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Target to Halt In-Store Sales of Pokémon Cards

Credit: Unsplash

For reasons admittedly beyond my understanding particular trading cards have exploded in value. Scalpers, collectors, and thrill-seekers have been devouring packs of Pokémon trading cards, as well as baseball, basketball, and football cards. Recent Pokémon card promotions, such as the one at McDonald’s a few months ago, have been inundated with scalpers looking to score a rare card and turn it into mad stacks of cash. It’s begun to escalate into full-on crime; recently, a Japanese man broke into a trading card shop in Tokyo by climbing down from a rope, Mission: Impossible style. More alarmingly, last week an argument between two men over cards in a Wisconsin Target escalated to one of the men pulling a gun on the other, though thankfully, no shots were fired.

After that last incident, Target has decided to wash its hands of the entire frenzy. Yesterday, Target announced that starting May 14, all Pokémon, MLB, NFL, and NBA trading cards would be pulled from physical store shelves, and would remain pulled until further notice.

“The safety of our guests and our team is our top priority,” a Target rep explained to Bleeding Cool. “Out of an abundance of caution, we’ve decided to temporarily suspend the sale of MLB, NFL, NBA and Pokémon trading cards within our stores, effective May 14. Guests can continue to shop these cards online at Target.com.”

Even prior to the gun incident, Target had been getting fed up with the card rush, placing limits on the number of packs one person could buy at a time and threatening to call the cops on anyone camping out in front of storefronts waiting to buy cards. Those who enjoy trading cards as a simple hobby rather than a moneymaking opportunity have expressed some frustration with Target over their decision to stop selling cards, but are also understanding of Target’s own reluctance to continue selling them. Once again, the blame lay squarely on the scalpers.

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