The 1990 set was just the second year of Score football (following up the legendary 1989 set), but it is truly the definition of “junk wax.” The 660-card boxed set can be had for less than $10 on eBay, almost 25 years after it was released. The main set takes a big hit because the top Score rookie card from 1990, Emmitt Smith, was included in a separate, supplemental set. Still, commons from this set are valued, at best, as filler material for shipping other cards.
Inexpensive as it may be, though, 1990 Score certainly has some charm for a true 90’s collector. The simple design of the base cards is colorful but not flashy or gimmicky, and it focuses attention on the photograph on the card. Good thing, too, as many of the photos on the cards are spectacular! From the classic, full-extension catch by a receiver, to a kicker mid-stroke on a field goal attempt, there are great action shots of every position. Some of my personal favorites are the gritty, in-the-trenches shots showing the big guys on the line battling it out. This set features so much great photography, in fact, that I’m going to have to include it all in a series of separate posts to follow this one!
The 1990 Score set has several other fun elements that make it worth its weight in, well, cardboard. The checklist is extensive; they found room for dozens of punters, for example. (Find me a dozen cards of punters from the last ten years!) [NOTE: Actually counting these shows there are 17 punter cards in this set.]
There are also some notable rookies not named Emmitt who did make the original set. Kennedy is a Hall-of-Famer, Seau will be soon, Butler invented the beloved “Lambeau Leap,” and the others went on to pretty successful careers, as well. (George didn’t really live up to his top pick status, but he did play 12 seasons in the NFL.)
1990 Score also has some other entertaining subsets featuring big names – Hot Gun QB’s featuring Instagram-worthy cloud backgrounds, Ground Force RB’s with lightning flashing dramatically behind them, Rocket Men WR’s apparently running on cartoon fields (at night!), and my favorite – Crunch Crew defenders with comic book action words!
Lastly, the set features two cards I find to be particularly awesome – one because I’m a Packers fan and the other because I love a good, cheap pun. “Moon,” hehehe.