A highly-anticipated trading card game was introduced to North America and gained instant popularity in 1998. That game was titled “The Pokémon Trading Card Game” (Pokémon TCG). Due to the pandemic, Pokémon has grabbed the attention of the world yet again due to insane amounts of money that can be made from certain cards.
Prices and values have risen for a variety of reasons. The main factor: YouTubers have recently been getting into the card game, sparking people’s interest globally. Stimulus checks mean more money for hobbies and quarantine has people taking up new hobbies. One of these hobbies is collecting Pokémon Cards.
Due to global popularity, Pokémon cards are starting to become more and more scarce. The company that manages the game and cards, Pokémon TCG, issued a statement saying that high global demand and shipping constraints are affecting supply.
With supply being affected, scalpers have been going into a frenzy raiding stores upon restocking. They have been grabbing as many packs and boxes of cards as possible to make a quick buck and reselling them at extremely inflated prices.
Target allowed customers one pack of cards per visit, which aggravated some customers and caused spikes in violence. An individual pulled out a gun and threatened to shoot if he did not get his beloved sports cards, the major retailer for the Pokémon TCG and other sports cards announced on May 14.
In a written statement nationwide, Target said, “To ensure the safety of our guests and team members, effective May 14th, MLB, NFL, NBA, and Pokémon trading cards will no longer be sold until further notice.”
Jennifer Lockwood, a Target employee, said that she was glad they stopped carrying for Pokémon cards.
“I am glad we stopped carrying Pokémon cards, you should see the crazy long lines that form in front of the stores come restocking day,” Lockwood said.
“Sometimes we would stock a day earlier just for the safety of the person restocking them doesn’t get bombarded with people hovering over us as we restocked the shelves,” Lockwood added.
Other stores may follow suit but another major retailer in the Pokémon card business is Walmart, confirming that they are still carrying Pokémon cards.
An article from slashgear.com said that a Walmart employee mentioned, “We have not suspended the sale of any trading cards. Like other retailers, we have seen increased customer demand, and we are determining what, if any, changes are needed to meet customer demand while ensuring a safe and enjoyable shopping experience.”
Walmart is capitalizing on Target’s decision to no longer carry Pokémon cards and other trading cards alike. Hopefully, no incidents rise out of this, because unlike Target, Walmart does not have a limit to the number of products one could buy.
Pokémon is supposed to bring communities together with amazing artworks created and provided by The Pokémon Company. They are not meant to be tearing them apart and these few incidents could bring negative effects to the major franchise if this continues throughout the world.