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My self-subbed 1991-92 O-Pee-Chee hockey project

FrozencaribouFrozencaribou Posts: 1,087 ✭✭✭✭✭

Hi all,
I appreciate seeing how everyone collects on these boards. In the spirit of jordangretzkyfan and mr.peanut I decided to put together a 1991-92 OPC set in gem condition during the first few months of COVID. Just getting graded cards back from PSA and inching towards having the top 40 in the set, but that is still a big challenge.

The set has only a handful of rookies, led by John LeClair and Tony Amonte, but it is more known for two Jaromir Jagr second year cards and eight Gretzky cards. It was the second last year in OPC's traditional wax pack format, and was also available in factory sets. There is a big Russian insert subset with Sergei Zubov's only 1991-92 card, which is only found in wax packs. The Zubov, being an OPC insert, is found on top of the pack, and is usually found dinged or covered in gum dust that has adhered to the card, and has gum indentations when you get towards the bottom of boxes.

These cards are 30 years old now, and cards coming out of packs are not easy to find in gem condition even if these cards are the epitome of junk wax. No doubt they are everywhere.

I have opened two wax cases and 4 unopened set cases (24 sets per case) to date. The centering is atrocious on most cards, and the factory sets are plagued with raised edges. I still haven't pulled a centered Fedorov, and the best I could do on one of Gretzky's highlights cards was an 8.

I've subbed a lot of these cards that came back as Gem 9's as I call them, but I've unloaded them and moved on as I'm only wanting 10's in my collection. I've another 55 ready for PSA but who knows when I will be able to continue with my project.

Pleased that a #321 Gretzky in PSA 10 went for $560 recently on eBay. It's on the left lower portion of one of the sheets and has major centering issues.

-Nathanael














Comments

  • 80sOPC80sOPC Posts: 1,241 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very cool project. Such a great time for hockey, a future HOF youth movement plus greats like Wayne, Mario, Bourque, Messier all still dominant. Maybe the best talent stack the NHL has ever seen.

  • jordangretzkyfanjordangretzkyfan Posts: 2,374 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Wow…those are stone cold PSA 10 beauties! Outstanding project and a great start to your set. I know the pain of ripping case after case and only pulling a handful of GEM MINT worthy cards. Looking forward to seeing the progress as you go. Thanks for sharing.

  • FrozencaribouFrozencaribou Posts: 1,087 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jordangretzkyfan said:
    Wow…those are stone cold PSA 10 beauties! Outstanding project and a great start to your set. I know the pain of ripping case after case and only pulling a handful of GEM MINT worthy cards. Looking forward to seeing the progress as you go. Thanks for sharing.

    High praise coming from the most dedicated gem hunter I've ever witnessed! The worst is when you do find a perfectly centered card that is 1 in 100 and then find a fatal flaw that keeps it from a 10. Thanks and I will keep updating.

    @80sOPC said:
    Very cool project. Such a great time for hockey, a future HOF youth movement plus greats like Wayne, Mario, Bourque, Messier all still dominant. Maybe the best talent stack the NHL has ever seen.

    Yes, those were the days. Just think of the 91-92 Chicago-Pittsburgh series. So many hall of famers, with Hasek backing up Belfour. There were 10 hall of famers in the series, with HOFer Scotty Bowman coaching Pittsburgh. I feel lucky to have watched it all unfold.

    -Nathanael

  • Love this set. Good luck building the complete set.

  • GroceryRackPackGroceryRackPack Posts: 2,448 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hey Frozencaribou,
    Pretty Cool project that you have going...
    :)

  • rmh111985rmh111985 Posts: 390 ✭✭✭✭

    Great project, I was always a big fan of this release, nice seeing all those 10's in there!

    Main collecting focus is Patrick Roy playing days 85/86-02/03, expect 1/1, National/All-Star stamped cards.PC Completion: 2,548/2,952; 86.31% My Patrick Roy PC Website:https://proy33collector.weebly.com

  • FrozencaribouFrozencaribou Posts: 1,087 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Really appreciate the positive comments, guys. The Jagr #40 is my favourite in the set. Same photo from the 90-91 OPC Premier, which may be lazy but I don't mind in the least. Great photo that compliments the set design.

    1991-92 and 1992-93 OPC remain relatively cheap. I wasn't originally burned by these sets because I didn't buy them for $30 or more a box in 1991 and 1992 so this has been a stress-free experience so far.

    I will keep updating as I get grades back. Hopeful that I can end up with 40-50 different PSA 10s from 1990-91, 1991-92 and 1992-93 OPC that I've self-subbed. We have all seen the reckoning for 1980's era wax. I want to enjoy this before it becomes too much of a risk due to wax and factory set price points.

    I've also dabbled in OPC Premier, but it is easier to find centered gem cards in those sets, so the chase isn't as difficult and the long-term prospects of value don't seem as likely. No matter, I never tire of opening boxes where you can get Gretzky's and Lemieux's and Roy's and a host of other HOF'ers.

    -Nathanael

  • Jayman1982Jayman1982 Posts: 464 ✭✭✭

    I feel like this project will push me towards an unhealthy undertaking of amassing a complete gem mint 1990 Upper Deck set...thanks buddy

    Ps. I have no doubt you will be successful in this project, looking forward to seeing the progress on it

  • FrozencaribouFrozencaribou Posts: 1,087 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 7, 2022 7:32PM

    Another value order back from PSA, and with it some great Jagr success. But more importantly I added #424 Steve Yzerman to my PSA 10 set.

    -Nathanael

    NEAR MINT-MINT 8 1991 O-Pee-Chee 9 Jaromir Jagr Card
    GEM MINT 10 1991 O-Pee-Chee 9 Jaromir Jagr Card
    GEM MINT 10 1991 O-Pee-Chee 40 Jaromir Jagr Card
    GEM MINT 10 1991 O-Pee-Chee 40 Jaromir Jagr Card
    GEM MINT 10 1991 O-Pee-Chee 40 Jaromir Jagr Card
    NEAR MINT-MINT 8 1991 O-Pee-Chee 153 Mario Lemieux Card
    MINT 9 1991 O-Pee-Chee 257 Wayne Gretzky Card
    GEM MINT 10 1991 O-Pee-Chee 424 Steve Yzerman Card
    MINT 9 1991 O-Pee-Chee 522 Wayne Gretzky Card
    NEAR MINT 7 1991 O-Pee-Chee 524 Wayne Gretzky Card


  • jordangretzkyfanjordangretzkyfan Posts: 2,374 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Beauty! Congrats on the Stevie Y….and the Jagr’s too.

  • 80sOPC80sOPC Posts: 1,241 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That Yzerman is a great looking card. Really like the backs on these as well. End of an era

  • FrozencaribouFrozencaribou Posts: 1,087 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 7, 2022 11:26AM

    For all those 90's era variations hunters, the 1991 OPC #40 Jagr has an interesting one. One variation, which I've only found in packs, has a red mark on the boards to Jagr's left. The mark is a part of the image and not something like a fish eye. The other version doesn't have the mark. I don't expect anyone cares, but I think its cool.

    -Nathanael


  • brad31brad31 Posts: 2,560 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 7, 2022 11:41AM

    I like it when someone digs deep into a set and becomes the hobby authority! Reading what they learn is always interesting to me. Great thread - cool info on the Jagr.

  • FrozencaribouFrozencaribou Posts: 1,087 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @brad31 said:
    I like it when someone digs deep into a set and becomes the hobby authority! Reading what they learn is always interesting to me. Great thread - cool info on the Jagr.

    Thanks, Brad! I agree- this forum is a great resource for crowdsourcing cool info about our favourite players and sets.

  • junkwaxgemsjunkwaxgems Posts: 239 ✭✭✭

    @Frozencaribou said:
    Hi all,
    I appreciate seeing how everyone collects on these boards. In the spirit of jordangretzkyfan and mr.peanut I decided to put together a 1991-92 OPC set in gem condition during the first few months of COVID. Just getting graded cards back from PSA and inching towards having the top 40 in the set, but that is still a big challenge.

    Do you know if the Sharks and Russian inserts can be found in vending boxes too or just in wax? There are a few sharks I'd like to own nice copies of but they are usually wax stained and/or in poor condition from the packs. Thank you!

    fka jacksoncoupage, comc.com: junkwaxgems, ebay: junkwaxgems
  • FrozencaribouFrozencaribou Posts: 1,087 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @junkwaxgems said:

    @Frozencaribou said:
    Hi all,
    I appreciate seeing how everyone collects on these boards. In the spirit of jordangretzkyfan and mr.peanut I decided to put together a 1991-92 OPC set in gem condition during the first few months of COVID. Just getting graded cards back from PSA and inching towards having the top 40 in the set, but that is still a big challenge.

    Do you know if the Sharks and Russian inserts can be found in vending boxes too or just in wax? There are a few sharks I'd like to own nice copies of but they are usually wax stained and/or in poor condition from the packs. Thank you!

    Happy to help- I don't think the inserts were available in any format other than wax. The inserts are not in the factory sets, and I haven't ever seen vending for 1991-92 OPC hockey or 1992-93 OPC hockey.

    Those inserts are really tough to find centered and mint. Good luck in your search.

    -Nathanael

  • junkwaxgemsjunkwaxgems Posts: 239 ✭✭✭
    edited June 16, 2022 5:40PM

    @Frozencaribou said:
    Happy to help- I don't think the inserts were available in any format other than wax. The inserts are not in the factory sets, and I haven't ever seen vending for 1991-92 OPC hockey or 1992-93 OPC hockey.

    Those inserts are really tough to find centered and mint. Good luck in your search.

    -Nathanael

    Thanks for the input. Vending does exist for 1991-92: Here is an example of the vending boxes (or vend pak)https://ebay.com/itm/264034972971?hash=item3d79b5f52b:g:u0oAAOSwTxhb6GWO

    fka jacksoncoupage, comc.com: junkwaxgems, ebay: junkwaxgems
  • FrozencaribouFrozencaribou Posts: 1,087 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for expanding my knowledge. Man, so much product from these junk era years. Vending from 89-90 and 90-91 OPC is really common, but I haven't run across any vending from 91-92 or 92-93 in my neck of the woods in Ontario in the two years I've been actively searching.

  • dtmodeldtmodel Posts: 83 ✭✭✭

    I'm enjoying this thread very much. Great looking card set. Thanks for sharing

  • jordangretzkyfanjordangretzkyfan Posts: 2,374 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Congrats…gorgeous Fedorov! Looking forward to the updates.

  • FrozencaribouFrozencaribou Posts: 1,087 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for following, dtmodel and jordangretzkyfan. Appreciate the comments.

    This Gretzky #201 PSA 10 makes 7/8 Gretzky cards in the set that I have self-subbed as 10s. I pulled this one from a wax box. The edges on cards from wax boxes are rougher than in factory sets. This seems to be the case for most early 90's OPC. My guess is there were two production facilities by that point.

    Just need #257 to make 8/8 for all the Great Ones...


  • FrozencaribouFrozencaribou Posts: 1,087 ✭✭✭✭✭

    John LeClair was a beast in the 1993 Habs cup run. He was also a great find from Vermont, just a couple of hours from Montreal. I still can't believe he was traded in 94 to the Flyers...

    POP 11 on this tough rookie card.


  • FrozencaribouFrozencaribou Posts: 1,087 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 1, 2023 8:07PM

    Hey everyone. I haven't posted in awhile on this project, but I finally got a Sergei Zubov PSA 10 and wanted to share. I think it is near impossible to find one in a pack anymore, so I broke down and bought one on eBay. Pop 6.

    These inserts are one per wax pack, and were the top card next to the gum. Between the gum bleeding onto the card, the pressure of the gum on the card causing an indent, and the poor centering, I don't think there are many more out there in gem condition.

    -Nathanael


  • brad31brad31 Posts: 2,560 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2, 2023 9:34AM

    Love the new additions.

  • brad31brad31 Posts: 2,560 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Agree - bought Oates’ rookie after the 1991 season.

  • miwlvrnmiwlvrn Posts: 4,226 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Agreed on the Zubov being prohibitively tough to search out raw for a potential 10! I think that one was a great buy for the price, congrats. I still feel like it should be eligible for the HHOF RC set registry composition instead of the 1992 card they use.

  • FrozencaribouFrozencaribou Posts: 1,087 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @miwlvrn said:
    Agreed on the Zubov being prohibitively tough to search out raw for a potential 10! I think that one was a great buy for the price, congrats. I still feel like it should be eligible for the HHOF RC set registry composition instead of the 1992 card they use.

    Thanks! Interesting about it's place in registry set collecting. As you mentioned, the Zubov OPC was an insert, but predates his other rookies by a year. I can't think of another example within the PSA registry set for hockey where this happened. I'm with you on its eligibility. Of all the potential from OPC's heavy use of Russian players between 1990 and 1992 (about 60 per set per year), the Fedorov 1990 OPC red army and the Zubov are the only two hobby relevant that remain. Nod of the cap to Arturs Irbe, Valerie Kamensky, and Valeri Zelepukin. Would have been pretty amazing if OPC had Pavel Bure in its 1990 set instead of any number of 30+ year olds who played for Dynamo Riga.

    -Nathanael

  • miwlvrnmiwlvrn Posts: 4,226 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Frozencaribou said:

    @miwlvrn said:
    Agreed on the Zubov being prohibitively tough to search out raw for a potential 10! I think that one was a great buy for the price, congrats. I still feel like it should be eligible for the HHOF RC set registry composition instead of the 1992 card they use.

    Thanks! Interesting about it's place in registry set collecting. As you mentioned, the Zubov OPC was an insert, but predates his other rookies by a year. I can't think of another example within the PSA registry set for hockey where this happened. I'm with you on its eligibility. Of all the potential from OPC's heavy use of Russian players between 1990 and 1992 (about 60 per set per year), the Fedorov 1990 OPC red army and the Zubov are the only two hobby relevant that remain. Nod of the cap to Arturs Irbe, Valerie Kamensky, and Valeri Zelepukin. Would have been pretty amazing if OPC had Pavel Bure in its 1990 set instead of any number of 30+ year olds who played for Dynamo Riga.

    -Nathanael

    I'll agree with that. One more point to make on this: If Vladimir Konstantinov had not been in the famous limo accident and instead played out a full career with Lidstrom, I think you'd have a similar situation of feeling that his 1990 OPC Russian insert card should be his HHOF registry RC card too.

  • junkwaxgemsjunkwaxgems Posts: 239 ✭✭✭

    @Frozencaribou said:

    @junkwaxgems said:

    @Frozencaribou said:
    Hi all,

    >

    Happy to help- I don't think the inserts were available in any format other than wax. The inserts are not in the factory sets, and I haven't ever seen vending for 1991-92 OPC hockey or 1992-93 OPC hockey.

    Those inserts are really tough to find centered and mint. Good luck in your search.

    -Nathanael

    Any chance you’d be interested in selling me a bulk lot of the sharks inserts you’ve accumulated?

    I’d rather avoid buying wax for them if possible since Im not after anything else in the set.

    fka jacksoncoupage, comc.com: junkwaxgems, ebay: junkwaxgems
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