Target has decided that it’s had enough: the company has officially confirmed to Bleeding Cool that it will halt the sales of Pokémon cards throughout the US, starting Friday, May 14th. The retailer cities “an abundance of caution” for the safety of both guests and store employees and notes that it will still be selling the cards on its site.
Currently, Pokémon cards (and other trading cards) are having a moment: people have swamped card grading companies, hoping to get a rating that makes their cards more valuable, and The Pokémon Company has been rushing to print enough cards to meet the demand. It seems that all the big numbers around the truly rare original cards have caused a lot of excitement around new cards as well. But Target isn’t feeling the hype.
It’s hard to blame the retailer, as the situation around the trading cards seems wildly out of control. People have reportedly been opening cereal boxes in stores to steal the included Pokémon cards out of them. And someone in Japan even climbed down a rope to steal almost $9,000 worth of the cardboard cards designed for kids.
Target has recently started limiting how many packs customers are allowed to purchase, and has even threatened to get law enforcement involved if it found people camping out by its stores for them. There was also an incident at one of the stores where someone pulled a gun during a fight about sports cards — which could explain why the halt also applies to MLB, NFL, and NBA cards as well.
Before Target’s official statement, some people had seen signs announcing the new policy in the aisles of their local stores, signs which have apparently been showing up all over the US.