The demand for Pokemon cards has soared during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to limited supplies and a scorching hot market that is driving some people in North America to erratic and violent behaviour.

McDonald’s recently issued a statement urging restaurants to set a “reasonable limit” on Happy Meals sold per customer, after a promotion that included free packs of Pokemon cards resulted in fans going to “extreme lengths” to get them — in some instances, buying out dozens of happy meals and re-selling the cards online for hundreds of dollars.

And in Brookfield, Wis., police reported four men attacked another man over the cards on May 7.

A sign warning customers that Pokemon trading cards will no longer be sold until further notice is displayed at a local Target store in Los Angeles, California on May 14, 2021. (Photo by CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Shortly after, Minneapolis-based retailer Target announced it was suspending all in-store sales of Pokemon and sports trading cards on Friday, citing safety concerns.

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“The safety of our guests and our team is our top priority,” Target said in an emailed statement to Global News. “Out of an abundance of caution, we’ve decided to temporarily suspend the sale of MLB, NFL, NBA and Pokemon trading cards within our stores, effective May 14. Guests can continue to shop these cards online at”

EB Games is also reducing the number of Pokemon card packs a person can buy online. Try to purchase a pack online and a flashing disclaimer will appear limiting purchase to “ONE per customer.”

“Any orders containing multiple units will be reduced to one. Any additional orders will be canceled. If you would like to purchase more units, please visit your local store at time of release. Thank you,” the disclaimer says.

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Walmart Canada wouldn’t say whether it had plans to stop selling Pokemon cards anytime soon, despite violent outbursts that have pushed select stores in the U.S. to pull them off the shelves.

“Like other retailers, we have seen increased customer demand, and we are determining what, if any, changes are needed to meet customer demand while ensuring a safe and enjoyable shopping experience,” a spokesperson with Walmart said, in an emailed statement to Global News.

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The value of Pokemon cards has also soared online, with one rare Pikachu illustrator card selling on Ebay for more than $3.6 million. One first-edition ‘Charizard’ card has rocketed 800 per cent in a year, after YouTube star Logan Paul paid $150,000 for one in October.

Brett Caraway, an associate professor at the University of Toronto’s Institute of Communication, Culture, Information, and Technology, applauded the decision of certain retailers to reduce the number of packs that can be sold in stores.

He said history has shown that these situations can get much, much worse.

“This has happened…


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