McDonald’s Pokémon Happy Meals Keep Selling Out Thanks To Scalpers

Pokemon Mcdonald's

After weeks of speculation, fast food franchise McDonald’s has finally begun rolling out a new round of Happy Meals centered on the Pokémon series. Going live yesterday to mark the creature-catching brand’s 25th anniversary, the promotion offers a special pack of trading cards with each meal, intending to give younger fans a neat treat to go with their burgers and fries. However, it appears older fans have effectively taken over McDonald’s Pokémon collaboration, with restaurants frequently selling out and numerous anniversary cards going up for sale online.

As pointed out by Polygon, quite a few evident non-children have been scooping up these Pokémon-themed Happy Meals left and right, leaving very little for the kids they were intended for. While many of these buys are from legitimate enthusiasts and collectors, it appears a large portion of Happy Meals are currently in the hands of opportunistic scalpers. Individual Pokémon cards and packs alike are currently going for well over $100 USD on sites like eBay, with full 150-pack boxes listed for as much as $1,000 in some cases.

For those wondering what all the fuss is about, McDonald’s Pokémon collaboration gives fans access to 50 special Pokémon cards in standard or foil varieties, with each representing a starter from throughout the series’ 25 years. Enclosed in a Pikachu-themed Happy Meal box, customers are gifted with a pack of four cards as well as an added toy such as a card frame, deck box, or sticker sheet of various Poké-critters. As per PokeGuradian, the list of available cards is as follows:

  • Bulbasaur
  • Charmander
  • Squirtle
  • Pikachu
  • Chikorita
  • Cyndaquil
  • Totodile
  • Mudkip
  • Torchic
  • Treecko
  • Chimchar
  • Piplup
  • Turtwig
  • Oshawott
  • Snivy
  • Tepig
  • Chespin
  • Fennekin
  • Froakie
  • Litten
  • Popplio
  • Rowlet
  • Grookey
  • Scorbunny
  • Sobble

Outside of McDonald’s Pokémon Happy Meal promotion, booster packs have now begun emptying out elsewhere as well, with retail stores also selling out of numerous Pokémon cards. Things have gotten so out of hand, The Pokémon Company has actually released a statement regarding the scarcity. Acknowledging the “very high demand” of these special editions, the company assured they are currently working at “maximum capacity” to “print more of the impacted Pokémon TCG products” and that reprints would be shipped out to retailers “as soon as possible.”

Considering how prevalent scalpers have become during the pandemic, it’s not exactly surprising to see even Happy Meals aren’t safe from buyouts. However, the fact that more cards are on the way is likely to go over well with collectors and fans, at least until restocks are inevitably sold out. McDonald’s Pokémon promotion is only slated to last for a limited time, so it won’t be too long before this Happy Meal frenzy is behind us. After all, there’s still plenty more to be unveiled for Pokémon’s 25th anniversary, including a pair of game remakes according to recent rumors.

What do you think? Are you surprised to see McDonald’s Pokemon-themed Happy Meals get swiped up by scalpers, or do you feel it’s an inevitability in this day and age? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Don’t Feed the Gamers on Twitter and Facebook to be informed of the latest gaming and entertainment news 24 hours a day! For more headlines recently featured on DFTG, check out these next few news stories:

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Eric Hall2712 Posts

Phone-browsing Wikipedia in one hand and clutching his trusty controller in the other, the legendary Eric Hall spreads his wealth of knowledge as a writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. Be sure to catch his biweekly "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at trivia from the past.


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