Target pulls Pokémon cards, sports trading cards following fight

Target said it will pause sales of Pokémon cards and sports trading cards, citing safety concerns for shoppers and employees.

In a statement emailed to USA TODAY, the retailing giant said the cards will still be available to purchase on its website.

Effective May 14, Target will temporarily suspend sales of MLB, NFL, NBA and Pokémon trading cards in stores, the retailer said.

Last week, police in Brookfield, Wisconsin, said a fight broke out at a Target store after a disagreement over sports trading cards, reports The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, part of the USA TODAY Network. Police say the altercation ended after a man who had been attacked by four others pulled out his gun.

 (Photo: Target)

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Pokémon trading cards have surged in popularity, leading to shortages. According to a support page for the Pokémon trading card game, The Pokémon Company says they are aware of issues tied to higher demand and global shipping constraints.

“We understand this inconvenience can be disappointing for fans, and we are working to address it where it is within our control,” reads the message.

Meanwhile, older Pokémon cards have been fetching hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction. As reported by CNN, a rare Charizard card was sold in March by Goldin Auctions for nearly $400,000.

Increased interest has also expanded to the sports trading card business, due in part to the pandemic. Earlier this year, The Chicago Tribune reported a rare Mickey Mantle card sold for a record $5.2 million.

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.

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