The one that really counts but has been outside of my collecting parameters is O-Pee-Chee, the Canadian card company. Technically the oldest card company around today, O-Pee-Chee issued it's first cards in 1934, a full 15 years before Topps' first card release. Originally issuing cards on it's own but eventually partnering with Topps and now Upper Deck to produce the cards, the company is still it's own entity, at least if Wikipedia is to be believed, although at this point in time it's more about the name tradition than selling gum (which, as I show below, is a very good thing)
However, O-Pee-Chee has been mostly outside my collecting parameters. They DID issue Star Wars sets which are very much in my collection focus, and other non-sports sets that I would have been interested in if I had found them...but I've never seen them. I don't know if they are truly rare or I just don't have the right contacts. Keep in mind that I was totally out of non-sports cards from 1997-2009.
O-Pee-Chee never released an NBA set, to the best of my knowledge, despite the fact that the first ever NBA game was actually held in Canada. The Toronto Huskies, who hosted (and lost) the first game, folded after only one season, and the NBA did not return to Canada until 1995. (In fact, there's not a single Toronto Huskies card ever made, I believe, though their jersey does appear as a throwback on at least one card showing the Toronto Raptors)
But now...finally, in 2017, I've begun collecting hockey. O-Pee-Chee and Hockey have a very long history, dating back to the aforementioned set of 1933. Since I began the active collecting of hockey cards by hitting my local source for vintage packs, two sealed packs of 1990-91 O-Pee-Chee were procured by me and this is the breakdown for my very first pack of O-Pee-Chee cards, ever!
First out was the one per pack insert, which documents the Soviet Red Army team.
Whenever I see a card of the Soviet national team (which from what I've gathered this essentially is) I can't help but think of the line from Simpsons, "In Soviet Union, Review watches you!" and changing it in my head to "In Soviet Union, Cards collect You!"
Steve Larmer is the first of two Chicago Blackhawks to appear in the pack.
Here's the back of the standard NHL player card. All of them have some of the brown spotting but some are worse than others.
The design looks more 1980s than 1990s but to me that is not a bad thing in any way. shape or form.
Overall a fun pack to open despite the damage. It's not every day you can open your very first pack of one of the major brands in the hobby, after all!
Next post I will be back to the NBA with my December trade recap. I have had it written for several days but have been putting it off as I am exploring the world of hockey.