Pokemon fans disappointed as scalpers overwhelm Van Gogh Museum collaboration

Noelle Corbett
Pikachu and Eevee looking shocked in front of a Van Gogh style skyThe Pokemon Company

The Pokemon collaboration with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam got off to a hectic start when the gift shop was overrun by scalpers trying to buy as much merch as possible.

The announcement of a Pokemon collaboration with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam unsurprisingly delighted the internet. After all, it’s a novel concept featuring adorable crossover art that blends fan-favorite creatures with the works of legendary painter Vincent Van Gogh.

However, the limited-time exhibit got off to a chaotic start, as the museum itself was overrun by scalpers looking to buy out all the merchandise to sell on the secondhand market.

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While nothing new for Pokemon, the videos from the collaboration’s opening day are upsetting, particularly for fans who just want to be able to enjoy a franchise that’s meant for all ages.

Scalpers are already reselling Pokemon X Van Gogh merch at a markup

In addition to the artwork, which depicts various Pokemon as part of Van Gogh paintings – such as Sunflora in the still life “Sunflowers” – the collaboration features themed merchandise. This includes art prints and a Pikachu plush dressed up to resemble Van Gogh’s “Self-Portrait with Grey Felt Hat.”

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There’s also a Pokemon TCG card based on the same painting, though that’s meant to be a free reward for those who complete a little quest aimed at children that takes them through Van Gogh paintings and teaches them the stories behind them.

A video shared by monkeloidtv on Twitter and Tik Tok showed the chaos unfolding at the Dutch museum as a huge crowd tried to buy out all of the special Pokemon merchandise.

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The video sparked frustrated responses from fans, including Serebii’s Joe Merrick, who said it made him “so sad” and “If you do that, shame on you.”

One user who went to the Van Gogh Museum said there was “nothing left” in the gift shop when they visited. Another expressed concern about going to the exhibit due to the mayhem.

Someone even alleged that scalpers tried to steal their Pikachu with Grey Felt Hat card, which cannot be purchased.

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As one fan pointed out, it’s particularly disappointing considering this is one of the few times The Pokemon Company has held an event geared specifically towards the European market.

Already, listings for these products can be found in places like eBay, where some are selling the Pikachu card – which again was meant as a free reward – for hundreds of dollars. As of this writing, there are people bidding on these, driving the prices up to as much as $510 for one card.

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Sadly, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Pokemon merchandise, especially cards, have long been targets for scalpers. The situation has become so dire at times that major retailers like Target have had to stop selling Pokemon cards over safety concerns.

A collaboration with McDonald’s saw a similar fate, with adults buying out Happy Meals for the special cards. Earlier this week, we even reported ridiculous mark-ups from those scalping the Pokemon TCG Classic set – which doesn’t even release until November.

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As for the Pokemon and Van Gogh Museum event, the exhibit runs from now until January 7, 2024, so hopefully some of the merch will be restocked for fans visiting over the next couple of months.

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About The Author

Noelle is a Senior Games Writer for Dexerto who can usually be found playing an RPG. Her favorites include Persona, Pokemon, and DnD. When she isn't writing or gaming, Noelle is probably making silly noises at her dog. She can be reached at noelle.corbett@dexerto.com.