If you live in the US, you love collecting trading cards, and you regularly frequent Target, then you may have noticed something pretty significant over the past few days: Target is no longer selling Pokémon cards. If you go into a Target store, you can search the aisles as much as you like, but you won’t find any cards.

And it’s not just Pokémon cards – the retailer isn’t selling sports cards either. According to the BBC, Target suspended the sale of all the major trading cards from May 14th 2021 and the cards will remain off-sale for the time being.

This isn’t an isolated suspension either – it impacts over 1,900 Target stores throughout the US. No Target will carry these cards.

Informing customers of the decision to stop the sale of certain trading cards, Target has placed a small notice in the collectables section of each store. The notice reads: “To ensure the safety of our guests and team members, effective May 14th, MLB, NFL, NBA and Pokémon trading cards will no longer be sold in stores until further notice.”

Image: ©The Pokémon Company

Now it’s important to note that the suspension is temporary, and does not impact online sales. So, if you are keen to buy trading cards through Target, then you should have no problem ordering through the retailer’s website.

But what gives? Why has Target stopped selling Pokémon trading cards? And more importantly, what are these “safety” issues related to the sale of trading cards in Target stores?

Well, the temporary ban stems from an incident which took place in the car park of a Target store in Brookfield, Wisconsin. The incident – which happened on May 7th – involved an alleged assault.

Four men allegedly assaulted another man, over a collection of sports trading cards. The victim then pulled out a gun, to bring the assault to a close.

The man had a licence to carry the firearm, and the four men who took part in the assault were later arrested, after they initially fled the scene. During the course of the incident, no shots were fired, but as a result of the incident, the Target store, along with a nearby children’s clinic, and a grocery store, were all put into a brief lockdown.

In the days that followed, Target made the decision to take a number of its collectible trading cards off-sale, believing this might avert a repeat incident. So far, no further issues have been reported.  

So, why all the trouble over these cards?

In recent years, and more specifically in recent months, there has been a considerable rise in the value of collectables, including trading cards – old and new. Some of the cards fetch a pretty penny on the secondary market, and there is money to be made in certain rare cards – if you know what to look out for.

And cards aren’t the only interest to collectors at the moment. Thanks in part to all the pandemic-related lockdowns, which has given many of us a lot of spare time on our hands, there is now an increased interest in nostalgia-inducing memorabilia, including toys and comics.

In most cases, an increased interest just means more sales. On some occasions, things have the potential to get a little out of hand.



Thanks for stopping by It’s A Stampede! to read this post about Target and its (temporary) ban on Pokémon cards. For more geek-related content, which you are sure to find useful, be sure to check out the recommended reads below.

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