Yup, this is a very very common story. Kids in the 80's and 90's kind of got caught up in the whole "it'll be worth a ton later" mentality, collecting for investment rather than fun. The reason that cards created pre 1979 are worth so much more is that they were both limited in production and disposable, mainly by mothers who didn't know any better. The same thing happened with Comic Books, and in the late 80's/90's the creating companies "ran the presses". They produced more and more product because it was selling, and as parents were now encouraging collecting rather than discouraging it, what product was out there became worthless.
Comic Books were just as bad. X-Men #1 had a print run of SEVERAL million copies (5 different covers with different trading cards) and kids/speculators bought dozens of copies thinking they'd be worth bank in years to come. Turns out when something is printed in the millions, it really won't be worth much at all.
Follow Mr. Carlin's advice up above, he's an awesome employee of Upper Deck.
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