Yesterday, McDonald’s and The Pokémon Company launched a promotion celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Pokémon phenomenon. As part of the celebration, McDonald’s issued a special commemorative Happy Meal box styled after Pokémon lead Pikachu. The box itself is adorable, but there’s something even better inside: a special booster pack of Pokémon Trading Card Game cards. Each pack contains four cards and there are 50 cards to collect in total: 25 regular cards featuring Pokémon characters and 25 foil versions of the same cards.
The problem is, many parents and children are finding it impossible to actually get any of these cards when buying a Pokémon Happy Meal because adult collectors or scalpers are swooping in first to grab them all up for themselves or, worse, sell them on eBay or Twitter.
POKEMON 25TH ANNIVERSARY MCDONALDS CARDS
50 CARD PACKS TOY 2021 UNOPENED
Can ship today $5 each pack pic.twitter.com/zk6ZJj7Vnq
— InclusiveExchange (@InclusiveExch) February 9, 2021
A simple search reveals how crazy things are, with some people boasting of buying over a dozen Pokémon Happy Meals at a time just to get the cards.
Tonight at 8PM EST we will be opening up some @McDonalds #Pokemon 25th Anniversary packs along side of Rebel Clash packs and the rest of the #MTGKaldheim booster box. Live on #Twitch: https://t.co/Y3miig2LjJ pic.twitter.com/lUFREKdzpa
— LumberJackFrost (@LumberJackFrost) February 9, 2021
So I heard happy meals come with Pokemon Cards ???? pic.twitter.com/NHdhkP60pa
— Mina (@minaskicks) February 9, 2021
— Hooded (@Hood3d_) February 9, 2021
But worse than the people scooping up 10,000 calories worth of Happy Meals for the cards are the people exploiting a flaw in the promotion. You see, some McDonald’s stores let you order a single Pokémon Happy Meal and then add additional Pokémon card packs as a “side item” to the order.
— James (@OneSmartCholo95) February 10, 2021
And hey, I get it. Pokémon is in its 25th year, so naturally, a lot of people who are adults now grew up with the critters as children and they are simply geeked over the nostalgia hit. But if all the adults continue snatching up the Pokémon Happy Meals and trading cards, there aren’t going to be any left for the new generation of Pokémon fans.
My baby got her happy meal today, she was super stoked. I think her favorite part was the stickers and to color the mons. #pokemon #mcdonalds #happymeal #pokemon25 #playpokemon #nextgen pic.twitter.com/QmBGqTnkBM
— Avarin JR (@avarinjr88) February 10, 2021
Hopefully, Mcdonald’s will remedy this situation soon. Ideally, the company should at least not allow the Pokémon anniversary card packs to be bought as multiple side items with only a single Happy Meal purchase. We’ve reached out to McDonald’s and The Pokémon Company for comment on the matter and will update this post if we hear back.