What’s the Big Deal With Pokemon Cards Now?

pokemon cards

What’s the big deal with Pokemon cards, huh? Pokemon has been one of the most popular video games of all time since the 90’s, and while it all started with the video games, Pokemon has evolved into an entirely different beast with a vast collection of Pokemon anime and movies, spin-offs, and a physical trading card game rising in popularity and nearly becoming its own currency. A year ago, it was nowhere near impossible to go out and pick up a pack of Pokemon cards, so why now is it nearly impossible to find stock at retailers like Target, Walmart, Barnes and Noble, and so many others? Why now is Pokemon becoming such a popular item, and why are card retailers experiencing such an insane shortage of Pokemon cards?

Pokemon Stock

In recent months, the ability to purchase Pokemon cards has been made virtually impossible, due to many interested parties buying out stores at such a high rate that retailers have been forced to restrict the amount of purchases any given customer can purchase in a single day, or in the case of some Targets, restrict the time to purchase Pokemon cards above $19.99 to Fridays at 8AM on a first come first serve basis. Unfortunately, a lot of the customers purchasing these cards at such an alarming rate are not collectors or even players themselves, but rather scalpers that typically don’t even open up the packs.

Pokemon Scalpers

One of the biggest reasons that Pokemon cards are so hard to find nowadays is that scalpers will research the exact times and dates when these retailers restock their Pokemon cards and then camp out and wait for them to stock up again. What they’ll then do is buy up as many of these packs as they can physically buy, or in the case of some retailers as much as they will let you buy, and then turn around and resell them at a ridiculous price point. While this may seem like a quick and easy way to make a buck, it definitely ruins the experience for people that are actually trying to collect cards or play the game. The limits on purchases are meant to help prevent these scalpers from buying out every store’s Pokemon card stock, but unfortunately it doesn’t always work out. In the case of bigger stores like Target and Walmart, they don’t always care about who buys their product, they just don’t want their store flooded with people flocking around the trading card section. However, the case is much different with local game stores.

Local Game Stores

After a long day of scouring the area for Pokemon cards, I called up a local game store called Myrtle Beach Games, in the hopes of finding something, but expecting nothing. However, much to my surprise, I was not immediately informed that they were out of stock, and that they actually had quite a bit of stock left. This was because they were limiting the amount of Pokemon booster packs that any customer could purchase in a single day to 10 total packs. I said that I would be there as soon as possible as I got in my car and drove 20 minutes to pick up my cards. Much to my surprise, it was a very large shop with a vast array of games to choose from, and they even had comics in the back! I asked what they had in stock, and they told me they had both Single and Rapid Strike Urshifu V Boxes as well as booster packs that were limited to 10 per customer per day. I ended up purchasing a Rapid Strike Urshifu box as well as 5 booster packs and immediately ripping them open as soon as I got home. Unfortunately, the only things of note that I pulled from the entire haul were:

  • Holo Hatterene
  • Reverse Holo Spearow
  • Reverse Holo Corphish
  • Reverse Holo Rapid Strike Energy x2
  • Holo Cherrim
  • Reverse Holo Gyrados
  • Reverse Holo Mankey
  • Reverse Holo Victreebel
  • Reverse Holo Salazzle
  • Reverse Holo Trapinch
  • Tyranitar V UR
  • Rapid Strike Urshifu V Promo

I also found a Venusaur Theme Deck in a local game shop in Florence called Heroes Hideout, which came with the Venusaur V Promo, but nothing else particularly special. However, I also saw that Barnes and Noble had restocked Pokemon blister packs as well, so I made sure to grab a few of those…7, in fact. So, out of 21 total booster packs, here’s every Ultra Rare that I received:

  • Corviknight V
  • Flapple V x2
  • Mimikyu V
  • Stoutland V
  • Rapid Strike Urshifu V
  • Single Strike Urshifu V Max
  • Victini V Max

Pulling 7 Ultra Rares from 21 booster packs seems pretty solid to me, especially considering that I pulled 1 out of 9 the other day. Hopefully scalpers move on pretty quickly, so that the rest of us can enjoy the Pokemon experience once again. One thing’s for sure, though, is that I will be continuing to purchase as many Pokemon cards as I can find, as soon as I come across some.

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