To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Pokemon, The Pokemon Company teamed up with McDonald's to distribute special trading cards. However, supply problems have caused The Pokemon Company to pledge to print a new wave of these cards.
In an announcement on the official Pokemon website, people who buy a McDonald's Happy Meal will find four Pokemon trading cards. The entire set, which consists of 50 cards, features normal and foil versions of Pikachu and the three starter Pokemon from each generation.
However, Pokemon trading cards can be a hot commodity, and those looking to get these cards are having difficulties. How each McDonald's restaurant sells these packs is on a case-by-case basis, so some locations sell the packs separately from the Happy Meal. Some customers are also buying large numbers of Happy Meals and throwing away the food (although there are some good samaritans among those mass buyers.) Meanwhile, on eBay, entire boxes of the cards or seal packs can be found for hundreds of dollars. There's uncertainty if these boxes are being sold behind-the-scenes or are being swiped by employees.
@McDonalds @Pokemon I sure hope you do some form of inventory control for your promo Pokémon cards as some of your stock is being sold in sealed boxes which means they’re not even making it to your stores 😳 Though same thing happened with Tim Hortons Hockey too. Retail $1.99 😳 pic.twitter.com/kX8qZyRX2V— redphoenixsportscards (@redphoenixcards) February 9, 2021
In response to these supply problems, The Pokemon Company posted an announcement under Support where they acknowledge the problems caused by "very high demand and global shipping constraints impacting availability." They add:
In situations where there is limited availability, we are actively working to print more of the impacted Pokémon TCG products as quickly as possible and at maximum capacity to support this increased demand. Reprinted products are expected to be available at retailers as soon as possible.
The explosion of the secondary trading card market through auction websites like eBay and Heritage Auctions has resulted in many people hoarding and buying these cards. Old, well-maintained collections of Pokemon trading cards can go for hundreds of thousands of dollars. These sorts of stories help drive up even more interest in old collections. But some people don't have to wait to make a profit on the cards. Scalpers will gladly buy these promotional cards and sell them online at a huge markup, taking advantage of the increased awareness of the cards to make some 'easy' money.
The newest expansion for the Pokemon Trading Card Game, Shining Fates, will release on February 19.