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1971 O-Pee-Chee BAZOOKA - Test Series?

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  • 1971 O-Pee-Chee BAZOOKA - Test Series?

    I’m just trying to figure out why the 1971 O-Pee-Chee Bazooka cards aren’t called a “test series?” They were only issued in a few areas in Canada – wasn’t O-Pee-Chee testing the market with this product? I wasn’t around back then, but I am going to assume that it was a disaster. Here is why I think this:
    • The only way for kids to have gotten their hands on these cards was to purchase the whole entire box (which contained 30 pieces of chewing gum). Who had the money for that?
    • Majority of parents were also not willing to buy their kids these boxes either.
    • Kids were just not into this product because they could spend 10 cents on an 8 card pack of 71’ O-Pee-Chee instead. Furthermore, these cards were bigger in size and did not have blank backs.
    This is probably the reason why they are so rare (and why O-Pee-Chee did not release them in more areas across the country). You will also notice how the company never attempted anything like this again. Anyhow, a lot of people I have spoken to don't really know much about these cards. It would be really awesome to ask some former employees of the O-Pee-Chee company.

    Click image for larger version

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    Larry shows off his complete Bazooka box featuring Bobby Orr in 2015. The item has since been sold.

  • #2
    Bazooka has been selling these since 1959 in other sports so giving Hockey a year seemed like a waste since they discontinued these in all sports in 1971. How many kids do you think even knew that these cards were at the bottom of the boxes? Why collect these at the time when you have the regular size cards in packs. They tried it and failed. I'm just glad I have my complete panel set since very few of these are popping up.

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    • #3
      Agreed Damir---- ill have this one at the expo next week-if anyone wishes to have look at these-HARD to find ,hockey panels--- very cool!
      Click image for larger version

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      • #4
        What grade is the Orr, hard to tell from the scan. Also, what are you selling the set for?

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        • #5
          sent private email

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          • #6
            Kids in 1971 probably didn t know anything about this set
            1: many store probably drop all the gum in another generic contain box
            OR
            2: Kids didn t look under the bazzoka gum box at the store.... when you go to the store today do you look under the caramilk candy bar box to see if you will find any handcut sport cards ?

            And in 1971 72 no internet to share info like these

            only my little theorie.. i am perhaps totaly wrong......
            good thread puck_that thanks

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            • #7
              Thank you for your posts, gentlemen.

              I do think the panels look cool, but I would like to own the complete boxes instead. I know that with the right amount of patience I will get my hands on them for the right price. They are out there.

              And prewar_collector raises a very interesting question here: did some store owners empty these Bazooka boxes into a big container so they could be sold individually? If they did, then these empty boxes probably got tossed right out!
              Last edited by Puck_That; 11-02-2018, 11:19 PM.

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              • #8
                As someone who was very into cards during those years, buying pack after pack, I do not recall ever seeing them at my local "depanneur".

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                • #9
                  Seems like a supply of these is slowly trickling out these days and I've seen that prices seem to have dropped a tad to boot. And to answer a question above (I think), Topps also tried Bazooka box back sets for Football (NFL and CFL) in 1971, in addition to Hockey. Seems like one last attempt to see if it was worth continuing on with these. Topps went public in 1972 and started reining in expenses during the year prior. Baseball got cut back from a planned 48 to 36 card set. Hockey seem like more of a regional issue than a test and the CFL set may not have been issued or even consists of more than three cards, so that's likely a true test set.

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                  • #10
                    If some stores let kids choose their pictures from 1939-40 and 1940-41 O-Pee-Chee boxes, it is theoretically also possible that some stores gave/sold them to kids when empty or some wise kids asked for them. I don't see why it would be impossible.

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                    • #11
                      I knew a grocer's kid once who had all the best hockey cards......maybe given a few similar instances, this is how these cards exist today.

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                      • #12
                        What do you guys think of this recent sale by Heritage? Low grade and only 10 of the 12 panels.

                        https://sports.ha.com/itm/hockey/197...Results-012417

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                        • rocket9richard
                          rocket9richard commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I think 5000US$ including fees for 10 pannels including the Orr was pretty cheap!

                      • #13
                        This is a pretty disappointing sale for those who have money invested in these panels. Toppcat might be right. However, the complete boxes are still very rare.

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                        • #14
                          I don't think the collecting interest for these panels are very high. I think most big spenders would want the boxes.

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