Tag Archives: Score

1990 Score – The Value of “Junk Wax”

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.)

I’m a big fan of the HOF class subset. It’s a shame modern sets don’t do more to celebrate the Hall of Fame class each year.

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.



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1995 Score Summit “Series 2”

The box and packs call this “Series 2,” but there was not, in fact, a first series. Maybe Score was planning a prequel? Star Wars here? Anyhow…

The base design has an “action portrait” look – not going for action photography as much, but really highlighting the player on each card. Mostly blank background with a shadow of the player’s profile. My artsy friends back in college called this “excellent use of white space.” It gives this set a crisp, elegant, high-end look. Reminds me of Panini Momentum base from the last couple years. Gold foil team helmets are a nice accent to the front of the cards. The stats on the back are a little goofy, in my opinion.

While the action shots aren’t really emphasized on most of the cards, there are some pretty spectacular ones worked into the set. Then there’s Jerry Rice signing autographs for a few lucky fans.

Subsets have largely become a lost art these days, but Summit has some classic ones. I’m a huge fan of the Collision Course cards featuring the most feared defenders of the day. The Junior Seau card showing him hitting Jerry Rice is just plain cool. Other subsets here are Offensive Weapons and another 90’s staple – checklists. The checklists do feature kind of a fun twist with player photos from the QB Challenge.

The inserts didn’t really thrill me, but might’ve been better if they featured some more notable players. Kerry Collins is pretty solid, at least.

To finish this post with a bang, here are my two favorites from this box: a Dan Marino “Ground Zero” parallel and a Curtis Martin RC.

The Marino is a gorgeous card, and it’s really cool how it has a note in gold foil on the front about him breaking the career passing yards mark. Also, a rookie card of a Hall of Famer like Curtis Martin is always a good pull in my book! Trivia to stump your friends, by the way – Martin is 4th on the all-time career rushing list. Emmitt, Walter, Barry… and Curtis Martin. Ask around, see how many people have no idea!

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