Collector's Corner #7 - 1986-87 OPC

Collector's Corner #7 - 1986-87 OPC


After the disaster that was 1985-86, I was hoping for a better set from OPC in 1986-87.  They sort of delivered.  Following a D- effort with about a C+ does count as an improvement, but this set still paled in comparison with the great things they were doing just two seasons earlier.

The production issues that really plagued '85-86 were basically cleared up.  The miscuts that showed significant parts of other cards really weren't there.  Everything was back within typical OPC tolerances.  The blue print lines were nowhere to be seen.  Physically, these were much better made.

Visually, they were better, too.  The image quality still wasn't where it was a couple of years earlier, but it wasn't as dim as the year before.  While the design still has a vague food-product quality to it, it wasn't a rip-off of Vachon cakes, so that helps.  There were still only 264 cards, though, so clearly the previous year wasn't an aberration.  264 was the new standard.  This stunk, because it meant you only got 10-15 players per team rather than 17-18.  No team cards, and fewer bit players.

Airburshing was no better this year.  Dave Barr and Steve Richmond were particularly bad examples.  The airbrushed guys were typically the players included in the Topps set as well.  OPC-only players normally just got the 'now with team x' treatment, which looked far better.


The one real oddity of this set was a mix-up of two players.  This happens from time to time, where they'll make a card of player A but include a picture of player B.  Don Awrey and Skip Krake had this happen for years.  The RC of Mario Tremblay is a picture of someone else entirely, some long-forgotten prospect.  This year, they switched the pictures of Joel Otto and Moe Lemay.  Excusable in most cases, but Otto and Lemay weren't even teammates.  Someone recognized that something was wrong on the Lemay card, as they've added "Now with Canucks" to the picture.  No such luck with Otto.


There were some interesting things, though.  This year is famous for the Roy RC, but some other things were cool, too.  In 1985-86, Gretzky won the scoring title based solely on his assists.  He could have had an 80-game goalless drought and won the Ross anyway.  That's captured on the back of the scoring leader card.

It's a good set for Leaf fans, too.  They didn't print a ton of Leaf cards that year, and there were no goaltenders, but there were three rookies of significance - Russ Courtnall, Steve Thomas (wearing #28 from an early callup)...


...and then, of course, the best-looking card in the entire set - the Glower.  If ever a card perfectly captured the spirit of a player, it's the first-year card of Wendel Clark.


So this set merits a C+.  But wait - look at that Clark again.  I take it back - this set gets an A. 


(Pictures for Barr, Richmond, Otto and Lemay ripped off from eBay because I couldn't be bothered to go scan them.)


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