Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Children no longer allowed to buy Pokémon cards at Target thanks to Wisconsin brawl

A group of dangerous Pikachu being escorted out to sea for summary execution and maritime burial.
A group of dangerous Pikachu being escorted out to sea for summary execution and maritime burial.
Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi (Getty Images)

Adult trading card speculators have gone and ruined Pokémon for the kids. Now that the franchise’s long-running card game has been embraced by investment-minded buyers (spurred on in part, we write with regret, by Logan Paul) who needed to find yet another dumb way to try to grow their bank accounts, the cards’ monetary value has spiked dramatically. This has led to situations where customers camp out overnight in long lines outside of retailers, competing with each other over who can buy the most of a product designed to be enjoyed primarily by children who like playing with pictures of cute monsters.

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Now, as The Guardian reports, Target will no longer sell Pokémon cards because it doesn’t want people trying to kill each other over buying them at their stores. The retailer’s move follows a fight between five men in a Brookfield, Wisconsin Target parking lot last Friday. Rather than settle their card-buying dispute the proper way—by linking two Game Boys together so a fight between some kind of “pocket monsters” decides the winner—a 35-year-old man “pulled a gun” on the “four men aged 23-35" who assaulted him as he was exiting the store.

In a statement provided to Bleeding Cool yesterday, Target wrote that, “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.” It opened this message by writing that “the safety of our guests and our team is our top priority,” which is a hell of a thing to have to put in an official message regarding Pokémon cards.

We assume collectors, realizing how out of hand this whole situation has become, will now move on to more reasonable economic pursuits, like, say, honing in on and absolutely destroying the tiddlywinks and ball-on-a-paddle markets.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.