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The Great Pokémon Heist

The Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG) is a popular game that has been enjoyed by millions of fans worldwide. It has become a hobby, pastime, and even a profession for some. So, when a post about rare cards being stolen went viral, it sent shockwaves through the Pokémon community. But what actually happened?


The image in question (as you can see here) is of a table with hundreds, if not thousands of rare rainbow and alt-art Pokémon cards on it. The sheer number of rare cards led to many theorizing the cards had to be either stolen or counterfeited. To pack that many VMAX and/or rainbow cards would be essentially impossible without an unlimited budget.


So, where did all the cards come from? Apparently, an employee from the printing company stole the hits directly off the line. Then, the employee attempted to offload them to a local card store, Trading Card World (TCW). TCW was suspicious of the haul and contacted The Pokémon Company, who then investigated and recovered all of the stolen cards in question.


Considering the source of the theft was discovered and the cards were recovered, one would think that this is the end of the story. However, the stolen cards were from 2021s Fusion Strike expansion. Fusion Strike has long been criticized for its notoriously bad pull rates. Some rare cards, such as Alternate Art VMAX Mew, have been thought to be at least four times harder to obtain than the most sought-after cards from other recent expansions. Yet, front and center in the picture is none other than tens if not hundreds of Alt Art VMAX Mew cards. Naturally, the community was left wondering if all these stolen cards led to the paltry pull rates.


The Pokémon Company has apparently acknowledged TCW’s efforts in securing what some are labeling as the largest return of stolen Pokémon property to date. This obviously lends credence to this story, but they have not commented on whether this heist actually impacted the pull rates. Either way, the damage is done now and the cards won’t be returned to circulation, but it just makes you wonder.


Personally, I have so many questions about this heist. Maybe I just watch too much TV or too many movies, but I’ve got to know, how dumb is the thief? The guy had hundreds of thousands of dollars in cards in his possession. He could’ve spread the sales out across multiple states, card shows, and years and no one would've been the wiser. Selling them in bulk like that and drawing all that attention to yourself is just silly. I am in no way advocating for stealing of any kind and I am glad the thief was caught and hopefully is receiving the punishment he deserves. But, c’mon now, as Al Pacino said in The Recruit, “rule number one: don’t get caught”.


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