Upper Deck launched 1994 Collector’s Choice Football as a new value set. It wasn’t just a grill product, however, as the brand also made its way into baseball and basketball in 1994. Later the set would be known for several insert inclusions, but this first version had only one set of inserts.
1994 Collector’s Choice Football includes a base set of 384 cards. Why not even 400? Who knows. In addition to the base set, there were two complete parallels, Silver Foil and Gold Foil. The names of the teams have been added to the fronts of the aluminum cards to mark the parallels.
The only insert in this one You Crash the Game with separate hobby and retail checklists. The cards look exactly alike except for a different foil color. Hobby inserts feature blue foil on the front while retail cards have green.
Your Crash the Game cards can be redeemed for prizes. The backs feature three different dates, all of which correspond to scheduled matches. If the player scored a touchdown in any of these three games, your card could be redeemed for a Bronze You Crash the Game set. Touchdowns in two games were good for set money. Finally, if your player has scored a touchdown on the three dates listed, you can redeem the card for a Gold set. Of the 30 cards on the checklist, all but six could be exchanged for one of three sets.
1994 Collector’s Choice Football Box Break
Cards per pack: 12
Packs per box: 36
Price paid: $40
Pack 1 Highlights:
Cover star Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott, Jeff George & Ben Coates Silver Parallel (one per pack)
Dan Marino CL, Rick Mirer, Herman Moore, Dan Marino and Sterling Sharpe CL Silver
A hot Drew Bledsoe pack! John Elway, Drew Bledsoe, Bledsoe Again, Bledsoe You Crash the Game (1:15 packs) and Pat Swilling Gold (1:35 packs)
Drew Bledsoe threw a touchdown pass on all three dates listed and could have been traded in for a Gold You Crash the Game set.
Michael Irvin, Craig Heyward, Ricky Watters, Drew Bledsoe Silver and Eric Guliford Silver
Johnny Mitchell and Chuck Cecil Silver
John Randle, Herschel Walker, Steve Young, Willie McGinest RC and Mark Higgs Silver
Willie McGinest played in four Super Bowls for the Patriots, winning three of them. He recorded a total of three sacks in those four games.
Bruce Smith, Jerry Rice, Sterling Sharpe CL and Bruce Armstrong Silver
Rod Woodson, Anthony Miller, Emmitt Smith, Brian Blades, Heath Shuler RC and Ken Ruettgers Silver
Charles Haley, Qadry Ismail, Marshall Faulk RC and Haywood Jeffires Silver
Haley was a five-time champion, earning multiple rings with the 49ers and Cowboys.
Steve Atwater, Jim Kelly and Robert Brooks Silver
Rodney Hampton, Nate Newton and Chris Spielman Silver
Shannon Sharpe, Marcus Allen and Vance Johnson Silver
Great photo of Sharpe. I always appreciate non-match action shots in football products because you don’t see a lot of that.
Carolina Panthers, Robert Brooks, Andre Rison, Trent Dilfer RC and Willie Green Silver
Andre Reed, Ronnie Lott and David Palmer Silver
Ken Norton, Boomer Esiason, Emmitt Smith, Shante Carver RC Silver and Thurman Thomas You Crash the Game (1:15 packs)
Thurman Thomas scored a touchdown on just one of the dates listed so his cards could be swapped for a Bronze set.
Anthony Carter, Derrick Thomas, Junior Seau and Drew Bledsoe Silver
Barry Sanders, Joe Montana and Kevin Williams Silver
Raghib Ismail and Brad Edwards Silver
Rocket had 1,000 consecutive receiving yards seasons in 1998-99.
Daryl Johnston, Irving Fryar, Johnnie Morton RC and Sterling Sharpe Silver
Troy Aikman, Jerry Rice, Ricky Watters, Stan Humphries Silver and an instant winner
This Instant Winner card could be redeemed for a set of eight hologram cards from then and now. Do you think Upper Deck will still honor it?
Kevin Greene, Junior Seau, Sterling Sharpe, Thurman Thomas and Brian Blades Silver
Seau has played just one championship game during his Hall of Fame career, losing to the Giants in 2007.
Greg Lloyd, Joe Montana, Errict Rhett RC, Steve Jordan Silver and Bonus Rodney Hampton Silver
Jacksonville Jaguars, Dana Stubblefield, Rick Mirer, Aaron Glenn RC and Terrell Buckley Silver
“Rocket” Ismail, Deion Sanders and Tony Bennett Silver
Another great shot, this time of Deion “Prime Time” Sanders.
Jay Novacek and LeShon Johnson Silver RC
Tim Brown, Brett Favre, Vinny Testaverde, Reggie White and Aaron Taylor Silver RC
Cris Carter, Warren Moon, Carl Pickens, Jerome Bettis and Jerrol Williams Silver
Finally, in pack number 27, we receive our first Bengals and Rams cards from the box.
Marcus Allen, Jim Kelly and Jason Elam Silver
Eric Metcalf, Sterling Sharpe, Jerry Rice CL, Rice encore, Heath Shuler RC and DeWayne Washington SIlver
Terry Allen, Desmond Howard, Brian Blades, Marshall Faulk RC and Hardy Nickerson Silver
Desmond Howard won a ring with the Green Bay Packers in 1996. During that playoff series, Howard would score two return touchdowns. The biggest? His 99-yard punt return touchdown in the Super Bowl.
Morton Andersen, Jim Harbaugh, Harold Green Silver and Bonus Kerry Cash Silver
Ben Coates and Derrick Thomas Silver
Cortez Kennedy and Shane Conlan Silver
Hall of Famer Cortez Kennedy has only played in one playoff game in his entire career. His Seahawks lost a close game to the Dolphins in 1999.
Jerome Bettis, Joe Montana CL and Hardy Nickerson Silver
Randall Cunningham, John Lynch, Tim Brown and Eric Metcalf Silver
Garrison Hearst, Michael Irvin and Jerome Bettis Silver
Irvin and Bettis combined to earn four championship rings during their Hall of Fame careers.
Finally, the back of the Bettis card. As you can see, The Bus started crushing defenders in his rookie season.
Well, that’s it. With the NFL season ending on Sunday (congratulations to the Rams and their fans), the Cheap Wax Wednesday football season is also over. Next week, I’ll start showcasing baseball merchandise through the end of the World Series.
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Want more slices of Shane Salmonson’s Cheap Wax Wednesday? Check out his other breaks in the archives.