A tricky technique worthy of a Pokémon championship battle.

A major new Pokémon release is always exciting for fans of the franchise. Unfortunately, it’s also always exciting for scalpers and speculators, who try to snatch up as much inventory as they can in order to resell it at prices inflated by the scarcity they themselves played a part in creating.

So with the newest expansion of the Pokémon Trading Card Game, Pokémon Sword and Shield Silver Lance and Black Geist (to be collectively called Chilling Reign overseas) going on sale on Friday, the staff at the Pokémon Center megastore in Tokyo’s Nihonbashi neighborhood knew that scalpers would have their eyes on the new packs, and they came up with a clever countermeasure.

▼ Packs of Silver Lance (left) and Black Geist (right) cards

First, to prevent overcrowding in the store, they announced they’d be admitting shoppers in a staggered schedule. You line up outside the store to get a time ticket, and that ticket tells you which block you’re in and when to come back to be admitted to the store. The store even designated a specific line-up time on its website, asking people not to form a line before then.

Of course, scalpers aren’t known for their considerateness, and sure enough, a line still formed before the specified time on launch day. It must have been a disheartening sight for honest-minded fans who’d honored the store’s request to see less scrupulous shoppers ahead of them, who might pick the shelves clean before they even got a chance to enter the shop.

But then, something unusual happened. At the time the Pokémon Center had told people it was OK to start lining up, store staff came out and announced they would now be handing out time tickets, but they’d be starting from the back of the line.

In other words, everyone who thought the rules didn’t apply to them and decided to line up before the allowed time anyway was now at the back of the line, and the more blatantly they’d flaunted the rules, the farther back they were.

It’s likely other countermeasures, such as limits on how many packs a single customer could purchase, were also in place, but rather than just stop scalpers at the register, the Pokémon Center wanted to delay them at the door, too. Granted, it’s possible that some of the people who’d lined up earlier than allowed weren’t scalpers, but just fans who really, really wanted the new cards. Still, the store had announced in advance that “individuals who line up before the designated time may not be admitted in the order they lined up,” and if they can’t follow rules, odds are they’re not ready to play a card game.

Source: Hachima Kiko
Top image ©SoraNews24
Insert images: Pokémon Card Game official website
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