Pokemon's 25th-anniversary promo cards are selling out at McDonald's throughout the country. And no, it's not because families are lining up at Mickey D's to get some sweet pulls. It's because adult Pokemon players, sellers, and collectors have been buying Happy Meals by the hundreds.
McDonald's started selling special edition Pokemon cards today. Each Happy Meal comes with an adorable container with four random cards from the 50-card collection. Most packs feature a rarer holographic card. Instead of celebrating this exciting milestone for the pocket monsters, the Pokemon TCG community has been heated over this promotion before it was launched.
That's because "scalpers," or adults who mass-buy products to sell for a higher price, have been lining up since the crack of dawn to grab bulk Happy Meals — and then tossing out the food. This has caused the limited edition Pokemon cards to be a bit more difficult to come by, meaning a lot of kids are not able to get their hands on the pack and the prices are skyrocketing online.
On eBay, foil Bulbasaur is going for $10, along with Scorbunny. Holographic Pikachu is already going for $60. And this is only the beginning. According to Pokemon card seller Anthony Kelly, of Phantasm Gaming, holographic Pikachu and Charmander will likely become $100 or more in a matter of days as the cards become even harder to find at the fast food chain.
As Pokemon card sellers continued to order 50 to 100 Happy Meals at once, a lot of McDonald's started to limit the number of cards they'd give to a single customer. This has only caused scalpers to drive to multiple McDonald's on a quest for the quickly disappearing cards. Other McDonald's are already sold out of Happy Meals entirely.
Scalpers continue to be a problem in Pokemon TCG
It was no surprise that the anniversary celebration turned out this way. The Pokemon TCG community has been seething about scalping for months. As more and more well-known streamers continue to skyrocket the market value of cards, scalpers have taken to their local Targets to grab as much product as they can. This has only raised the price even more.
The Pokemon McDonald's collection is only the latest cards to reach insane prices due to scalping and streamers making incorrect claims about the prices of cards they pull. Full art cards, most often female trainers, have been seeing incredibly high prices due to "waifu tax" and the ongoing inflation of the marketplace. For example, Lucia went from $30 to $150 in recent weeks.
What's even more shocking is that the pandemic has prolonged in-person Pokemon TCG competitions. The Pokemon World Championship is being postponed until 2022 after being canceled in 2020. But a lack of events hasn't stopped the Pokemon scene from rabidly scooping up Pokemon cards at incredible prices way above market value.