OPC Premier Stitchings

4 07 2008

As a guy who collects hockey cards, I sure don’t write much about them, do I? I’ve kept up with the upcoming releases and of course the epic Young Guns series, but otherwise I’ve offered pretty slim pickings as far as the frozen sport goes.

One of the newer releases even though the hockey season is over is OPC Premier, a higher end product currently available for around $150 for a box. Each box is a five card pack, so you are paying $30 a card, on average.

One of the guaranteed hits is called OPC Premier Stitchings, and it’s sure to drive the fake patch haters crazy. Upper Deck designed these Premier Stitchings cards to feature company made patches that commemorate either special events in a players career simply their nickname. So Bobby Hull gets a patch that says Golden Jet and Roberto Luongo gets a patch to commemorate his 2007 All Stars Skill Competition win as Top Goalie. Keep in mind that none of these are game worn patches, and that none of them are real.

That has not stopped a number of people from auctioning them off at everyone’s favorite auction site with the attribute “piece of authentic” checked off. Some are nice enough to add in the listing that it’s really a manufactured patch, but other just hope that someone paying no attention will think these things are real and throw a lot of money at them.

So it’s time for another public service announcement: The only thing authentic about these patches is they are authentic Upper Deck creations. Otherwise, players have not warn and probably have not touched these patches unless they pulled them from a pack themselves or bought them on the secondary market.

Now that we’re clear on that, I want you all to know that I really want to like these cards, but something inside just won’t let me. Take for example, this patch.

It’s a manufactured Cincinnati Stingers patch from the old World Hockey Association, a team that once featured Mike Gartner, Mark Messier, and the high scoring Robbie Ftorek (seriously, look it up). Notice something missing from the front? Like, I don’t know, a picture of a hockey player? Am I the only one who feels that a hockey card simply isn’t a hockey card without a picture of a hockey player on the front of it? And the design of these cards is pretty blase, too. It makes me feel like I’m stuck in a cloudy day.

Now, the patch itself looks good to me, but that’s because I grew up in near the home of the Stingers. It would have been much cooler, though, if Upper Deck had found an authentic Stingers patch and thrown that in there instead. Sure it’d probably would raise the cost of the release, but real patches would also add more value to the pull itself by making them more desirable. Instead, I’m left wondering why I should care.

Two more things. First, remember how I said these boxes average $30 a card? Well these patch cards are one of your guaranteed pulls, and some of them are selling for less than $1 at everyone’s favorite auction website. That’s quite a return on your investment, no?

Second, if Upper Deck is going to do something like this, they should try and get them all right. Can you spot the problem with this one?

Now, the first overall pick in 1997 was a guy named Joe, but it was Joe Thornton and not Joe Sakic. Joe Sakic was actually taken 15th overall in the 1987 draft by the team now know as the Colorado Avalanche. Sakic wasn’t even the first pick by the Nordiques, as Quebec had the #9 pick that year as well. Bonus points if you can name him without looking. I know I failed.

So after much internal struggle, I’m passing on these things. Not just the boxes, but the patches themselves. I’ll wait to find an authentic Stingers jersey somewhere and blow my cash on that.




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