Pokémon TCG scalpers are buying hundreds of McDonald’s Happy Meals

Pikachu-themed Happy Meal boxes lined up on a kitchen counter

Scalpers will turn their filthy hands to anything that they think might turn a profit – and the latest craze is the Pokémon TCG. It’s like being on the school playground all over again, when that one kid has a shiny Celebi and all the other kids are incrementally offering more and more cards to best each other in potential trade deals.

Packs are getting more and more rare and prices of Pokémon cards are going up. Just look at Logan Paul, who bought a First Edition Base booster box for $200,000 to open on stream in October 2020. He recently bought six more for $330,000 each – which is a pretty good price considering one recently sold at auction for $408,000.

When prices rise, so do scalpers. Many have noticed the boom in Pokémon TCG stocks and taken to reselling the unopened packs at prices well above RRP. And then, McDonald’s announced that limited edition 25th anniversary Pokémon cards would be available in Happy Meals.

Collectors want to collect the full set, and scalpers are preying on them. Unopened packs, and wholesale boxes of unopened packs, are appearing on eBay at hugely inflated prices.

The packs are for sale at around $7 each – although some are in bundles of up to 150 at a time which will set you back a hot thousand dollars. Individually, the cards aren’t worth much other than for people who want to complete their collections – the exceptions being foil Pikachu and Charmander, which currently sell for around $60 each.

When you consider the fact that Happy Meals can be bought for as little as $2.49, this is quite the markup – although clearly some scalpers are bypassing the Happy Meals altogether and somehow getting boxes of packs before they’re packaged into a kid-friendly box meal.

Streamers and content creators are also buying up Happy Meals – some grabbing up to 100 at a time.

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This video shows that Dan ‘aDrive’ doesn’t actually take any of the food with the Happy Meals, so there’s no food waste at least. However, buying 100 Happy Meals from four restaurants will only increase demand and drive up the prices that scalpers are charging.

It remains to be seen whether prices will continue to rise, but collectors and kids who want a Pokémon-themed Happy Meal are currently losing out.