Well 17 packs anyway.
Back in 1989, Topps revived the Bowman brand name that had been defunct since 1955 with the oversized Bowman Baseball series. Old school wrapper, stick of gum and a bunch of big cards. I bought a ton of these, and my sister even bought me a box for Christmas. They presented problems as they didnt fit in regular sheets, holder, or anything. I put them in the shipping box that my 89 Upper Deck factory set came in, still have it, and the receipt.
In 1990, Bowman was a regular size issue that were similar to the 89's but smaller and had the name printed on the front. The 89's just have a facsimile signature. My understanding is that Topps gets those facsimile signatures from the contracts that the player signs, at least that is how they did it back in the day. I know a lot of questions have been asked about this, and to the best of my knowledge, that is the answer.
1990 also saw the introduction of Bowman Hockey, same design as baseball. I didn't buy many Hockey that year because they just weren't available in my area. 1991 saw Football introduced.
Up until 1992, all of the Bowman cards were printed on lovely (I mean that in a good way) brownish or greyish cardboard. Oh how I long for those days. In 1992, Bowman went to Bowman as one of their premium products. If I remember correctly they were an instant hit. They have a glossy finish, "crisp" photography, and one "engraved foil" card per pack.
My good friend used to take trips up to the one of the few Wal-marts (remember when there wasn't a Wal-mart every couple of miles?)in the area. He also had a job and made good money for a 16 year old. Anyway, he used to find Jumbo boxes of Topps products including a Jumbo Box of 1992 Bowman Baseball and a Jumbo of 92-93 Stadium Basketball Series 2. Yes he got the Shaq Beam Team out of that box. Bastard. That jack ass had the best luck with wax.
Bowman was not available at any normal retail outlets. Shops were chargin an arm and a leg at the time. $185 if I remember the sign on the stack at a show I went to. The bottom line is that I didn't buy any, none at all until a week or so ago. I found a box of 2000-01 Topps Chrome basketball and noticed that the seller had a partial box of 92 Bowman Football.
I paid $10 for 17 packs, plus shipping, but it was combined with the Chrome box. The packs came in the original box. Now for some retrospective hilarity:
uuuuhhhhhhhhhhh. $8 a pack, 2 for $15, or $250 a box. Yikes. Basically I got 17 packs for the "price" of a pack and a half. I bought these because I have always wanted to open some and as I opened them I felt vindicated for not sinking any money into these at the time. Don't get me wrong, I have overpaid for a ton of cards, but never this much. There were people buying boxes of this stuff at shows for full retail. Hopefully they are able to block these memories out. Looks like full boxes are available on Ebay for $40 BIN. Baseball is at $120 BIN. Baseball has an awesome rookie and young star class, but frankly, barely worth $30-$40 in my opinion. Sure you might get a Piazza, Delgado, Anderson, Manny, etc, but to that I have to ask: And?
Now, what would $128=((2@$15*8)+$8 for the odd pack) netted the poor fools that may have bought these: In a word, not much.
First the foil cards. These cards, at least in the baseball are not as valuable as the regular singles.
Don't get me wrong, anytime you get an Elway, Sanders, or a Moon is a good day, just not $100+ of good day unless they are rookies.
Now for the Base. I got a few doubles, but my understanding is that collation was not good in these days for Bowman. Hell, we even have problems with collation now with different products.
Cha Buddy, got the Emmitt and an Elway. The funny thing is that I got the Emmitt in the first pack, and that was the card I was vizualizing as I went through those first few cards. I kid you not. Anyway, Thurman and Elway in the base.
And that is it. Remember, no refractors, autos, GU's anything like that. People were laying out tons of cash for a base set and nothing more. The foil cards are numbered in the set and thus no inserts existed. So essentially that would have been $126 for $5 worth of cards, if that. As far as I am concerned 1992 Bowman football is Junk Wax and not worth more than a few dollars which buys you the fun of busting some old overpriced wax.
I wasn't dissapointed, as this was merely a look into the past, and quite amuzing really.