If you are a Pokemon fan, then you have no doubt noticed something unusual within the fandom. The franchise is growing by the day like usual, but it is attracting more scalpers than ever before. Even the heyday of Pokemon had fewer scalpers than there are now, and they are all gunning for trading cards. And after tons of complaints, the Pokemon Center in Tokyo just did something to combat any opportunistic scalpers in search of new cards.
The whole thing began when Pokemon prepared to bring out its newest Sword and Shield expansion set. The packs, which are known as Silver Lance and Black Geist, went on sale last week to the delight of many. Of course, the set will not hit the overseas market for a while, but Pokemon fans in Japan have been waiting to score some packs. But as always, they had to deal with scalpers.
The Pokemon Center did its best to combat in-person scalping with its COVID-19 restrictions. The store set a firm time for shoppers to line up so they could get a time ticket that would allow them into the store at a certain time. The Pokemon Center told fans they should not line up early for the event, but when you are dealing with scalpers, you know they're not going to be courteous.
As expected, a long line was formed outside the Pokemon Center well before the time requested. This meant fans who followed the rules would be at the back and get a late entry when packs might be gone. So in order to push back against the rule-breaking scalpers, the Pokemon Center distributed its time tickets the best way possible. The store began handing out time slots from the back of the line.
Yes, that is right. For fans who came on time, they were given time tickets first despite being at the line's end. This means scalpers or over-eager fans in the front were relegated to the last place. And if that is not justice, well - what is?
Of course, it seems other countermeasures were put into place such as there being a purchase limit on packs. However, the line swap made by the Pokemon Center shows how aware the company is of the issue. Trading cards should be available to every fan who really wants one. And if scalpers make that dream unreachable, the Pokemon Center will teach them a lesson.
What do you think of this sneaky tactic? Have you ever run into any Pokemon scalpers over the years? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.