As part of a promotion for the Pokémon franchise’s 25th anniversary, The Pokémon Company once again partnered with fast-food giant McDonald’s to distribute cards in Happy Meals. But as the promotion begins to roll out to various locations around the world, scalpers are already reselling the product on websites like eBay after buying them from various McDonald’s.
Each Happy Meal is supposed to come with a four-card promo pack that features reprinted art of all 24 starter Pokémon and Pikachu with a special 25th-anniversary stamp on the card. In total, there are 50 cards in this limited-edition set because all 25 Pokémon have a holo and non-holo variant.
There are also four “toys” that are included with the promo packs, including a cardboard deck box, a set of 25 stickers for each starter, a cardboard and plastic cardholder, and a set of four larger stickers that will feature a random region’s starter trio and Pikachu.
Just like with every other Happy Meal promotion, customers can purchase the featured items separately, though this policy depends on the individual McDonald’s store and management rather than being a company-wide thing. This has led to some buyers purchasing entire shipments of the limited-edition Pokémon cards.
Some of those buyers have listed sealed boxes for resale between $600 to $1,000, while individual packs are going up to anywhere from $4 to $20. A complete set of the holo cards from the set has already been listed for nearly $350 on the first day.
While scalpers are actively searching and buying up stock, this isn’t happening at every McDonald’s. Pokémon TCG database PokeBeach has confirmed that several locations have actively been turning away individual purchasers, saying that the employees have been made aware of the resellers and making it clear that the promo boosters are only sold with a Happy Meal.
There’s still some variance, though. Certain locations will let customers purchase an additional pack alongside a Happy Meal, while others have a strict limit, only allowing four Happy Meal purchases per person. PokeBeach said only three of the 30 McDonald’s they contacted allowed for an additional purchase.
Several McDonald’s employees are also suggesting that customers who only want the Pokémon cards should donate the food to kids, while members of the Pokémon community at large have been giving the Happy Meals to homeless residents in their area.
This promotion is set to run from Feb. 9 to March 8, so there should be at least a few restocks if you run into issues picking up a few packs from a McDonald’s in your area.