A recent promotional collaboration between Pokémon and the Van Gogh Museum lead to commotion both online and in person, as scalpers attempted to make a profit from reselling.
The Pokémon company has apologised for the chaos that ensued after launching a new collaboration with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
Last week, the museum opened a new exhibit that showcased several depictions of famous Pokémon re-imagined within some of Van Gogh’s most famous works. As an artist, he took a particular interest in Japanese art and culture, and the Pokémon company wanted to celebrate this aspect of his creative process.
Limited edition merchandise was released alongside the exhibit. This included a promotional Pokémon card portraying Pikachu in the grey felt hat featured in one of Van Gogh’s self-portraits. It was available for museum visitors after completing a special activity sheet, and then online the following day.
The building in Amsterdam was immediately overwhelmed with a flood of customers fighting over products, all desperate to acquire cards and merchandise to resell online at much higher prices. Videos posted to X show a mad dash for items, similar to a Black Friday sale in the US.
— Pokemon Deals Community (@deals_pokemon) September 28, 2023
Digitally, everything sold out instantly.
On the UK Pokémon Centre website, most items were gone before they’d officially dropped, as buyers altered links from the US site to gain access early. Cards could soon be found on resell platforms such as eBay for much higher prices, with many asking for upwards of $300 USD for the Pikachu card.
All the chaos prompted an official apology from the Pokémon company online, with a vague suggestion that more cards and products might become available again in the future. The promotional run with the Van Gogh Museum and Pokémon is meant to last until January 7th, 2024.
We apologize to all the fans eagerly awaiting our Pokémon Center x Van Gogh Museum release today.
Due to overwhelming demand, all our products from this collection have sold out. We understand this is disappointing to many who were looking to our official email and social media… pic.twitter.com/KM3ZCO1EQZ
— Pokémon (@Pokemon) September 29, 2023