This article was sent by fan and retailer Richard Feltoon of Toon’s Station!
NFL OYO Generation 1 – Inaugural Edition vs 2nd year Edition – Similar & Different
NFL OYO Mini-Figures were first produced in 2012 with a manageable number of players made for each team and to complete a full set was doable for those who desired. For most teams, OYO made a quarterback and running back along with a receiver and if a team had an impactful defensive player then an OYO was made for that player, too. On average, there were 3-4 players per team and the full set would amount to about 100 different players of Gen 1 (G1LE) from 2012. During the 2012 NFL season, as OYOs were selling well & players gaining in popularity more players were added to the OYO roster. They were sold in the stadium stores & available to other retailers so you didn’t have to be at the stadium in order to find them. These past few years the total number of players to complete a set is more than it used to be because the technology has gotten much better and OYOs are more & more recognized and popular. Completing a full set of any Generation is an accomplishment.
Most OYOs are played with as that is their intent. However, there is a collectible aspect going back to the 1st Generation. Many OYOs went to kids who were building their collection, putting teams on the field and having fun with them as they do with other building block toys. Sports Collectors & Hobbyists realized OYOs were a brand new item with nice collectible possibilities. Some folks kept OYOs in the wrapper and/or on display. As in most collectibles, condition is everything and as more & more OYOs were opened for use, less remain unopened. To compare to baseball cards, many trading cards (back in the day) were put in bicycle spokes or flicked against a wall to play `toppers’ and therefore the cards that survived um-blemished carry a much better value. Same thing with OYOs with the exception being OYOs aren’t put in bicycle spokes that I am aware but if the OYO is in or out of the package. Most of the offerings you see for OYOs are of the current Generation while there are still Generation 1’s and past issues available in the marketplace.
The key difference of the Generation 1 Series 1 NFL OYOs is in the 2012 inaugural year, the packaging lists it as G1LE and beneath that 2012 Season – meaning Generation 1 Limited Edition & made for the 2012 NFL season. In 2013, the players were in the same uniforms as 2012 and the only difference I know of is on the packaging. It now reads G1LE and beneath that Series 1 instead of 2012 Season. The side panel reflects the same info. Otherwise the packaging is identical. To illustrate, Included are 2 images of the Dez Bryant G1LE packaging to show the full front of the boxes as well as a close up on the 2012 Season vs Series 1. This distinction is good to know when seeking out the Generation 1 NFL OYOs or just to know a little more about the hobby.
Some players were made as 2012 Season only while others were only made as Series 1 in 2013 before they retired or stopped playing. Some players were made for both years & several Generations moving forward like Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. For some players, Generation 1 was their only OYO, like Tony Gonzalez & Donald Driver & Tim Tebow.
– Richard Feltoon
Link here to see our current Complete OYO Football Checklists of every OYO Made!