Pokemon cards have been one of the hottest collectibles out there since the start of the pandemic with prices rallying so wildly it became a safety issue for retailers that carry them. Luckily, Target has walked back on this measure with confirmation that Pokemon TCG products will start selling again this week.
The Pokemon card craze really escalated in mid-May when Target and Walmart became the most prominent stores to stop selling Pokemon card, as well NBA, MLB, NFL trading cards, due to a spike in altercations involving not only would-be shoppers and employees but also some instances in which customers retaliated against presumed scalpers. This also led to a wave of crimes related to the theft of Pokemon cards in Japan and the United States, with some stores even being hit by criminals several times.
Nevertheless, over the course of June 1 several collectors started spotting and documenting successful Pokemon purchases at different Target locations, with the company’s official Ask Target Twitter account confirming that Pokemon cards are being sold at stores once again. There is a caveat to this announcement, as Target has made it clear that in order to discourage scalping activity Pokemon TCG items will be sold on a daily basis with a limit of two products per customer.
This measure is not that much different from similar store policies adopted by Target in early May, right before reports of violent incidents started to surface, but at least by now the company might be better equipped to deal with such occurrences. As of now, even trading card grading services like PSA and Becket have stopped taking new orders largely in part to the chaos Pokemon has brought to the entire collectible industry.
The current situation is not too dissimilar from what Microcenter and Best Buy are facing all over the US, with the latter resorting to ticket handouts to customers looking for the new Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti. Unfortunately, the circumstances are unlikely to change until Pokemon card prices cool off a bit since the current market exuberance has led to a point where even McDonald’s and cereal box Pokemon cards are considered hot items.
In a year that has seen The Pokemon Company tally up record profit numbers, it’s unclear how big of a chunk might have come from TCG sales. However, with growing inflation, two new Pokemon games on the horizon, and new card sets bound to come, the Pokemon hype is still far from over.
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