Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mid '70's Topps and OPC... what the hell were they doing?

Since the dawn of time, card manufacturers have been cheap and lazy. You know it. I know it. They know it. Back in the day, film was expensive. not to mention paying the dude taking the shots. So they decided to be pro-active and recycle. You had no idea card manufacturers were so pro environment, did you? (Let's not mention renting barges to carry out thousands of unwanted cards to be dumped in the ocean. We'll consider that a man-made reef)
Anyways, Topps and OPC have been re-using images for ages. Even when the image in question no longer had anything to do with the subject.
Case in point. The year is 1976. The NHL is in minor disarray as a few teams change cities, names, players, etc...

The Topps version on the left shows us that there is nothing to see here, everything is A-Okay. Denis Herron still plays for the Kansas City Scouts. OPC, Topps' Canadian brother, knows that will never fly for the all knowing hockey connoisseur that we all are right out of the womb. So OPC gives us his new team name, logo, and a small blurb explaining why the uniform does not match the information given. They do not, however, give us a new picture of Denis. Nor do they alter the old one. Sometimes simple is best.

While helpful, this does not tell us the whole truth. There is no team in Kansas City anymore. The Scouts have relocated to Colorado and become the Rockies. Again, the Topps card on the left makes no mention of this. They would have you believe everything is kosher in the land of ice and rubber.

OPC gives  you the lowdown. Yes, Virginia, there are no more Scouts. See? Everything you need to know right there on the front of the card. 'Team transferred to Colorado' and they are the Rockies. Sometimes simple is best.                                                                                                                                 
But just when you think you know what's going on... just when you think you've seen it all, they go and do something like this.
Take a look at what Topps has done to Steve on the left here. Now the Scouts are no more, but they want to continue the charade as long as possible. So they airbrush him (rather badly, I might say) into a Scouts road uniform. Even though Steve has played for Kansas City for the last two years. Where did they dig up this photo??? Recycle they say.
So what does OPC do? Well they put him with a Rockies name and logo, but do not tell you that the team transfered there, and airbrush him into a..... a..... well, I have no idea what uniform that is supposed to be, but it sure ain't Colorado.

There be strange goings on in the card world. Tune in next time for the 76/77 version of the Oakland Seals. California Seals. California Golden Seals. Cleveland Barons.
Yeah, it gets a wee complicated.


  1. I took a look at your want list and have devised a trade. email me.

  2. It would be cool to have the two sets together in a binder so you can compare the differences to each card. I'm just glad they didn't make any changes to Durbano's 'stache. That thing is fantastic.

  3. I can learn a lot from the card designs in other sports. Eager to see the old school hockey designs you post. owned me this year in Fantasy.

  4. I think that might actually be an LA Kings jersey that Durbano is wearing. Only it was the futuristic promotional sweater given away to the first 1000 fans on S&M Bondage night and is made of 100% Pleather. Actually, are we sure that is Steve Durbano and not Sonny Bono?