are a stealth parallel.

Not including those annoying 20th Anniversary cards, there are eight different insert sets and I received at least one card from each. Unfortunately, one of the inserts I received was of a hockey player. The card in question is from a 33-card "tribute" to the 1979-80 OPC Hockey set. (The first ten cards are of current NHL players, while the remaining 23 are of baseballers.) Last time I checked it says "Baseball Picture Cards" on the wrapper, and not "Baseball and Hockey Picture Cards." If I wanted hockey cards, I'd buy a pack of fucking hockey cards.

You're not guaranteed either an autograph or a gamer in a box, but then again you're probably not buying this for the "hits." You're supposed to get a triple-swatch game-used card every third box, an autograph every sixth, and a 20th Anniversary Game-Used card in every twelve-box case. This box yielded the "case hit," a Pudge Rodriguez 20th Anniversary jersey card.

I paid $59 for this box of cards, and although I got 36 wax packs, I still don't feel as though I got enough for my money. The problem with UDOPC is the price point. Yes, it's only $1.59/pack -- which puts it along the lines of Topps' flagship -- but you only get a measly six cards in a pack. When you consider that a 20-card Hobby pack of Upper Deck's flagship has an MSRP of $5, the cost-per-card of OPC is roughly the same as regular Upper Deck.

Product Rating: 2 1/2 Gumsticks
Box Rating: 3 Gumsticks

... and another thing

Contrary to what it originally said on the sell-sheet, the last 100 cards are NOT short printed. They are seeded at the rate of one-per-pack, but UD actually printed MORE of these cards than the first 500 cards. I received 36% of the "SPs," but only about a quarter of the first 500.


Sooz said...

I like this set. I shoulda bought a hobby box instead of two blasters.

You can get these hobby boxes for about $10 cheaper than you paid for them on eBay or around.

dayf said...

This set is giving me fits. I really like it but I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to afford a hobby box of Allen & Ginter so I should NOT be buying any of it.

The Baseball Card Snob said...

How was the quality of the cards? I've read several reviews and seen several pictures on other blogs and many of the cards appear to have roller marks or printing marks.

You're also right on the price point, this box should be about $30. By your calculations, you will need almost 4 Hobby boxes to get a complete set.

Last, I noticed that all the NL Team checklists that you pulled have floating heads, the AL's were all stadium shots.

Anonymous said...

The argument that this product was made with the set-collector in mind doesn't hold water with me. As I discussed on my blog, if that was UD's sole purpose in creating this, the company kind of shot itself in the foot because BASIC Upper Deck is essentially the set collector's dream with it's 1,000-plus base set. And it's better looking, and arguably cheaper ...

Ben said...

I really like this set and plan on completing it. But not until boxes are more like $25.

With only 216 cards in a box, it's not worth more than $25 or $30.