A store in Japan is now requiring ID for customers who want to buy Pokemon cards. The popular new Snow Hazard and Clay Burst Pokemon TCG packs are quickly selling out nationwide.
Recently, domestic Pokemon cards in Japan were completely sold out, prompting The Pokemon Company to officially announce that there is no remaining stock, but intends to meet demand as quickly as possible. The reason for this shortage stems from the new Pokemon TCG booster packs Snow Hazard and Clay Burst, which have become gold mines for dealers as many valuable items are up for grabs. The shortage has forced some stores to find ways to keep the cards out of dealer hands and put them back in the hands of fans.
The store, located at Hareruya 2 in Tokyo’s electronics-driven Akihabara district, may have just set a precedent that more stores may follow. The store’s official Twitter account noted that the ban on adults purchasing the cards only applies to half of their TCG inventory, which will be allocated exclusively to customers in middle school or younger. The automatic translation of the store’s tweet read, “We only sell packages on the first floor for customers under junior high school students.” Each package is sold while supplies last. Maximum 10 packs per person per day. Staff may ask you to confirm your age. The problem has gotten so bad that some Pokemon cards are being stolen before they even reach the store.
Dealers and scalpers have been a major problem in the Pokemon TCG realm in recent years. That makes this a decent policy and does ensure that younger generations can better enjoy Pokemon without all the hassle of the potential value inside each Scarlet and Violet booster pack. However, this policy by Hareruya 2 is not foolproof as there is still nothing to stop an adult from simply waiting outside a store and paying some passing kid to go in and buy them a bag.
In fact, scalpers have been a major problem for the entire gaming industry over the past few years. Sony and Microsoft have finally managed to survive the days when the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S were all but unavailable to the average consumer as resellers monopolized most of their limited inventory. Solutions such as lotteries and robo-checking software have been tested, but so far nothing has proven itself to be the new standard.