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Target Reverses Course On Pokemon

"Pokemon" trading cards have recently experienced a surge in popularity not unlike the Poke-mania that struck the globe during the trading card game's December 1998 release. The difference? Instead of optimistic young fans tearing into booster packs and trading holographic cards over recess, hoping for a rare and super expensive pull, it's scalpers, rather, who hoard packs to resell for marked-up prices. And while that might sound like little more than an exercise in capitalism failing, the race to snatch 'em all has inspired a slew of intense events, as seen in a viral video of Pokemon collectors getting physical at a Walmart.

Possibly in response to this kind of thing, store chain Target decided to finally stand up to the scalpers, pulling "Pokemon" cards off of store shelves in hopes of curbing the card-based carnage. That decision lasted about as long as melee between Magikarp and Mewtwo.

The reversal of this decision became known courtesy of a Twitter exchange between user @BgsPro123 and the AskTarget account — basically a virtual help desk. When asked by the Twitter user if rumors the store would be carrying "Pokemon" cards again held any truth, @AskTarget replied, "Stores will resume selling select Pokémon Trading Cards the week of June 1, 2021."

The account added, "Pokémon Trading Cards can be sold seven days per week and will have a limit of 2 items per guest per day," essentially returning to an earlier policy likewise put into place to dissuade scalpers.

Other companies are cracking down on scalpers

Target isn't the only company taking steps to stop "Pokemon" card vultur— er, scalpers in their tracks. Back in February, McDonald's took a similar stand — although, saying it backfired is an understatement.

For a limited time, Mickey D's paired Happy Meals with 25th Anniversary Special Edition McDonald's Booster Packs, but guests could also purchase the packs separately. The fact that these packs were coupled with Happy Meals suggests that they were meant for children — but, instead, because scalpers gonna scalp, they were quickly bought up by pesky resellers (some of whom were even McDonald's employees).

In an attempt to curb this card-astrophic behavior, some McDonald's branches decided to force guests to buy a Happy Meal to obtain the packs — and although this seemed like a clever move, it resulted in a huge waste of food, as some customers purchased a Happy Meal, threw out the meal itself, and pocketed the card pack.

Online auction website eBay has also had it with scalpers, recently announcing certain policies that would prevent sellers from artificially driving up prices on cards that they already own in order to increase said cards' value. As this policy has yet to be enacted, time will only tell if it successfully stops scalpers in their tracks.