Van Gogh Pikachu Promos Being Pre-Scalped in the Netherlands, Another Botched Release Feared

The upcoming batch of Pikachu Van Gogh promos are already being scalped in the Netherlands — weeks before they’ve released.

We’ve uncovered extensive evidence that local gaming stores are pre-selling the promos under the table. As we previously reported, TPCi intends the promos to be given out by stores to customers who buy 30 euros of Pokemon product; each store will receive 100 copies.

Yves Bruynen, the owner of Flash-Cards, told PokeBeach, “I’m seeing many stores selling the cards in large volumes. Scalping is at high levels. This promotion is going to be a big problem.”

In one popular WhatsApp group, we found dozens of conversations referencing pre-sales of the card.

“Ooo yea I already bought 50 from a shop,” announced one reputable collector. Another said, “I ordered mine from [a chain] for 3,000 euros. 100 copies will be coming to me.” A store owner proudly announced, “A lot of them are going to regular customers of the shop. And a lot of them we’re going to grade.”

On Cardmarket, the “European version” of TCGplayer, some stores are pre-selling the card to ship in 4-6 weeks (when the promotion is expected to start). They are charging over 100 euros per copy. Other stores have placed their listings on Marktplaats, a popular auction website, for similar prices.

Bruynen told PokeBeach, “This week I asked Asmodee, the distributor for Pokemon in the Netherlands, how they’re going to enforce this promotion. They told me it’s not their problem. They said they can’t check if their clients are playing fair.”

“The cards are worth at least $100 each. Imagine offering stores $10,000 to give away,” said porschedesign, a longtime Dutch collector. “A lot of stores see this as free money from TPCi. I don’t blame them.”

In regards to stores promoting this giveaway, he stated, “Some stores have announced [on their socials] they’re doing this promotion. It’s public now. But a majority are keeping quiet. You can imagine why.”

It’s currently unknown how many stores will receive the promos.

Judging by the amount of stores that have been contacted by Asmodee, some of our sources estimate it could be around 100 to 200 local gaming stores. If larger chains like Mediamarket, Intertoys, and Top1Toys also offer the promotion, this could add a further 350 stores. Larger chains would be expected to follow the rules of the promotion, which could alleviate some of the scalping from smaller stores.

With these speculative numbers, we could see anywhere from 10,000 to 50,000 copies of the card injected into the supply. This is currently pure guesswork, though.

The price of the card has seen a noticeable dip on Cardmarket since news of the promotion was first revealed:

Jaxolotl

The Mashup King. https://www.youtube.com/@Jaxolotl
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OMG they really wanna make this work. I feel like ppl are scalping them just to spite tpci
 

Ambassador

Aspiring Trainer
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We’ve uncovered extensive evidence that local gaming stores are pre-selling the promos under the table.
What? No. This is simply impossible. People on this forum told me that LGSes are honorable lifebloods of the TCG and it would be nothing without them. WPM, you must retract this article.

lol. LGSes are scalping? imagine my shock [none]
 

Yaginku

Spiring Rainer
Member
Knowing some store owners, I really can't blame them to an extent. LGSes aren't doing that hot since the pandemic, lots of people got used to playing online or simply dropped out of constructed (not just in Pokemon) because of rotation during the pandemic - and LGSes are already running on thin margins. A lot of them are gladly going to take the extra cash these cards provide. It's not really up to store owners to drop the price of these cards, it's on TPCi to print them to oblivion if they actually want to help.
 

koala cub

they/them
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LGSs are still important parts of the TCG, because they're one of the few sources for in-person community gathering, but it shouldn't be super surprising that LGSs are resorting to these business tactics. they're doing what they can to get ahead, and while it can be upsetting, this isn't uncommon on a big-picture scale

at the end of the day, LGSs are businesses first. businesses do what they can to profit, and in hostile economic systems like what we have in the global north, the moral sacrifice in order to turn a big profit ends up being a net positive for owners. that's just how the system is set up.

unless you want a radical change in how economics work in the global north (which is a political conversation not meant for pokebeach forums at that point), you kinda just gotta shrug your shoulders and say "it is what it is"
 

EpicCoolGuy923

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OK? That's ridiculous logic.

The store owners have been given specific instructions on how to distribute these cards and are violating those instructions, assuming ownership, and selling them on the private market. That is literally theft.
Store owners don’t set the market price. It isn’t their fault that one promo sells for upwards of $100 on the secondary market. Most store owners aren’t going to willingly give up $7-12k in potential profit to run the promotion as advertised. Is it scummy and wrong? Of course. But when you are competing with big box retailers and their crazy margins, sometimes you need all the help you can get to stay afloat.
 

piyuv

Aspiring Trainer
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TPCi doesn’t want to mess with scalpers, this is clear now. They could’ve matched all the demand and more, and cause scalpers to blow with their stock. They chose to create more scalpers.
 
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Yaginku

Spiring Rainer
Member
OK? That's ridiculous logic.

The store owners have been given specific instructions on how to distribute these cards and are violating those instructions, assuming ownership, and selling them on the private market. That is literally theft.
No, at best it's a breach of contract, but this promotion was probably not under a contract, so the worst that could happen is they can be removed from the store list.
That is a worthwhile risk to take when your competition across town is about to make 3000 euro in profit. I'm not saying it's right, I'm saying it's logical.
Also, wasn't this card scalped right out of TPCi's hands before?
 

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Store owners don’t set the market price.
The market price is not their concern, they are meant to hand the cards out, not sell them. If I give you $5 and ask you to give it to a friend, keeping it for yourself for any reason – "it's only $5," "actually, times are tough", etc. – is not justifiable, it is theft. If you cannot be trusted with $5 or you cannot even be trusted with a cardboard trading card, provide whatever rationale you like, it means you are of poor character.

This new bit that business that store owners are businesses and have to do what businesses do actively conflicts with the sob stories of previous threads where LGSes are small businesses run by people who love the hobby – just like you or me! – and so we must support them.

Another concerning matter in the replies here is that the argument being presented isn't "this is just a few bad apples, most LGSes will distro it properly" – as was the previous argument when I shared my experiences seeing LGSes engaging in shoddy practices. Again, I had no doubt about this in the past, but anyone on the fence might wish to take note of this.


LGSes play a key part in making this hobby worse by actively playing a key part in scalping. If you believe otherwise, you are kidding yourself. Going forward, readers can assume anyone who argues otherwise is an LGS owner themselves, arguing only in their best interests, and against the best interests of most everyone else.



No, at best it's a breach of contract
Right. Breach of contract by stealing. What's your point?

That is a worthwhile risk to take when your competition across town is about to make 3000 euro in profit.
By your logic, if I gave you $5 and asked you to give it to my friend, why would you give it to my friend? You stand to make $5 if you keep it for yourself! Somehow, I am not surprised to find out one of the most vocal defenders of LGSes on this forum cannot even be trusted with $5.
 
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EpicCoolGuy923

Aspiring Trainer
Member
The market price is not their concern, they are meant to hand the cards out, not sell them. If I give you $5 and ask you to give it to a friend, keeping it for yourself for any reason – "it's only $5," "actually, times are tough", etc. – is not justifiable, it is theft. If you cannot be trusted with $5 or you cannot even be trusted with a cardboard trading card, provide whatever rationale you like, it means you are of poor character.

This new bit that business that store owners are businesses and have to do what businesses do actively conflicts with the sob stories of previous threads where LGSes are small businesses run by people who love the hobby – just like you or me! – and so we must support them.

Another concerning matter in the replies here is that the argument being presented isn't "this is just a few bad apples, most LGSes will distro it properly" – as was the previous argument when I shared my experiences seeing LGSes engaging in shoddy practices. Again, I had no doubt about this in the past, but anyone on the fence might wish to take note of this.


LGSes play a key part in making this hobby worse by actively playing a key part in scalping. If you believe otherwise, you are kidding yourself. Going forward, I'm going to assume anyone who argues otherwise is an LGS owner themselves, arguing only in their best interests, and against the best interests of most everyone else.
I’ve been of the mindset this was going to happen and have largely been proven right so far. Of course it’s wrong, but many of these stores aren’t going to pass up a free $10,000. There is also no incentive to “play by the rules” here. As stated in the article there is no way for distributors to confirm the promotion is being followed at each location. In fact this stuff happens with every event distribution. The only difference is that this card is worth $100+ and not $10 or less.
 

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There is also no incentive to “play by the rules” here.
There is also no incentive to keep claiming LGSes are good for this hobby. TPCI should work to arrange for leagues to solely be hosted by chain stores – e.g. work out a contract deal with Walmart – and stop working with LGSes (re:thieves).

Failing that, perhaps TPC should arrange for TPCI to stop working on North American and European language edition of the TCG and stop distributing cards in these regions. Unlike Japan, we collectively seem unable to think beyond buzzwords like "incentive" as an excuse to justify scalping and now outright theft, creating an unpleasant, aberrant branch of card game players and collectors. How's that for incentive?
 
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EpicCoolGuy923

Aspiring Trainer
Member
There is also no incentive to keep claiming LGSes are good for this hobby. TPCI should work to arrange for leagues to solely be hosted by chain stores – e.g. work out a contract deal with Walmart – and stop working with thieves.
When did I say LGS’s are a good thing for the hobby? I’m just saying that this type of behavior was to be expected and tried to explain their reason for doing it (even though it’s scummy and wrong).

Leagues hosted by big box retailers would be an interesting experiment… However, I don’t see those types of stores setting up tables and having knowledgable staff on hand needed to run a league. Not to mention that under the table deals will still happen on a store by store basis. There is already plenty of inconsistency as is with how these promotions go.
 

Yaginku

Spiring Rainer
Member
LGSes play a key part in making this hobby worse by actively playing a key part in scalping. If you believe otherwise, you are kidding yourself. Going forward, I'm going to assume anyone who argues otherwise is an LGS owner themselves, arguing only in their best interests, and against the best interests of most everyone else.
This is an absolutely delusional way of thinking, because product that is online, direct-to-consumer, is constantly being scalped at even higher rates. At least LGSes provide a service where players have a place to meet and play the game. If you wish to play this game in the middle of Walmart, be my guest.
Scalping isn't in control of the stores or even individuals. It is TPC that controls the print runs. If TPC doesn't want this game to be seen an an "investment vehicle", they have every bit of power to crush the reseller market. However, TPC enjoys the hype and articles about their cards being expensive.
By your logic, if I gave you $5 and asked you to give it to my friend, why would you give it to my friend? You stand to make $5 if you keep it for yourself! Somehow, I am not surprised to find out one of the most vocal defenders of LGSes on this forum cannot even be trusted with $5.
I don't think you can be trusted with logic.
They have given a very few select stores in a small region a few thousand euro and said "Please give it away for free, responsibly. Oh also, when we tried doing that ourselves, there was a riot at the store. Good luck.". It does not exonerate their actions, but TPCi were the ones to organize this event and I think everyone here could predict the consequences.