The truth behind the viral photo showing piles of stolen Pokemon cards

Pokémon fans around the Internet have likely seen the picture by now: a table stacked with hundreds, possibly thousands, of rare cards from Pokémon Trading Card Game, all of them sitting in tidy piles, along with rumors of robbery and conspiracy. The photo appeared over the weekend in a private Facebook group, before topping the list reddit.

The cards were allegedly stolen straight from the printer – how else could one person get their hands on so many rare Pokémon cards? Some players believe that the theft resulted in those valuable rainbow cards not making it to legitimately sold packs Pokémon Trading Card Game‘s Fusion Strike expansion.

Polygon spoke to the people involved in trying to sell those rare cards to find out what happened.

I saw this on an FB group. A printing company worker allegedly stole beats off the line and tried to offload them to LGS.
by U / Guava Wave in pokemontcg

The story begins in November 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic has been raging for over a year, and Pokemon TCG He was still releasing new decks of cards to an enthusiastic fan base. New and vintage Pokemon Cards alike have suddenly skyrocketed in value, thanks in part to fans like rapper Logic and influencer Logan Paul buying them at outrageous prices. when Fusion Strike A collection was released just before the holidays, with fans camping outside stores across the country for their chance to crack a few bundles before stock sells out. In some locations, police were brought in to deal with the crowds. The scuffle would eventually lead to one of the major retailers, Target, temporarily banning the sale of the products Pokemon Cards indicate safety concerns.

After a few weeks of frenzy, a call came in The World of Trading Cards, a small, independent retailer in Dallas, Texas. someone was Fusion Strike Cards for sale – a hell of a lot of them. In fact, there were a lot of rare cards that no one believed in the store. So they asked for a photo as proof.

It took them a month or two [for the seller to] Submit a photo,” Scott Emmer, co-founder of Trading Card World, said in an interview with Polygon. “When they finally did, we were like, Well, this looks really weird. “

Emer had seen huge collections for sale before, but not all of them were the same. But why was this such a big red flag?

Pokemon Cards are very similar Magic: The Gathering cards Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards and cards from other trading card games are sold in sealed packages called blind packs. No one knows what cards are inside each pack, not even the manufacturer—that’s part of what makes them so fun to open. But at least one card in every pack will be rare, and these rarest of rare cards can be very valuable on the secondary market.

The seller who contacted Trading Card World had these rare and sought after cards in massive quantities, all from the same deck of cards. To get this many rarities, the seller had to open tens of thousands of packages. The most plausible explanation was that these cards had been rolled off the production line, before being packaged inside invisible packaging. This means that someone was trying to sell merchandise stolen from Trading Card World.

“I knew someone who worked at PokemonEmmer said. “I called her and explained what was going on, and all of a sudden we got another phone call. They gave us some options and said, This is what will happen. “

Emmer was instructed to persuade the salesman to send the cards to his shop for evaluation. When the cards arrived, a private detective from The Pokémon Company met them in the store. He was the first to open the box, and together the staff and the principal investigator took an inventory of the cargo. The PI left with the cards. Emmer said he had no idea what happened to them next, but Trading Card World said on Facebook that it was “asked to keep this information confidential while an active investigation is underway.”

During the process, Emmer learned a bit more about what was going on behind the scenes. The Pokémon Company knew the cards were missing even before his call. He said she also knew who stole them. He was told that the person was already in police custody. But until the cards were shipped to his store, no one knew where the cards had gone. Emer helped put an end to what must have been a very delicate situation for a trading card publisher.

Only one question remains, however: Do the card packs from Fusion Strike Which were sold in stores with the right mix of rare cards inside, or were they stolen by a thief before they could be sent to fans? While Emer doesn’t know the full story, he does know how trading card game publishers do their business. He suspects fans have been reduced to rare card strokes.

Pokemon says, Hey, we’re going to print 50,000 of this cardEmmer said. “They know if they have all 50,000 or not. So when they go to put the packages together, they’ll go, Hey, we’re short on 3,000 cards. Well, they will call the printing press: Send us another 3,000. And they will multiply their number.

“They already knew it was short cards,” Emmer continued. They have already found the person who took them. So you know they must have printed more to replace what was missing. They won’t send you a package that’s missing a card.”

Polygon has reached out to The Pokémon Company to confirm this story, but the company has not responded to our request. Trading Card World released its own statement on Facebook, albeit inside a private group. You can read a copy of it on reddit.

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