Are People Scalping Pokémon Cards from McDonald’s in New Hampshire, Massachusetts?
Pokémon is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year — and as a part of the celebration, Pokémon has partnered with McDonald's for a limited-time release of collectible trading cards.
While Pokémon Day is officially scheduled for February 27, Happy Meals at participating McDonald's will include four exclusive Pokémon trading cards in each meal between February 9 and March 8.
However, with the Pokémon Trading Card Game booming amid the COVID-19 pandemic — a full 1999 first-edition set recently sold online for $666,000 — national reports have surfaced of collectors buying up cases of the collectible cards for themselves.
As a result, McDonald's has reportedly informed some of its stores to beware of folks trying to scalp the limited-edition cards, according to IGN.
Some have raised concerns that scalpers and collectors buying up large quantities of the cards could reduce stock available for children, who are the target audience for the Happy Meal and, subsequently, the cards.
There are numerous online listings for Happy Meal cards and packs on marketplaces such as eBay, Mercari and Facebook Marketplace. A case containing the packs of cards recently sold for $700.
Although no Seacoast McDonald's stores have reported issues of scalping, there is evidence to suggest that the craze has already reached parts of the Seacoast.
An employee at the McDonald's on Central Avenue in Dover said they have seen a notable increase in Happy Meal sales lately.
In Seabrook, the situation is the same — busy and far more Happy Meal purchases than normal.
The trend isn’t totally consistent, however. An employee at a Portsmouth location said that sales have been average so far and they haven’t noticed a marked change.
In Gloucester, a McDonald's employee said far more people are buying Happy Meals than they’ve seen before, sometimes up to five meals per order. They said they haven’t seen any direct evidence of scalping, with reports of people young and old buying Happy Meals.
“It’s a really great toy for everyone,” a store spokesperson told Seacoast Current.
It’s still early in the limited run, so time will tell if scalping will become an issue on the Seacoast
The Happy Meal box itself is styled after Pikachu, the famous electric mouse that is the brand’s loveable mascot.
Each meal includes a pack of four cards, out of a total of 50 different possibilities. All cards have the 25th-anniversary logo, half being regular character cards and the other half being shimmery rare “foil” versions.
The cards showcase a variation of all 24 first-stage starter Pokémon from many regions in the Pokémon world. This includes the beloved Pikachu.
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