A Burst Bubble At Topps

For years, Topps Co. rode the wave of the sports-card craze as it went from a $50 million market in 1980 to a $1.5 billion one in 1992. That boom in newly printed cards was largely fueled by soaring prices for classics such as Topps's 1952 Mickey Mantle, which fetched $49,500 at auction. Eager speculators bought new Topps cards by the case and stashed them away.

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