Scalpers have always been and always will be a big deal in any niche – and the Pokemon Trading Card Game (TCG) is no exception. New and rare Pokemon cards are often snatched up by people who can’t actually play the game so they can sell them at a profit to people who never had the chance to buy them in the first place. To combat this, a store in Tokyo’s Akihabara otaku neighborhood is fighting back in a unique way.
The store, called Hareruya 2, is a store that sells a variety of trading cards, including Pokmon cards. The store tweeted on May 1 that the graphic packs of the new Pokemon cards will only be available for purchase by children in middle school and younger. The tweet also said they reserve the right to authenticate customers trying to purchase the card to check their age, and that adults cannot buy on behalf of children — the actual child must be present as well.
Pokemon TGC was first released in Japan in 1996 and has been available in the US since 1999. The most recent release is the Pokemon TCG: Scarlet Violet expansion pack, which is the 95th English expansion and the 88th Japanese expansion. Pokemon TCG is based on the original Pokemon video game, but has developed its own fan base. Fans can both collect cards and participate in contests, held around the world by fans of all ages.
This isn’t the first time Haeruya 2 has restricted sales of Pokemon cards to children, having been limited to elementary school students and students in the past. Owner Sho Watanabe believes that kids should always have the opportunity to buy the cards when they are released, since they are the original demographic for Pokemon TCG. He also limited the number of cards each customer could buy to 10 packs, trying to ensure as many kids as possible had the opportunity to buy the cards.
Of course, there are game-playing adults too — but they can also come to the store when the cards are released, while the kids are still at school. The cards are almost always on sale on Friday mornings, which can be a problem for kids who have to wait until after school to buy them. By then, usually the adult scalpers have bought out all the supplies, and the kids can’t — and shouldn’t — pay the high prices they’re charging for the cards.
Regarding the purchase limit policy of Pokemon cards, Watanabe himself said, “It makes the children very happy, and it makes a lot of parents very happy. I think it is a system that allows a limited number of cards to be enjoyed by children.” Many people. Granted, Sho Watanabe is a hero for true Pokemon fans who genuinely love the trading card game and not just want to use it to pocket money – which was never the point.