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Forget PS5 — scalpers are targeting Pokémon Happy Meals now

Detective Pikachu
(Image credit: Warner Bros)

If you’ve been paying attention to levels of PS5 stock, you’ll know that scalpers are making a bad situation worse by buying up stock to sell at an outrageous markup. But now there appears to be a new and unlikely target: Pokémon cards.

But not just any Pokémon cards, limited edition Pokémon card packs that are only available in the U.S. with McDonalds Happy Meals. Some eBay listings are even asking for over $2,000

Those listings aren’t that common, and those particular sellers are offering whole boxes containing 150 packs of the cards. Each pack has four cards inside, including one McDonalds exclusive holographic/holo card, meaning you’re getting 600 cards for your money. That’s $3.34 per card.

That said, considering a customer can't walk into McDonald's and pick up an entire box of cards, it suggests there are some shenanigans going on behind the counter.

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If you don’t want to buy so many packs (and why would you?) individual unopened packs are selling for up to $10 each. I can also see listings for individual cards, typically holos, going for the same sort of price.

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The limited nature of these cards means there’s already heavy demand online, especially since there are 50 different cards to collect. People, being the way they are, have since started arriving at McDonalds locations early to buy as many Happy Meals as they can with the intention of selling cards online.

Some restaurants have had to start limiting the number of Happy Meals people can buy as a result.

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It’s the same sort of tactics big box retailers have had to employ to stop scalpers buying up all the PS5 and Xbox Series X stock. I’m still surprised that scalpers aren’t using bots to try and mass-buy Happy Meals through Uber Eats.

The Pokémon Trading Card Game is still incredibly popular, and it’s easy to see why people want these cards so badly. The question is whether it’s worth spending so much money right now, and if the price is going to tank after people start losing interest. 

It just depends how much you care about catching 'em all.

Tom Pritchard

Tom covers a little bit of everything at Tom’s Guide, ranging from the latest electric cars all the way down to hot takes on why Christopher Nolan is wrong about everything. Appliances are also muscling their way into his routine, which is a pretty long way from his days as Editor at Gizmodo UK. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.