Several thefts at shops selling trading cards have been reported in Tokyo, Japan, due to the increasing popularity and value of Pokémon cards. Since last summer, Japan Times reports that the damage from these thefts is estimated at tens of millions of yen.
According to an investigative source, there have been five unprecedented cases where the primary target was a transaction card — and Pokémon Trading Card Game are often involved. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department reported on a specific case in which 60 cards – worth a staggering 8.5 million yen – were stolen from a shop in Machida, a city located in the western Tokyo.
The Japan Toy Association says the Pokémon trading card game market is growing rapidly, and in 2021, the popular game has expanded for the fourth year in a row (valued at 178.2 billion yen, Japan Toy Association said). The value of many rare cards has increased during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as a result, many people have flocked to try and own the rarest cards — either to collect or to sell. In particular, we’ve reported on a number of Pokémon tag-related incidents over the past few years — some involving popular YouTubers and others just being members of the community.