How To Spot A Fake Wayne Gretzky 1979-1980 O-Pee-Chee RC

1. The original has a print dot on Gretzky’s shoulder (see image below)
2. All of the Gretzky rookies from the first printing (there were two different printings) have two thin blue lines traversing the reverse side (lengthwise).
3. The image quality on the fakes will not have the same sharpness or resolution (measured in dots or picture elements per square inch) as the originals.
4. Original Gretzky rookies may have a rough edge because of the way they were cut.  The 1979-1980 O-Pee-Chee sets were wire cut and after awhile the wire would get dull producing a rough edge.  Most fakes look too perfect and may have all smooth edges.


27 Responses

  1. My Gretzky rookie has quality 1,2 and 4 listed above, as well as sharp black borders, a sharp oilers logo but his face is fuzzy as well as his shoulders and legs. I also notice that the actual image itself is not centered in its surrounding black border, leading to numerous small red dots above the upper black border, it this possible on an authentic? It has also passed professional grading. Does this make it fail, or is it an out of focus authentic?

  2. What’s up?. Thanks for the blog. I’ve been digging around for info, but there is so much out there. Google lead me here – good for you i suppose! Keep up the great information. I will be popping back over in a couple of days to see if there is any more info.

  3. I have two authentic cards. I know this because I got them out of the pack as a kid and fondly remember the stale piece of bubble gum that came with them.
    Mine have the rough cut and the yellow ‘blotch’ on the shoulder, however, they do not have the thin blue lines on the back of the card. I assume that means they were from the 2nd printing. They are OPC.
    I just bought a reprint for comparison and it is not very hard to figure out. The blotch is gone and the back is bright white as opposed to the off white that was the original colour.

    • there were 2 diffrent cards printed for the wayne gretzky rookie card back in 1979 the first one was opc and then topps copied them the same year the diffrence between a opc and topps is that opc has a yellow blodge on gretzkys shoulder and the topps dont but the topp on the back has a bubble letter ‘w’ for the word wayne

      • my Topps card has a white line across the card just below his neck going to the left. it does have the bubble “w”

  4. hey my rookie card has all of the key factors, but on his right shoulder there is also a little white circle. somone told me that circle means it is a fake. is this true?

    • No, probably not. I have more than 25 years in printing as well as an avid collector. The white dot of what you are asking about is very common in the 79-80 set due to paper dust. The dust gets on the roller of the printing press and the ink therefore does not transfer to the paper leaving a usually small, light colored dot. The only way to be 100% certain is to have a reputable dealer confirm it. I hope that helps!

  5. Hello if a gretzky rookie has a dot on the shoulder just like the picture you show, is it absolutely real? Thanks.

  6. Hi As far as i can see my card looks exactly as the image shown here with the blotch on the shoulder. I have 4 of them , and although i don’t have the expert eye to detect any faults it looks real to me. There is only one local card dealer near me, and i showed the guy my card, and he took a quick glance and said its fake; i didnt believe him , he probably knew i know nothing about these things and thought i’d just give them away. I bought a shoe box of cards from an elderly couple at a yard sale. Anyway thanks. Bill

    • Hey Bill – If you’ve got four cards of that potential value, I’d send them in to be graded and authenticated. Get more info at – they’re the industry standard. Of course, there is a fee, but if you have four genuine Gretzky rookies – it’s worth it.

  7. Are there any Card Bored like copies printed ? what does a fake actually look like… there should be a comparrisson picture beside ther real both front and back :s

  8. hi i have a topps card can any body tell me how to tell if its a fake??

  9. I was told that there are shoe laces dangling from his skate but not sure if that’s on fake or real. anyone know?

  10. O Pee Chee is the most valuable card out there . If you wanna make it certified send it to BVG , they are the best for Vintage grading. Ull notice on Ebay all o pee chee wayne gretzky rookie card are very expensive , thats what collewctor are looking for. Great peace to have will gain lots off value in the futur.

  11. I’ve got 3 of them I pulled from packs as a kid and put away. All have the lines on the back, the yellow dot on the left shoulder and the circle dot on the right shoulder. I was lucky and the cuts are pretty good, but you can still see a hint of the rough cut that the OPC’s were famous for

  12. I got many diffrent rookie cards
    for sale
    very cheep price in large bulk orders

  13. Hey people

    I also have a gretzky rookie which has the yellow dot however has anyone seen this card with the dot replicated?

  14. is there any Wayne Gretzky O pee chee with no dot on the shoulder?

  15. I was wondering if the color of the card played any part in its value. I’ve seen many shades of blue and figured that the lighter blue cards were toward the end of the printing due to the ink running low. My card is a darker blue and rated a PSA 6. It has a pretty rough cut and poorly centered. I wonder if the darker color played a role in the grade? Anyone know?

  16. I have come across two cards that I pruchased at an auction for a song, small town. Both have the yellow dot, one has the two blue lines on the back. Question I have been trying to find out is “How many cards did OPC print?”

    • The main difference is that Topps card was only sold in the US, the back of the Topps card is dark grey which makes it difficult to read, the back of the Topps card is English only, and the Topps run was printed twice resulting in 17,600,000 sets

      The OPC card was sold in Canada only, the reverse of the card is lighter, the back of the card contains both languages, and the OPC print run was a a triple run resulting in 11,700,000 sets

  17. be careful-there are now fakes in Canada with the print dot on the shoulder-

  18. I dug out my rookie gretzky card but I noticed that image is blurry does that mean it is a reprint or where there any cards that were printed and not perfect how can you tell if it is fake

  19. […] Uh, where did you obtain this card from? I think you may have gotten hosed…? How To Spot A Fake Wayne Gretzky 1979-1980 O-Pee-Chee RC | Sports Card Info […]

  20. no one has commented on the RED circle on Gretzkys left leg
    about middle of his pant,and the RED mark,just above the boards on his left side,,,I hope mine is not the only one with these marks


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: