The Pokémon Resale Issue is Escalating in the US

The Pokémon Resale Issue is Escalating in the US

The Pokémon x Van Gogh Collaboration: A Curious Blend of Art and Frenzy

On the 28th of September, the renowned Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam presented an unusual blend of art and pop culture. The plan was to exhibit artworks inspired by the legendary Vincent Van Gogh, with a playful twist of Pokémon elements. The anticipated excitement, however, took an unexpected turn. Instead of an appreciative audience enjoying the unique collaboration, video footage revealed crowds rushing the museum gift shop. The aim wasn’t to admire Pikachu in a Van Gogh-style self-portrait, but to grab as much of the merchandise, particularly the limited-edition Pikachu card, as possible.

The Unfortunate Impact of Scalpers

Witnessing adults jostling in an art museum was a regrettable sight. This incident marked the onset of scalpers buying limited-edition merchandise from the Van Gogh collaboration to resell it online. As soon as the Pokémon Center’s online store started selling these items, including the limited-edition card, they were immediately bought up. In no time, the merchandise appeared on auction sites, with prices soaring into triple digits. The anticipated event, which was supposed to extend until January, quickly ran out of stock due to overwhelming demand.

The Pokémon Company’s Response

A few days after the incident, The Pokémon Company issued an apology to the fans and promised additional distribution methods for the Pikachu card. However, it remained silent on whether other items like the Pikachu Van Gogh plush or prints would be available for sale again. By October 12, the company revealed its plan to bundle the Pikachu card with Grey Felt Hat in Pokémon Center orders containing TCG products, provided the purchase exceeded $30. This situation has been disheartening for Pokémon fans and lucrative for those who bought the limited stock for resale.

Safety Concerns Lead to Changes

The chaos reached a point where the Van Gogh Museum stopped distributing the promo card on-site, citing safety and security concerns. An official statement on the museum’s website explained that the decision to remove the Pikachu with Grey Felt Hat promo card was due to a small group of individuals creating an unsafe situation. The museum wants to ensure the safety and enjoyment of its visitors.

A Common Issue in the Pokémon Community

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident in the Pokémon community. Limited-edition merchandise often sparks such issues in any franchise that attracts collectors. In recent years, these issues have become increasingly common in the Pokémon franchise. There has been a significant rise in Pokémon resellers, particularly in the Trading Card Game realm. The reasons for this vary – some attribute it to the renewed interest in the franchise after the launch of Pokémon Go in 2016, while others believe the spike in interest during the 2020 covid-19 pandemic is to blame. The influence of popular personalities like Logan Paul, who has brought modern visibility to Pokémon cards and inflated their perceived value, is also a factor.

A Tough Time for Pokémon Fans

PJ, the site master for a fan site, has been covering the franchise since 2003 and believes that these are challenging times for Pokémon fans. According to him, the Van Gogh Museum incident is one of the most severe examples he’s seen in the past two decades. He believes that the rising popularity of Pokémon has made reselling cards and merchandise an attractive business opportunity for individuals who don't mind profiting at the fans' expense.

The current situation is indeed challenging, but it is a hope that the Pokémon community can find ways to navigate through it and continue to enjoy their beloved franchise.

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