- Customers rushed a Walmart store’s shelves on Friday after Pokémon cards were restocked.
- Earlier in the month, Target stopped selling them after a man pulled a gun in the parking lot.
- The value of Pokémon cards has skyrocketed since the pandemic started. One rare card sold for $360,000.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Customers rushed into a Walmart store on Friday morning, clearing out shelves full of Pokémon cards.
The customers gathered outside a Walmart store in Erie, Pennsylvania. When it opened they raced down the aisles after the Pokémon cards had just been restocked by employees, the Instagram user who took the video @tgc_grassi told Insider.
The value of Pokémon cards has skyrocketed since the pandemic started, as it has limited the sales of the products and as a result driven up prices for the cards on secondhand marketplaces.
In February, The Pokémon Company addressed the shortage and said it was printing cards at “maximum capacity.”
The cards can be bought at stores in packs for around $20 and many individual cards have been resold for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Mania over the trading cards has had collectors camping outside stores waiting for the cards to be restocked and forced companies like Target to impose limits on how many packs customers can buy and even call the cops on avid collectors, according to Vice.
The Walmart video was captured by @tcg_grassi, who told Insider he went to pick up a couple boxes of the cards. The video was initially posted on Instagram and then reposted by another user on Twitter. It quickly gained traction on social media.
“I knew it was going to be quick to get up to the card aisle but I would have never thought it would have turned into a frenzy the way it did. I was pretty shocked when everyone dove in,” @tcg_grassi told Insider. “I could tell the employees were just as surprised as I was, some of them even watching. One of the managers there was clearly frustrated by the situation.”
-Big B Cards (@bigbcards30) May 21, 2021
Earlier in the month, Target pulled the trading cards from its shelves after a fight broke out in a Wisconsin Target parking lot over Pokémon cards. During the fight, one man reportedly pulled out a gun after he was attacked by four men over the collectibles.
A Walmart spokesperson told Insider the company is in the process of deciding whether it might also pull the trading cards from its stores.
“As always, the safety of our customers and associates is a top priority,” the spokesperson said. “Like other retailers, we have seen increased customer demand, and we are determining if any changes are needed to meet customer demand while ensuring a safe and enjoyable shopping experience.”
The cards’ value has lead to several incidents at other stores. In March, a man was reportedly arrested in Tokyo after he climbed down from a building rooftop with a rope to bust into a store so that he could steal the trading cards. Two months earlier, an incredibly rare Pokémon Blastoise card sold for $360,000 at an online auction, New York Post reported.
The year before, a pair of Charizard cards sold for $369,000 each at Goldin Auctions. The sale beat the previous record, held by rapper Logic, who paid over $220,000 for a Charizard card in 2020, New York Post reported.