Hareruya 2 doesn’t think kids should have to hope for a miracle in order to find Pokémon cards.

“Aren’t you a little old for Pokémon?” isn’t something you’re likely to hear in Japan. The country’s ongoing otaku culture boom means it’s not at all unusual to see grown-up fans openly enjoying the franchise, whether by playing the games, watching the anime, or munching on Pokémon-themed sweets.

But there is at least one Pokémon-related place in Japan where adults might be told “Sorry, you’re too old,” and that’s Hareruya 2, a trading card shop located in Tokyo’s Akihabara neighborhood. Last weekend Hareruya 2 sent out a tweet from its official account letting everyone know that it would be limiting sales of the Pokémon cards in the pictured display to children junior high school age or younger.

With the third, and last, year of junior high school in Japan equivalent to the ninth grade in the U.S. education system, that means that the cards in the display could only be purchased by fans aged 15 or younger. And to save everyone the trouble of asking, Hareruya 2’s tweet specifically says that the “no sales to people over 15” rule even applies to parents or other over-15 shoppers claiming that they want to buy the cards to give to young children. You want your kids to have those cards? You’d better bring them with you to the shop.

In addition to the age restriction, a maximum of 10 packs per day could be purchased from the display, and the store reserves the right to check buyers’ IDs or other documentation in order to confirm they actually are young enough to be buying the cards.

▼ Hareruya 2

This isn’t the first time the shop has applied age restrictions to Pokémon card sales either. Hareruya 2 manager Sho Watanabe regularly sets aside a portion of the store’s Pokémon inventory for younger fans through sales restrictions such as “for elementary school-age kids only” or “for students only.” The goal is to prevent scalpers from buying everything up and leaving kids, the original Pokémon target market, unable to play the game. Watanbe feels such safeguards are especially important because of the timing by which new expansion sets for the collectible card game are released.

The expansions usually go on sale on a Friday. On the surface, that seems like a wise plan, since it means kids will have all weekend to play with the new cards. In practice, though, adult shoppers, either legitimate grown-up fans or prospective scalpers, are already at the stores before they even open on Friday morning, while all the responsible kids have to be in school. By the time classes let out on Friday afternoon, most stores are sold out, forcing younger fans to wait for a restock while keeping their fingers crossed that that shipment doesn’t sell out while they’re in school too.

“It makes the kids happy,” says Watanabe of his store’s policy, “and it makes a lot of parents happy too, I think it’s a system by which the limited amount of cards can be enjoyed by a large number of people.”

It’s worth reiterating that Hareruya 2 doesn’t bar adults from purchasing any and all Pokémon cards, so Watanab’s goal really is for fans young and old to be able to enjoy the game. Oh, and that ultra-expensive, super-rare Pikachu card the were asking 200 million yen (US$1.55 million) for appears to still be in stock, and can be purchased by anyone, regardless of age.

Source: J-Cast via Livedoor News via Hachima Kiko
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