Target Stores Pull Pokémon And Sports Trading Cards After Collector Violently Assaulted In Wisconsin
In Brookfield, Wisconsin, four men violently attacked a 35-year-old man exiting a Target over possession of Pokémon and sports trading cards. The reason for the dispute seemed to be over the ownership of the trading cards.
In response, Target pulled trading cards from their shelves.
Sports Collectors Daily reports sales of sports trading cards increased 142% in 2020.
Nicole Colombo, general manager of Collectibles & Trading Cards at eBay, explained the sudden increase.
"Last year saw an industry-wide surge in collecting and flipping trading cards due in large part to people staying home and finding new ways to spend their time, turning to cards while there was a lack of sports on TV."
In an interview with CBS 58, Jeff Price, owner of Price's Collectables, shared his thoughts on the violence.
"It was only going to be a matter of time that this was going to happen."
"You have a lot of people that are lining up sometimes three, four hours to buy boxes of cards and you get people skipping in line."
"Sports cards within the last year have become like fine arts for millennials."
In January of 2021, Polygon reported the highest sale of an unopened first addition Pokémon trading card was a total of $408,000. Increased popularity of Pokémon cards was heavily influenced by YouTuber Logan Paul and rapper Logic.
The police responded to the incident at Target and upon investigation learned the victim, a valid concealed carry weapon holder, pulled his gun on the group and the attackers fled on foot. No shots were fired.
Due to the violence, Target made a statement putting a hold on in-store sales:
"The safety of our guests and our team is our top priority."
"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."
This comes after Target's previous attempts at stopping the issue by limiting sales and banning people from camping outside the store before it opened.
Many people are thankful Target is limiting sales to online, as it gives a fair chance for collectors to build their own collections without paying scalper's prices.
@nintendolife The Scalpers flew too close to the sun and burned themselves, Good job.— Shubshub (@Shubshub) 1620884165.0
@TheAlanJohnson This is just how it is now. Any time anything starts getting popular scalpers descend.— Muir 🔞 (@Muir 🔞) 1620888401.0
@Crunchyroll GOOD LETS GOOOOO I haven’t been able to collect for a while because I can’t find them anywhere and it… https://t.co/HzmmD8rnh3— 𝑪𝑱 / 𝑬𝒖𝒍𝒂 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆𝒓 (oops...) (@𝑪𝑱 / 𝑬𝒖𝒍𝒂 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆𝒓 (oops...)) 1620919956.0
Some people shared their first hand experience with scalpers.
@Crunchyroll I’ve talked to some of vendors that put out the cards and they mentioned customers stalking them store… https://t.co/AA00xmxxE6— Peter (@Peter) 1620920450.0
@Crunchyroll I can't say I blame them. While we've not had major problems locally, I have heard the stories of figh… https://t.co/tTNwbnbqy6— Richard Allen (Slimword TCG Cards) (@Richard Allen (Slimword TCG Cards)) 1620920031.0
@RichardAllenRH @Crunchyroll My grandma works at Walmart and she’s been telling me that whenever they restock there… https://t.co/2SM4p2Gorh— 𝑪𝑱 / 𝑬𝒖𝒍𝒂 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆𝒓 (oops...) (@𝑪𝑱 / 𝑬𝒖𝒍𝒂 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆𝒓 (oops...)) 1620920229.0
@Crunchyroll I work at Target. The past 3 or 4 months if you wanted to buy basketball football Pokemon or w.e you h… https://t.co/Z3U4Z5H1dT— AustoLaVista (@AustoLaVista) 1620921727.0
Though this may stop violence from happening in Target's stores, it most likely will only drive scalpers to find other means of acquiring cards to flip.