Thursday, December 10, 2009

1933-34 O-Pee-Chee - the set that started it all

The Canadian candy company O-Pee-Chee, started by brothers John and Duncan
McDermid in 1911 produced its flagship set of trading cards in 1933. The first
two releases - possibly in 1933-34 and 1934-35, are the colorful issues often labelled as 1933-34 O-Pee-Chee Series A (V304A) and Series B (V304B).

The V304A set consists of 48 cards measuring 2-5/16" x 3-9/16" - most cards in the set are rookie cards (!!!), while V304B was a smaller release of 24 cards numbered consecutively from Series A, that is from numbers 49 through to 72. This numbering system is continued with the next two releases V304C and V304D released in 1935-1937. See a complete checklist at the bottom of this post.

Each card has 4 variations with differing background colors - the four possibilities are blue, green, red and orange. It is possible to collect the complete set in each of the 4 colors - a collecting task which is nearly impossible given the scarcity (and expense) of these cards.

PSA reports very low numbers of these cards have been graded and the number of high grade examples is very small, for example none of #3 Shore cards have graded above a PSA 6 EXMT condition.

Not surprisingly getting involved with this set can be difficult on the pocket book. None of the V304A singles currently listed on Ebay (there are only 30 or so) are listed for less than $100 each. However deals can be had - a near set of 43/48 recently sold in the November 2009 Legendary auction for $1442 plus buyer's premium and shipping. Till next time.

Checklist for V304A from

1 Danny Cox
2 Joe Lamb
3 Eddie Shore
4 Ken Doraty
5 Lionel Hitchman
6 Nels Stewart
7 Percy "Perk" Galbraith
8 Aubrey "Dit" Clapper
9 Harry Oliver
10 Reginald "Red" Horner
11 Alex Levinsky
12 Joe Primeau
13 Irvine "Ace" Bailey
14 George Patterson
15 George Hainsworth
16 Ehrhardt "Ott" Heller
17 Art Somers
18 Lorne Chabot
19 Johnny Gagnon
20 Alfred "Pit" Lepine
21 Wildor Larochelle
22 Georges Mantha
23 Howie Morenz
24 Syd Howe
25 Frank Finnigan
26 Bill Touhey
27 Ralph "Cooney" Weiland
28 Leo Bourgeault
29 Norman Himes
30 John Sheppard
31 Francis "King" Clancy
32 Clarence "Happy" Day
33 Harvey "Busher" Jackson
34 Charlie Conacher
35 Harold "Baldy" Cotton
36 Melville "Butch" Keeling
37 Murray Murdoch
38 Bill Cook
39 Ivan "Ching" Johnson
40 Leighton "Happy" Emms
41 Bert McInenly
42 John Sorrell
43 Merlyn "Bill" Phillips
44 Charles "Rabbit" McVeigh
45 Roy Worters
46 Albert "Battleship" Leduc
47 Nick Wasnie
48 Armand Mondou


  1. Why do you think every card in v304A is a rookie card? For example, King Clancy had cards issued as early as 1923 in V145-1.

  2. Hi Elliot - thanks for pointing that out - you are of course correct. I will fix the text.

  3. any one looking for No 28 of this series.. leo bourgeault.

  4. Any idea what a complete set of A and B would be worth. I am not a collector, but was given a set by a close friend. Recieved an offer by a dealer that was passing thru town, but don't know where to even go to have them appraised.