Note: I will not be updating the contents of this page after 2013-01-01.
[This page was written by John Larocque
(larocque at chrs.com)
[Slightly edited by Martin Thurn]
Being a Star Wars collector for years, here is (I believe) a complete list of O-Pee-Chee Star Wars/Empire/Jedi card sets.
I. STAR WARS
O-Pee-Chee did not manufacture its own version of Topps set 3 (yellow). Topps Star Wars stickers were inserted in the O-Pee-Chee wax packs. Set 1 packs contain Topps stickers 1-11, Set 2 packs contain Topps stickers 12-22, and Set 3 packs contain Topps stickers 34-55. For years I wondered about the 11 sticker gap between 22 and 34, until I found out that O-Pee-Chee only copied four of the five sets, and hence inserted only four-fifths of the Star Wars stickers in its wax packs.
II. EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
Sets 1 (1-132), 2 (133-264) and 3 (265-352) are, bilingual text aside, identical to the Topps versions. Once again, Topps Empire stickers were inserted in each pack: 1-33 for Set 1, 34-66 for Set 2 and 67 to 88 for Set 3.
III. RETURN OF THE JEDI
O-Pee-Chee did not produce as many cards for this movie as it did the other two movies. To my knowledge, there is only one set (1-132), a bilingual version of Topps Set 1. This time O-Pee-Chee did not insert Topps stickers in its wax packs.
O-PEE-CHEE CARDS vs TOPPS CARDS
In terms of collectibility, O-Pee-Chee cards are graded a little differently than Topps cards. O-Pee-Chee cards from this period were not as well cut as their Topps counterparts, and collectors take this into account when grading defects. If I may quote from Beckett Hockey monthly: "Many OPC cards were poorly cut, resulting in jagged or "chipped" edges... and are generally are graded ExMt (micro defect)."
On the plus side, the colors on O-Pee-Chee cards are in some ways superior to those on Topps cards. Where a Topps Empire card might have its red border appear faded, or even pink, the color red on OPC Empire cards are almost always bright.
SUPPLY OF O-PEE-CHEE CARDS
O-Pee-Chee Star Wars cards were very popular in the school yards, and trading these cards with other kids was as common a sight as the annual buying and trading of hockey cards, no mean accomplishment for a "non sports" card set in Canada. Sets, wax boxes, packs and even uncut sheets are still extent in the Southwestern Ontario region. Sets retail for a little less than the Topps sets, due to an abundance of local supply.