Target Is Prepared to Call the Cops on Frantic Pokémon Card Hunters

Target stores around the country have pre-sunrise lines around the block, and the trading card sections look like bread aisles before a snowstorm or toilet paper aisles at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as fans, collectors, and resellers are trying to arbitrage tins of Pokémon cards that can be resold for an easy profit.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/7kv9dd/target-is-prepared-to-call-the-cops-on-frantic-pokemon-card-hunters
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My brother worked at Target and he said that whenever some limited edition item associated with lets call it geek culture came out that it was always a nightmare. I remember him saying that he would get yelled at multiple times a day when Target was selling Nuka Cola because they never had any in stock.

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With cops becoming a more nebulous and risky thing to spring on people, seeing as how so many normal situations tend to end in death, I wouldn’t be surprised if TARGET SECURTY became a thing at some point. Actually, I wonder if a lot of corporate institutions are looking towards Robocoping their security now.

What if they like…

had Targets on each knuckle of their gloves.

CORPO SECURITY IS HERE TO PROTECT YOUR POKEMON

Okay could someone explain to me why there’s been a sudden huge resurgence in Pokemon cards?

Since there’s a growing number of people in my friend group getting the vaccine I was trying to just buy a bulk lot of older Pokemon cards to do a fun try and build a deck out of this giant pile of cards on the table type of thing. I was you know thinking I could get away with like $25 and get something like 3 pounds of cards because they’re out of rotation. But no you can’t even do that because people are putting down absurd amounts of money on even Goodwill auctions


Is the expanded format that popular now that people are just trying to buy up every loose card lot they can?

I have gotten an increasing number of pack opening vids in YouTube that no matter how many times I downvote them they keep showing up in YouTube shorts and they all have like a million+ views. So the only thing I can think is social media influencers aimed at kids is driving demand up right now.

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Honestly, I feel like that would actually be less bad than calling in the cops for this sort of thing.

(And Loss Prevention Officers might not be the same as private security, but I assume that every Target already has at least one.)

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As an off topic aside just because I like bringing this up whenever I have the chance. Walmart conducts facial recognition on anyone entering their stores and I would assume other large retailers like Target do as well. The reason I know this is because I have a friend who when they were younger and was nearly homeless got caught shoplifting and was taken to an office in the store where they were photographed.

They had always told me they could not go to ANY Walmart because they were banned from all of them and any time he would begin to walk into one he would be met by security telling him he was banned from entry. I called him on it during a road trip so we walked into a Walmart in a state neither of us had ever lived in and were approached by security who told us we needed to leave.

I honestly have no idea what the laws are surrounding such a database but it’s kind of horrifying to think you could be permanently banned from stores whose goals are to completely remove local grocery stores from areas they setup in. You could make a mistake when you’re a teen that then gets you banned for life which could completely change how you live. There are definitely towns/cities you probably could not live in from being banned from Walmart because that is the only general store for miles. Imagine being banned for life from Target/Walmart because you got in a fight over Pokemon cards and it upended your life in such a way that it determined where you could and could not live.

Anyway that’s my boring dystopia fact of the day.

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One of the random influencer schmucks (a Paul may have been involved) opened some old packs on a stream I think and the rest is history

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I need Target to not call the cops (for almost any reason besides the life or death, but seriously? over Pokémon cards?).

But that aside, I watched a video from Jarvis Johnson about a scammer trying to sell a fake, old Pokémon box for like $200,000 to some influencer dude. It seems like a big thing for people looking for expensive collections or hoping to make good money on the resale, but I think the Pokémon TCG is pretty fun, so I hope a lot of the people getting into it after watching these vids get into the game, too. (Though Yu-Gi-Oh! is where it’s really at.)

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It’s mask up times baby, try to facial recognize me now mall cops!

Way back in high school before facial recognition was a thing my friend worked in a Walmart and a huge part of her job was counting shrink they could trace. People steal from Walmart like it’s a hobby, and honestly good for them, but the shit people steal is beyond the pale. Just grabbing a random stack of 10 cds off the rack, slicing the shrink wrap, and stuffing them all. Some dude just rolled up to a canoe on a trailer on display outdoors, hitched it to his truck and drove off. Absolute legend right there.

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Jason over at Motherboard put up a related article actually a day after Gaults that I missed but ended up on the front of Firefox’s new page tab articles today

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How is every market in the country this superheated? From Pokemon cards to houses to stocks to meme coins, there is nothing that people don’t want to buy.

The economy this year is like “oops, all bubbles”.

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‘Bout to put all my savings into Heartgold and Soulsilver cartridges.

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From my admittedly layman’s understanding of the situation, the past year’s booming stock market inflated the wealth of already well-off households, and with the lack of commuting expenses and social spending from white collar workers, there was a massive glut in disposable money just waiting to be spent. Add to that supply chain issues plaguing just about every industry, and you have a situation where supply and demand becomes out of whack and now everything has become a speculator’s market.

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Well, houses are private equity doing its private equity thing. The more frivolous stuff is the result of a group of people who wound up actually benefiting financially from the pandemic (cancelled vacations, reduced car upkeep costs, reduced childcare costs, etc.) and thus, in their boredom, directed all of that extra income somewhere.

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You joke but I keep a saved search for the Goodwill site that just pulls up anything with the word pokemon in it because it’s fun to see what pokemon stuff comes through (plus I have a strong addiction to trying to get those small pokemon figurines dirt cheap…) and those Pokemon cartridges go for absurd amounts of money now. Which seems hilarious considering those games have all largely been perfectly emulated at this point I think.

Even the older ones you can now buy on 3DS like Pokemon Red and Blue they still go for a lot of money and I just do not understand.

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In hindsight it makes sense that a series about collecting rare and interesting creatures attracted and maybe even created a fanbase somewhat obsessed with collecting all its various paraphernalia, to the point where old “authentic” cartridges became their own market bubble, despite emulated/knockoff versions of those games being easily available on essentially any platform (I still remember someone coming into my high school calc class with Firered emulated on their calculator). It always amused me whenever I’d go into a Gamestop and see all the used GBA and later DS games being sold for pennies on their original prices, while all the Pokémon games had somehow appreciated in value. Also makes me sad that most of the GBA ones I once had were either lost or stolen back before I learned to be more careful with my cartridges.

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I used to think that emulation was just illegally playing games on your computer. In the last year I’ve discovered R4 cartridges, which are great for playing games that I own and aren’t prohibitively expensive to buy used like Dragon Quest V and Pokemon Black 2/White 2!

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late reply but none of this has anything to do with actually playing the game. Playing with the cards will just reduce their value because then they are no longer in mint condition. You would have seen the other articles by now, but this is all just based on the rarity of older (first edition) cards and speculating on their price.

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