Those who are looking to purchase Pokémon cards, or other trading cards for that matter, will no longer be able to head to their local Target to do so. The retailer, following a recent, violent incident at one of its stores in Wisconsin, has announced that it will no longer be carrying Pokemon or other types of trading cards in its stores until further notice. A spokesperson for Target had this to say in a statement.
"The safety of our guests and our team is our top priority. 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."
The decision comes following an incident that took place on May 7. A 35-year-old man was assaulted by four other men in a parking lot, with the fight breaking out over trading cards. The victim pulled a gun during the attack, which prompted the attackers to flee. The victim had a valid concealed carry permit for the weapon. The four men were later taken into custody by local authorities. At the time, Target spokesperson Brian Harper-Tibaldo said the following.
"Given the significant interest in trading cards, we recently began limiting MLB, NBA, NFL and Pokémon purchases to one item per guest, per day, and asking guests not to lineup overnight. We're continuing to evaluate the protocols we have in place to ensure safety at our stores related to this category."
Trading cards have recently become a tremendously hot commodity in the collector's market. This has prompted many people to swarm retailers, such as Target and Walmart, to get their hands on packs of trading cards. Cards obtained in these sets can often be sold online for far more than what was paid for them.
But the feverish demand has caused issues. Walmart had already made the decision recently to stop selling Pokemon cards, and other cards, in its stores as a result. Target has now followed suit. However, those who wish to buy the cards can still do so online from Target's website. The company is trying to avoid another incident on site. There is no sense in allowing violence to persist over trading cards. And there are certainly liability concerns at play for these companies to consider.
Pokemon is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2021. The cards have always been popular with collectors but things hit a fever pitch recently. Certain, vintage, rare cards can sell for as much as $300,000 on the aftermarket right now. As such, purchasing packs of cards that can contain rare cards, potentially worth hundreds if not thousands of dollars, can be good business. Things have become so chaotic that graders who are tasked with grading these cards so that they can fetch a higher price, have been unable to keep up with demand. For now, it remains uncertain how long major retailers will restrict the sale of trading cards in stories. This news was previously reported by Bleeding Cool.