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Pokémon Card Gold Rush Has Gotten so Big Its Causing a Labour Crisis in Pandemic

Image for representation. Credits: Reuters.

Image for representation. Credits: Reuters.

So much is the buzz around Pokemon cards that their value has skyrocketed since last year.

Ever since the pandemic confined humans to the four walls of their homes, people are finding new ways to keep themselves entertained. While many Indians hopped onto several indoor games like Ludo to kill time amid Covid-19, in the other part of the world, a collection of Pokemon cards was becoming a rage, and the pandemic has only fuelled this business. So much is the buzz around Pokemon cards that their value has skyrocketed since last year. Moreover, if someone has memorabilia of Pokemon cards, they are probably sitting on a goldmine. Youtuber Dani Sanchez, who made a career by unboxing Pokemon cards and collectables on her channel, told BBC that the value of vintage cards has skyrocketed.

“A sealed box of Pokemon cards from the early 2000s or late 90s retailed at around $100. [That same box would cost] $20,000, $30,000 or even $50,000 (£35,000) today. It’s insane.”

To give you an idea of how huge the craze is,a report in Money Control says that a Pokemon card was auctioned for $2,50,000 (Rs 1.86 crore) last month. The rare vintage card featured Tsunekazu Ishihara, president of The Pokémon Company.

There are dedicated companies to certify the condition of old cards for reselling. These grading companies assess the value of the cards, and they are now complaining of shortage of manpower for this work, reported VICE, explaining that Certified Guarantee Company (CGC), one of the grading firms, is offering $2500 (over Rs 1.80 lakh) as joining bonus to anyone willing to help the company in assessing the value of these cards.

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Not just ordinary people, even celebrities have jumped on the Pokemon bandwagon. Youtuber Logan Paul, in February this year, bought six trunks full of Pokemon cards for $2 million. The 25-year-old termed it as his “newfound obsession".

After spending $2,64,000 (Rs 1.9 crore) on Pokemon cards last year, American rapper Logic said he had a love for Pokemon since childhood.

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