Target has suspended the sale of Pokémon cards after an armed altercation in the carpark of a Wisconsin store.
When Pokémon trainers say they’ve “gotta catch ’em all!”, they didn’t mean like this.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we’ve decided to temporarily suspend the sale of MLB, NFL, NBA and Pokémon trading cards within our stores, effective May 14. Guests can continue to shop these cards online at Target.com,” Target recently explained in a statement.
The decision was made after Target in Brookfield, Wisconsin was forced into lockdown on May 7 after a 35-year-old man drew a gun on a group of potential assailants (all men aged 23-35) when leaving the store.
Reportedly, the group’s altercation had started over an argument about sports trading cards. America… why are you like this.
The funniest thing about the pokemon card ban at Target is the MtG cards untouched.
— Kevin Brown (@Railith) May 13, 2021
Customer, Sherri Rowell, was shopping for baby clothes at the time of the incident.
“It’s kind of sad that there are a lot of kids who enjoy opening the packs and seeing what you get, but they can’t even really do that because you can’t find them,” Rowell said.
After seeing the gun, customers and employees fled into the nearby woods. “I’m like, ‘what happened? What happened?’ They’re like ‘we don’t know, just get away from the window, let’s go,’” Rowell explained regarding the sudden panic.
Though no shots were fired, the victim was found to have sustained injuries. All four assailants were arrested with charges currently pending.
As the franchise celebrates its 25-year anniversary, new merch has been created and Pokémon cards have seen an increase in value.
“When Covid-19 hit, a lot of Gen X and Millennials were looking for things to do and we found a lot of these guys and girls started playing Pokémon again because they grew up with it,” executive vice-president at Heritage Auctions, Joe Maddalena explained.
According to Maddalena, first edition and mint condition cards can earn hundreds of thousands of dollars at sale. In January, a card of fan-favourite Charizard sold for $300,000.
With so much money on the line, it’s no wonder that Target had to limit customers to buying one pack per purchase. If that wasn’t bad enough, Targets across the U.S have had to deal with people camping outside their stores for the cards, and some even opening cereal boxes to steal the cards inside.
The Pokémon Company is aware of the craze surrounding their product and they’ve previously vowed to keep printing more at maximum capacity.
We’re aware that some fans are experiencing difficulties purchasing certain Pokémon TCG products due to very high demand. In response, we are reprinting impacted products at maximum capacity to ensure more fans can enjoy the Pokémon TCG.
More info here: https://t.co/sClZo3BXsp
— Play Pokémon (@playpokemon) February 10, 2021