The Pokémon Company has apologised for scalpers and fans rushing the collaboration between the Pokémon Center and Van Gogh Museum, where a mad rush of fans and aspirational scalpers demolished stock of a promotional Pikachu card resembling the 19-century painter.
Pokémon’s collaboration with Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum helps celebrate the 50th anniversary of the institution’s exhibit surrounding the eponymous artist. The promotional card for the Pokémon Trading Card Game, Pikachu with Grey Felt Hat, was illustrated by Naoyo Kimura and emulates Van Gogh’s iconic post-impressionist style.
Anyone who booked a ticket to the event from now through January 7th, which was ostensibly aimed at children and families, would receive a free copy of the card, leading fans of all ages to swarm the event hoping to pick up a copy for themselves. Videos posted to social media showed massive crowds - mostly adults - pressing against the counter, and many individuals implied that would-be scalpers had descended hoping to flip the hard-to-get cards on secondary markets for a profit.
On September 29th, the Pokémon Center released an apology to those who were no longer able to collect their own promotional Pikachu card, which disappeared early during the exhibit’s opening day. It’s worth recalling that the event was scheduled to run through the beginning of next year.
“Due to overwhelming demand, all our products from this collection have sold out. We understand this is disappointing to many who were looking to our official email and social media channels for guidance on how and when to purchase,” reads the tweet. “We are actively working on ways to provide more "Pikachu with Grey Felt Hat" promo cards for fans shopping at Pokémon Center in the future. Details will be released at a later date.”
The apology might be cold comfort to those who have already booked their ticket to the Van Gogh Museum’s exhibit, hoping to take their Pokémon TCG-loving children through a guided tour and scavenger hunt depicting many of the painter’s classic works with pocket monsters added into the composition.
A copy of Pikachu Munch’s Scream card, which was doled out at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum’s exhibit of Edvard Munch’s famous painting for the first time, sold at auction for $15,000. Clearly, there is a thriving market for rare and highly collectible Pokémon TCG cards, and fans remain disappointed that The Pokémon Company isn’t doing more to deter scalpers from the jump.