I bought a rack pack of 2008 O-Pee-Chee hockey a while back and it instantly became my favorite hockey set of 2008 (with Upper Deck's base and Masterpieces sets not far behind). After picking up another rack pack, a blaster, and about a half dozen hobby packs, I decided I was going to build the set and ponied up for a wax box. I paid $63.00 for the box, which contains 36 packs, 6 cards per pack.
The highlight of this product for me though is the Retro parallel cards. Inserted at one per pack, these cards are actually a parallel to the base set on a 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee design. Normally I absolutely detest parallel cards. As a set builder, I generally complain that they simply take up space in a pack that could've been occupied by a base card, and quite simply cause you to bust more wax in order to hand collate your set. 2008 O-Pee-Chee is different though, and in this case the parallels were one of the main things that drew me to purchase this box. These cards have been in very high demand with hockey collectors. I've seen some individual parallels sell for more than $10 a piece on eBay. Topps and Upper Deck should learn something here, if they have to include parallels in a set it would do them a lot of good to model them after a vintage design.
OK, down to the nitty gritty, here's a breakdown of exactly what I received in this box:
Base Cards: 146 (70 doubles)
Marquee Rookies: 8 (1 double)
Legends: 6 (4 doubles)
Team Checklists: 2
Season Highlights Inserts: 2
Retro: 36 (12 base, 13 Marquee Rookies, 11 Legends)
Gold Parallels (of course Upper Deck had to screw it up and include another worthless parallel): 9
Award Winners Inserts: 2
Stat Leaders Inserts: 3
Second Team All-Star Inserts: 1
Winter Classic Inserts: 1 (as expected, they fall 1:box)
Retro Rainbow Inserts (same as the Retro parallel but shiny and #'d to 100): 2
Not a bad box at all. The guarantee of 36 Retro parallel cards, the great design of the base set, the inclusion of Legends cards, and the myriad of subsets made this a great box. In fact, I liked this box so much (and was still so far from completing a set) that I purchased another wax box (which I'm about half-way through ripping). And now, here are 5 cards from the box that I especially liked:
#593 - Tony Esposito - Chicago Blackhawks (Retro Parallel) - Here's a meeting of my two favorite parts of the set, a retro parallel and a Legends card. How beautiful is this card?
#490 - Manny Fernandez - Boston Bruins - I chose this card simply because I think it effectively illustrates how great the base cards look with the team color integrated into the border.
#595 - Lanny McDonald - Calgary Flames (Legends) - Here's one of the Legends short print cards. I chose Lanny because his fabulous mustache always cracked me and my brothers up when we were younger. Strangely, Lanny's is the only Legends card I've obtained so far with a black and white photo. I'm not sure why they chose black and white for a player who played so recently and has so many color photos available.
3M-PRB - Brian Rolston/Pierre-Marc Bouchard/Mark Parrish - Minnesota Wild - I think these triple jersey cards fall one per box. I didn't pull the best card possible, but I've watched quite a few Wild games this year and I think their defensive-minded playing style (behind coach Jacques Lemaire) is going to get them into the playoffs again in the weak Western Conference.
#584 - Wayne Gretzky - Edmonton Oilers (Retro Parallel) - Booyah! I'd seen this card go for as much as $15 on eBay, and it was the single card that I wanted to pull more than any other when I purchased the box. There was a huge smile on my face when I ripped open a pack and saw this card at the back.
This box was worth the $63 without a doubt, I can't wait to finish ripping my second one and then chasing down some of the cards I'm missing!