McDonald’s has teamed up with Pokémon to celebrate the gaming franchise’s 25th anniversary. Their way of doing that? Happy Meals branded with the titular game mascot, Pikachu, that also include toys and Pokémon trading cards.
While this was expected to be an easy way to get kids to ask for more McDonald’s, some of the biggest orders for these meal sets have come from adults seeking Pokémon treasure.
SOMEONE AT MY LOCAL MCDONALDS BOUGHT AALLLLLL THE POKEMON HAPPY MEALS THIS MORNING AAAAAAAAAAAAA
— Nicole (@_nxcolexo) February 10, 2021
These people could honestly care less about the food, as they’re trying to score the packs of Pokémon cards in hope of scoring a rare one.
Over the past year, the value of rare types of Pokémon cards has vaulted through the roof. There are reports of celebrities like Logan Paul or Logic selling or buying the most coveted of these cards for over $100,000.
Rare cards include “holo” or “foil” varieties that have a kaleidoscopic sheen to them. They’ve been included at random in packs of Pokémon cards for years, but the recent spike in value they’ve seen has led to a craze where retailers struggle to keep the regular packs on shelves.
— Ushi (@Squishieo) February 10, 2021
— Field of Dreams Collectibles (@FODcollectibles) February 10, 2021
Maybe its just be being salty this morning but seeing so many adults buying 500 happy meals NOT for children but to hoard Pokemon Cards…. pic.twitter.com/Z2bPVxTXI9
— AjentVee – 37/100 shinies for 2021 (@AjentVee) February 9, 2021
The Pokémon cards from McDonald’s include a brand new set of foil cards, some of which have already resold for close to $100 each. As such, folks are hoping to score some of these rare cards from the McDonald’s Happy Meals, and will clean out inventories to do so.
Hey @McDonalds, everyone is buying the happy meals and leaving the food since all they want is the pokemon cards. Why don’t you take those extra profits or food and donate it to shelters. Your making a killing for some pokemon!!#feedthepeople #Donation
— BassFeindFB (@BassFiendFB) February 9, 2021
Pokemon has conquered the McDonalds pic.twitter.com/b5nplHdRiW
— ⭐️📼Tape 📼⭐️ (ART RAFFLE) (@TapeCassetteGuy) February 10, 2021
The cards themselves have a value of about $10 a pack on resale sites as of press time, making them more than double the price of the meal you would purchase to obtain one. Of course, most people are buying the meals in bulk to get their hands on these cards.
McDonald’s doesn’t have a unified policy on whether franchisees can sell just the toys or not, meaning that in some cases, folks can get away with buying out the whole stock of toys and cards and posting them on eBay. Some boxes of hundreds of these cards have popped up for sale there for close to $10,000.
Other locations have had limited amounts available or restrict to having to buy the meals. According to Kotaku, some YouTubers have gotten around this buy purchasing from multiple locations, hoping to generate enough boxes to make videos, and hopefully money, off of.
As for the meals themselves, it seems like people are trying to do their best to not have the burgers and fries go to waste. Some YouTubers will do mukbangs of themselves eating the entire order, while others gave them away to those in need.
My mom works at a McDonalds in southern Indiana, and her store is limited to only selling 5 packs per person per day, because someone bought 3 cases (around 450~ packs) from another area store, which was all they had
— Jake Jacobson (@Th3Composer) February 9, 2021
There have been reports, although unconfirmed, of people throwing away the meals, but no physical or video evidence has emerged yet to support that case.
The Pokémon Happy Meals were just released on February 9th, meaning there should still be time to get your hands on one if you want. However, since they are a limited-time offering, chances are folks on the internet could buy the entire stock up fast.