1988 was probably the peak of the Boom Wax Era--at least in terms of today's low-value pricing. To this day, the 1988 Topps set is the least valuable Topps base set of all time. It reminds me of a cross between the 1967 and 1967 Topps sets.
The base set consists of 792 cards. The traded set consists of 132 cards. There's a 60-card Glossy Send-in insert set, 22-card Glossy Rookies insert set, 22-card Glossy All-Stars insert set, and 16-card Wax Box Bottom set, That's 1044 total cards for 1988 Topps.
Here, I've displayed all of the Hall-of-Famers and many of the other Stars, Semi-Stars, and Minor Stars. The '88T set had a tough act to follow after the wooden-bordered '87s, but the hobby market was certainly booming strong--just look at how much material was produced.
So, just how big were baseball cards booming in '88? Well, in the December 1988 issue of Beckett Baseball Card Monthly #45, here is some of the notable pricing:
1983 Topps set = $95 (now $80)
1983 Traded set = $55
1984 Topps set = $100 (now $50)
1984 Traded set = $85
1985 Topps set = $100 (now $80)
These sets were less than 5 years old then and were worth more that they are now. Remember, $100 in the '80s was considered to be a lot more than it is today--especially since minimum wage throughout the '80s was only $3.35/hour.