I’ve always had a bit of a love-hate relationship with inserts and parallels. I guess it goes back to the the beginning of my collection.
OPC did not have a bunch of inserts when I started. 1979-1980 through to 1985-1986 OPC had none. I remember you would see sporadic glossys that came from the 77-78 set, and then in 1985-86 there was the sticker inserts, but for the 7 years in between, nothing.
Now, there were some other sets like the 1980-81 Supers and Stickers starting in 1981-1982 but these were packaged and marketed separately. You didn’t have to make a decision on whether it was part of the set. You didn’t “pull” a super from your pack or a sticker. If you wanted to collect the stickers, you bought the album and the stickers and you collected them in a separate endeavour. Some kids collected one or the other, most collected both, but you rarely mixed them up or traded one for the other.
Anything that would be considered a “pull” these days was simply a base card then. Examples include the Bobby Orr “retirement” card in 1978-79 OPC, the 4 teams Logo Cards in 1979-80 or even the Super Actions in 1981-812. I remember getting the Pelle Lindbergh Memorial card in 1985-86 and thinking this is the same, yet different from the others, but still just a card you needed for the set.
Now in any 8 card pack you get at minimum 1 insert or parallel. So really you get 7 cards and then a “pull”. I’m a set collector so it always leads to the question. Am I going to collect this subset? Is it part of the base? Is it even possible to get them all?
Well for 2012-13 OPC one set I am going for is the “Rainbow Parallel”. Shiny card versions of the base (not to be confused with the Retro, Black, Red or Blank Versions”. 12 year old me would have gone ape shit trying to collect this set. 42 year old me looks at it as just another set among many of parallels and inserts. But they are shiny. Shiny cards for a shiny Tuesday as I get 140 cards closer to completing this parallel in one fell swoop. Getting a box of these from Robert in Winnipeg makes me happy.