In recent years, resellers have gone crazy over the limited editions bundled with Happy Meals. And this has never been more evident than in the world of McDonald’s Pokemon cards.
Exclusives Create Markets
Things that seem worthless to most people, sometimes have a high stock value on the resale market. For example, Happy Meal Beanie Babies remain a hot commodity today.
And don’t forget when the Rick and Morty collaboration added Szechuan sauce to the menu for one day, actual violence ensued over the counter. The following day, those sauce packs were appearing online for $300.
In recent history, a popular K-Pop group sold a meal with their face attached to it. Included in the box were collectible trading cards and resellers capitalized on this market. Trading cards would sell for $40, roughly a $38 profit from the Happy Meal they were originally bought in.
McDonald’s Pokemon Cards
Earlier this year, McDonald’s stores announced the Pokemon Happy Meal in celebration of the Nintendo property’s 25th anniversary.
The meals came in a specially designed yellow box with Pikachu’s smiling face on the front that opened to reveal the fixings of a Happy Meal and a future gold mine for any lucky resellers that managed to get their hands on the meal.
Four Pokemon cards were included inside each box, mixed and matched from a pool of 24 starter Pokemon cards. They came in blind packs of four, with one holographic card in each. Those holographic cards are now going for upwards of $200 on the resale market.
Where The High Values Came From?
It started with resellers camping out all night for the cards, so McDonald’s employees put a one-per-customer limit on the Happy Meals in order to stave off any violence should the first person in line buy everything in stock and leave everyone tired, hungry, and cardless:
But by allowing everyone a buy-in for the market, trades could be made. Value has since gone up by taking into account the sentimental value of the Pokemon, the look of the card, and the leveraging power each collector had with their own hand of four.
This left lucky owners of certain holographic cards with highly collectible McDonald’s Pokemon cards on their hands:
- Chespin, $415.99
- Chikorita, $348.50
- Piplup, $330.00
- Froakie, $324.99
- Cyndaquil, $268.75
- Pikachu, $230.07
- Grookey, $204.25
- Chimchar, $200.00
- Tepig, $200.00
- Bulbasaur, $198.01
It has almost become an expectation that any time a limited quantity of something is made available to the public, it will pop up on the resale market mere hours later.
And though Pokemon card trading is a long-forgotten pastime, for some resellers it was probably a profitable revisit to their roots.
For now, we wait for the next McDonald’s Happy Meal collectible that will spark rioting in the streets.