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Over 9 billion Pokémon cards were printed last year, a fifth of all the cards ever made

That's one way to deal with a shortage.

Pokemon cards arranged in a pattern, with both card fronts and backs visible
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More than nine billion Pokémon cards were printed last year - a fifth of the total number of Pokémon cards ever made - according to the latest figures from The Pokémon Company.

As spotted by Joe ‘Serebii’ Merrick over on Resetera (via Polygon), the total number of Pokémon cards printed rose from 34.1 billion by the end of March 2021 to 43.2 billion at the end of March 2022 - an increase of 9.1 billion cards over the last year. By way of comparison, 3.7 billion cards were printed from 2020 to 2021.

That figure also means the total number of Pokémon cards has more than doubled over the last seven years from the 21.5 billion printed by the end of March 2015, with a fifth of all cards printed in the last year and a quarter of the total number released since 2020.

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It’s worth noting that the Pokémon site does not clarify whether this number includes cards printed by Magic: The Gathering maker Wizards of the Coast, which handled the English version of the TCG from 1998 until 2003, meaning the total number could be even higher.

The Pokémon Company announced last year that it would increase the number of cards and sets available in an effort to combat scalpers buying up retail stock and even McDonald’s Happy Meals containing 25th Anniversary promo cards. At its most extreme, the demand led US retailer Target to pull Pokémon products from its shelves to curb the aggressive behaviour of customers trying to scoop up the limited stock.

The inflated prices of sought-after cards from more recent sets came in the wake of multiple record-breaking sales of older cards at auction, which has continued into 2022 as the most valuable Pokémon cards and expansions sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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