Many Pokémon card collectors are facing a new challenge of getting their hands on card packs due to a new investment trend. Now you can take the gamble of opening a pack of cards for $4 and have a chance to pull a card worth a decent amount of money. People are taking full advantage of that chance.
There is an extreme shortage of collectible cards around the nation and it has finally hit NMU’s door. If you go to Marquette’s local Target, Walmart, Meijer or even GameStop, you will see empty shelves and signs of regulation where the vast amount of collectible cards used to be from Baseball to Pokémon. GameStop and Target even limit supply times and put a cap on how many items you can purchase at a time.
“The demand for the cards has been increasing since the beginning of the pandemic but has drastically gotten worse as of late,” junior anthropology major and avid Pokémon collector Alyssa Wilkinson said. “I’ve been through a few states lately and notice the demand is the same throughout all states. You can’t find any Pokémon anywhere.”
Collectors are left to wonder where this trend originated, but there have been many theories about this newfound scarcity of cards. The pandemic has kept us inside trying to find new ways to keep us entertained. With the stimulus check creating a new financial backing, there seems to have been a sharp turn into the collectible card market to satisfy this nationwide boredom.
“I definitely think the stimulus check has been a part of why the demand has increased, but I really think people are just bored,” Wilkinson said. “With Pokémon having a few recent releases with new card packs and their collaboration with McDonald’s on Happy Meals, I think Pokémon is really just a fresh thought in people’s minds. The checks just make it more obtainable.”
Even smaller stores like Marquette’s local game shop Taiga Games have felt this effect and prepared for shortages. While mainly known for selling Magic: The Gathering cards, they have also seen a spike in their sales of Pokémon cards. Taiga will continue to supply fans with cards the best they can while waiting to be able to open their doors for their usual Friday night Magic events.
“Magic will continue to stay popular, Pokémon is popular right now but is more buy and sell and will probably die down soon,” Taiga Games Manager John Stock said.
Jumping on this trend can be hard and disappointing for most. Not only are the packs themselves hard to come by, but profit is not guaranteed even with the inflated market. There is also a possibility of the market deflating at any moment when a new trend appears.
“For anyone becoming interested in collecting, or really Pokémon in general, I wouldn’t rush into it,” Wilkinson said. “Going to the store to get a pack of cards can be really exciting but with the current events, it can be disappointing not being able to get any packs due to the shelves being wiped clean.”