The Pokémon card bubble is getting bigger, and there's only one way to stop it

www.polygon.com
5 min read
fairly easy
The Pokémon card bubble is real, and The Pokémon Company is working as hard as it can to slow its growth. There's only one way out of this problem, and Magic: The Gathering shows us the way to do it right.
The price of Pokémon cards is through the roof. Speculators are sinking hundreds of thousands of dollars into individual cards. Some are gobbling up vintage unopened boxes for extraordinary sums, flipping them onto an open market starved for the rarest ones. It's reached the point where companies that grade the cards for auction simply can't keep up.

Now, the craze is extending to new-in-box Pokémon cards around the country, and retailers are struggling with unhappy customers. The situation peaked in February during a McDonald's promotion. Participating restaurants gave out packs of collectible cards inside Happy Meals to celebrate the trading card game's 25th anniversary. These bundles just happened to include some rare, holographic variants of beloved characters. Greedy adults rolled in before many kids could buy their share and wiped out the entire stock to flip them on the secondary market.

The current situation at retailers like Target is even worse. According to a report from Vice, people are camping out overnight waiting for the next shipment of Pokémon cards to show up. They're after tins of cards called Shining Fates, and in particular a Charizard that's going for $600 to $800 online. The gatherings have grown so large that corporate has given managers the green light to call in law enforcement to break things up.

What we're seeing happen with Pokémon cards in real time is the formation of a bubble; just like what happened with tech stocks in the 1990s, housing in the early 2000s,…
Charlie Hall
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