Quicker than you could say “Pikachu, I choose you!” the $400 Pokémon TCG Classic retro set sold out. Now it’s scalper’s turn to profit.

Whether it's Magic: The Gathering, Lorcana, our our beloved Pokémon TCG, one thing is clear: It's getting harder to get your hands on trading cards. The pandemic era of market speculation, combined with the fact that nobody could go outside, swelled a cottage industry to even greater heights. And while trading card games have always been big, it's beginning to feel out of hand. Case in point, the Pokémon TCG Classic set.

And if you don't know what that is then good luck getting your hands on this $400 piece of pure nostalgia.

Announced back in January as a high-end, retro throwback to the game's 1996 origins, the Pokémon TCG Classic set is beautiful. It's also millennial bait and a perfect storm for scalpers and secondary market price gouging. Let's look at the set itself and why this non-legal box of cards is going for double its MSRP.

Pokémon TCG Classic has fainted!

If you're curious how a $400 dollar set of reprinted cards from almost 30 years ago sold out so fast, here's the deal. Announced back in February, the Pokémon TCG Classic set contains three decks that center around the original set's most famous cards. And while this Charizard doesn't hold the aura of a first edition original, it's still a neat piece of card game ephemera.

The set includes:

  • 3 60-card decks starring Venusaur, Charizard, and Blastoise
  • Three deck boxes
  • 3 sets of card sleeves
  • 1 two-player game board
  • toolbox case with randomizer
  • 2 sets of damage counter cones
  • Two sets of condition markers

And while not advertised, this set includes a few other rare and intesting twists. Included is a Mr. Mime card never released outside of Japan, as well as a reprint of the original Kadabra card. This is important as a lawsuit between Nintendo and magician Uri Geller has kept the Psychic pocket monster from being used up until now.

Honestly, it's a sleek package with a cool twist on an old classic. So, of course that means the secondary market must get its slimy hands all up in that business. Outlets such as Pokémon Center, Best Buy, and more all sold out of the set in minutes. Which is honestly a shame, as the Pokémon TCG Classic set was advertised as a fully enclosed, classy way of playing the card game anywhere.

Team Rocket ruins everything

We have some bad news if you wanted the Pokémon TCG Classic set at retail price. Reseller sites such as StockX, Ebay, and Mercari already feature jacked up prices for the nostalgia set. This includes double and even triple the MSRP. And while the secondary market doesn't necessarily dictate the going price of things, it does feel bad for anyone who might miss out.

Worse yet, this trend of scalpers selling pre-orders means they don't even have the product on-hand. This tactic commonly seen among the Disney theme parks secondary market for rare items only sold in Disney World and Disney Land has become commonplace.

It's entirely possible we'll see prices crash down the road. However, you may just need to cut your losses and get your nostalgia fix with the beautiful and cool Scarlet/Violet Pokémon 151 set released last week.

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