Feb 5, 2024 5:20 pm
Feb 5, 2024 5:15 pm
The Pokémon Company has changed its plans to bring back the infamous Van Gogh Pikachu card in an attempt to cut out scalpers who only want to sell it on for an increased price.
According to PokéBeach, The Pokémon Company has cancelled initial plans to give the card out to local hobby stores after myriad instances of “pre-scalping” appeared online, with some sellers seemingly making dodgy deals with card shop owners to guarantee themselves a card.
Any distribution of this card will likely cause some level of chaos, as The Pokémon Company’s last attempt — giving it away to those who attended a wholesome Pokémon exhibit at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam — ended in disarray after scalpers swarmed the museum store and sold the free giveaway for hundreds online.
Echt zin in een dagje Van Gogh museum om Pokémon te kijken 😎😎😎 pic.twitter.com/txMKLKxzk4
— monkeloidtv (@monkeloidtv) September 28, 2023
But The Pokémon Company is looking to mitigate the scalping as much as possible, and has reduced the number of cards given to local stores by 90%, from 100 down to just 10. PokéBeach had found scalpers claiming to have organised deals to obtain as many as 100 of the cards from local stores, with even some store owners saying they’d organised to give the cards away to locals or even trade them directly. Some are already listing the cards online for upwards of €100 each.
The Pokémon Company will instead give the majority of cards to bigger chain stores in Amsterdam, where those in control of the cards will be under stricter expectations to give them away as intended and perhaps have less knowledge of the cards’ value compared to specialist stores.
The Pikachu card will only be available to those who spend €29.99, but whether scalpers will be stopped altogether remains to be seen.
The Van Gogh Museum was forced to pull the card altogether during the initial distribution, and multiple employees reportedly lost their jobs in relation to the chaos caused.
Pokémon cards are as popular as ever, evidenced, among other things, by the number of people trying to illegally profit from them. Tokyo police reported an unprecedented number of trading card thefts in the latter half of 2022, while an independent gaming store in Minnesota reportedly had around $250,000 worth of Pokémon merchandise stolen in February 2022. One month later, again in Tokyo, a man was arrested for allegedly launching a literal heist in order to steal the treasured cards.
Also in March, a Georgia man didn’t steal Pokémon cards directly but instead misused money from the government to buy one, using a COVID-19 relief payment to buy a rare, shiny Charizard.
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelance reporter. He’ll talk about The Witcher all day.