McDonald’s ‘Strongly Encouraging’ Restaurants to Prevent Happy Meal Pokemon Card Scalping
McDonald’s has revealed it is “moving quickly” to restock Pokemon 25th Anniversary trading cards following reports that scalpers are profiting from the limited-edition packs – and is “strongly encouraging” restaurants to set a limit on how many packs they sell to individual customers.
Yesterday, it was revealed that the commemorative Pokemon cards, which are only supposed to be attainable when customers buy a McDonald’s Happy Meal, were being purchased in bulk by scalpers and sold for ridiculously high sums online. In some instances, full boxes of the packs were being posted on sites including eBay for over $1,500.
@McDonalds @Pokemon I sure hope you do some form of inventory control for your promo Pokémon cards as some of your stock is being sold in sealed boxes which means they’re not even making it to your stores Though same thing happened with Tim Hortons Hockey too. Retail $1.99 pic.twitter.com/kX8qZyRX2V
— redphoenixsportscards (@redphoenixcards) February 9, 2021
Responding to IGN’s request for comment, a McDonald’s spokesperson said that the fast food chain did not condone “the re-selling of Happy Meal toys through unauthorized channels”. Additionally, the restaurant franchise is moving to distribute more packs to its select McDonald’s outlets, and said that restaurants would be ‘strongly encouraged’ to limit how many packs they can sell to individual customers.
McDonald’s initial statement reads: “We love seeing fans’ passion for our limited-time Happy Meal promotion celebrating 25 years of Pokemon. With such significant demand for our promotional Pokemon TCG cards, and some fans even going to extreme lengths to get them, we’re working quickly to address shortages and also strongly encouraging restaurants to set a reasonable limit on Happy Meals sold per customer. We want to offer the full Happy Meal experience to as many families as possible, and help ensure everyone is able to get in on the fun!”
McDonald’s also offered further clarification on how the company will increase supply and restrict customers from buying more packs than necessary. “We’re working with our supply chain to distribute additional, controlled supply of Pokémon cards to restaurants that are running low,” said the spokesperson. While packs are intended to be sold solely with Happy Meals, McDonald’s said, “In some cases, restaurants may accommodate reasonable customer requests for a-la-carte toy purchases.” It’s not clear what those cases are.
The company confirmed that that it will supplement Happy Meals with back-up toys if restaurants run out of Pokemon trading cards. McDonald’s also reiterated its policy that full boxes of Happy Meal toys should not be sold to customers, and that toys must be distributed in stores by employees only.
In light of Pokemon’s 25th birthday, The Pokemon Company had teamed up with McDonald’s to distribute 50 limited-edition trading cards while stocks last. The packs, which contain four random cards, celebrate the franchise’s heritage with all 24 starter Pokemon and series icon Pikachu in standard and foil versions.
In other Pokemon news, Post Malone will perform a virtual concert on February 27 as part of the franchise’s year-long anniversary plans.
Tom Power is a UK-based freelance writer. Follow him on Twitter.