Adults can no longer buy Pokemon cards in Japan

As part of its latest attempt to combat scalpers, a popular Japanese retail store is now requiring ID from customers to prove that they're NOT of legal age.

Usually, when a retail store or any kind of establishment asks you for a form of identification, it's to help prove that you're a consenting adult. But, in this particular and rare case, a Japanese Pokemon card seller is doing the same exact opposite - asking customers to prove that they're not adults to get a chance to buy one of the latest and hottest-selling sets.

Akihabara is considered the heart of pop culture in Tokyo, Japan.

As pointed out by Kotaku, the self-proclaimed biggest Pokemon TCG specialty store in the world, is selling the Clay Burst and Snow Hazard sets to children who are still attending junior high school or younger.

The Loot Drop

A Japanese Pokemon card seller is requiring customers to prove they're not adults to prevent scalping and hoarding.

The reverse age check procedure means a customer has to be young enough to buy the packs displayed in its dedication section. The store has also barred parents and guardians from buying the said packs on behalf of the kids. Finally, to further prevent scalping and hoarding, the store is limiting the boosters to 10 packs a day. It's only after these packs have sold out that they'll sell any pack that remains to other customers.

The TCG Industry will need to constantly come up with news ways to combat scalpers and resellers.

Hareruya 2's new scheme is part of a larger TCG industry problem of scalping and hoarding. Most recently, thousands of people around the world queued outside retailers to get a chance to grab Clay Burst and Snow Hazard ahead of everyone else. Some do it genuinely because they want to be one of the first to own the cards. But, most have more capitalistic and less ethical reasons, namely selling the booster boxes for a quick profit.

Case in point, The Pokemon Company in Japan announced just days after its launch that the fervent demand meant that they'd run out of packs already. A quick search online will tell you that most of the packs had fallen in the hands of scalpers who sold the booster boxes for thousands of dollars.

As more and more rare cards sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars at auctions, these instances will continue to happen.

Having said that, Hareruya 2's policy actually makes a ton of sense. It guarantees that the younger generation, who are into Pokemon because they enjoy it, have a shot at buying booster packs without worrying about making money off of it or not. Of course, this isn't 100% effective. Adults can always work their way around it by asking younger kids to buy the packs for them. It's kind of like how some kids ask adults to buy beer and cigarettes for them, except, it's the adults asking kids to buy Pokemon cards.

On a more positive note, scalpers and resellers are a sign that an industry is profitable enough to attract such individuals.

It remains to be seen if this will work to help combat the issue with resellers and scalpers in the Pokemon TCG scene.

Scalpers and resellers are a nuisance in any industry. In video games, for example, Sony struggled with getting enough PS5 consoles on store shelves as scalpers almost always got their hands on them first. It wasn't until recently Sony said it had solved the stock shortage. In the TCG scene's case, manufacturers just can't simply flood the market with cards, lest they risk devaluing them. In a sense, the TCG and sneaker industry can learn from each other.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.