CNet reports that Walmart and Target have removed trading cards - including NFL, MLB, NBA, Pokemon and other brands - from their shelves, citing "inappropriate customer behavior" and a desire "to ensure the safety of our guests and team members."
CBS News frames the circumstances leading to these moves:
"Trading cards have surged in popularity during the pandemic. Pokemon cards, especially, are flying off the shelves so fast the printing press can barely keep up. Some early editions of the card game, which turns 25 this year, have fetched hundreds of thousands of dollars in online auctions; even recently printed Pokemon cards are quickly climbing in price.
"Soaring card prices are driving some would-be collectors to extremes. In recent months, scalpers have targeted Pokemon cards destined for McDonald's Happy Meals and ravaged cereal boxes on supermarket shelves to extract the special-edition cards within. In Japan, one man allegedly climbed down a rope to break into a store and carry away $9,000 worth of Pokemon cards, according to TheGamer.com."
The CBS story notes that "last week, a shopper leaving a Target store in Wisconsin was attacked by three men in the parking lot, leading the victim to pull out his gun and neighboring stores to impose momentary lockdowns. No shots were fired, and the victim suffered only minor injuries, according to reports. It's unclear which type of trading card was the cause of the scuffle."
Y'know, I try hard to be an optimistic person, to be charitable, temperate and tolerant if my view of people and their beliefs and priorities.
And then I read about bullcrap like this, and I decide that the world is going to hell in a hand basket. When people start attacking each other over trading cards, I begin to think that the decline of western civilization may be irreversible.
Oy. Freakin' morons.