It never fails to amaze me when massively popular companies host events with products they know will be massively popular with their base, but then act surprised when the event is, surprise, massively popular. That mostly sums up what happened with the recent Pokemon Center x Van Gogh Museum event, resulting in an apology from the the official Pokemon Twitter.
For those unaware, Pokemon and Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum are hosting an in-person collaboration until January 7, 2024. The event launched with Pokemon memorabilia, and purchases included a limited edition promo card. Pokemon’s TCG featured “Pikachu with Grey Felt Hat,” based on the famous “Self-Portrait with Grey Felt Hat” by Vincent van Gogh. I know, it’s cute!
But, due to the exclusivity of the event — it’s not likely that every Pokemon fan can travel to Amsterdam, after all — the company offered fans elsewhere shopping alternatives. Folks in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada could score their own promo card simply by purchasing an item from the Pokemon x Van Gogh Museum Collection at the Pokemon Center online store. That didn’t go as planned, leaving the company to apologize as the cards and limited goodies sold out.
“Due to overwhelming demand, all our products from this collection have sold out,” read @Pokemon’s tweet. “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.”
Hmm. I wonder why this happened? It couldn’t be because Pokemon is — say it with me — massively popular, could it? As usual, giving the internet means of obtaining exclusive items brings scalpers out of the woodwork buying up the lot. On the bright side, the company said it’s exploring options to make this right for fans who missed out.
“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 post concluded.
It’s not the first time scalpers quickly bought up goods intended for fans, and it certainly won’t be the last. We’ve seen everything from cheaper items like Metroid Prime physical copies to whole consoles marked up in the greedy rush. Anyway, here’s to hoping those of you who want a card can get one.