Target decided to temporarily suspend sales of Pokemon cards and sports-related trading cards from its shelves when police responded to a fight that broke out in one of their parking lots in Wisconsin.
Last month, Target limited its stock and how much a customer could buy. Before, it was three items per person. But recently a customer would only be allowed to buy one trading card item per day.
Last week, a shopper in Wisconsin was attacked by three men in the Target parking lot. It’s unclear which type or brand of trading cards started the fight. But thankfully no shots were fired. Due to the incident Target has made the executive decision to temporarily pull Pokemon cards from its shelves in order to put the safety of their guests and workers first.
Recently, trading card games have risen in popularity. Collecting trading cards – from baseball, to NFL, to Pokemon – has been a long time hobby for years. When Covid-19 hit, more people were looking for hobbies they could do from home. Others were looking to make a quick buck.
The value of trading cards has spiked during the pandemic, which really brought scalpers out of the woodwork. A scalper buys high- demand items – in this case, Pokemon cards – then sells them at a much higher price. Sometimes they’ll even sell them at double or triple their value.
These scalpers have been driving up prices and ruining the fun for the hobbyists. Others are buying the cards thinking they will pull an ultra-rare card and get tons of money from selling it. A rare Charizard card sold in December of 2020 for $360,000. A new Charizard card from the Shining Fates collection can go for as low as $286.43, and as high as $1,500.
But why did Pokemon Cards become this popular? In late 2020, when we were still in lockdown mode, everyone was looking for indoor activities. Most people started baking bread. Others turned to the trading card community. Pokemon card became a hot commodity.
A popular YouTuber decided to promote Pokemon Card collecting as “an investment.” But it’s very rare to pull a card of high value, and it must be “graded” and deemed to be perfect in all ways, including being in mint condition.
This is where fights, like the one in Wisconsin, break out. And the issue isn’t just with Pokemon cards, even MLB, NFL and NBA cards have been flying off of the shelves. It’s been putting the safety of customers and retail workers at risk.
Walmart has decided to make the same choice as Target and pull the cards from its shelves. It’s yet to be seen if other major retailers like Barnes and Noble will follow suit.