Pokémon Card Heist Leads To Arrest In Japan

A 28-year-old Tokyo man was arrested after breaking into a trading card shop in Japan and stealing thousands of dollars worth of Pokémon cards.

A Japanese man was recently arrested for carrying out an elaborate heist and walking away with thousands of dollars worth of Pokémon cards. Pokémon cards have already proven themselves to hold extreme value to fans of the game. Collecting cards has a broad appeal, capturing everyone from the average collector to large internet personalities like Logan Paul, who just recently opened $2 million worth of Pokémon TCG cards on a livestream. The fan community has shown for many years that it is willing to pay top dollar for the rarest Pokémon cards.

It wasn’t too long ago that a first-edition, holographic Charizard card sold at auction for over $270,000, breaking eBay auction records and cementing Charizard as possibly the most sought-after Pokémon card of all time. Over the course of human history, people have gone through quite a bit of trouble to acquire items of much less value. While individual Pokémon cards like this don’t typically compete with some of the most valuable sports cards, many of which can sell for millions, the game still boasts a fair number of high-value cards, just like similar high-profile trading card games like Magic: The Gathering. Unlike Magic, though, Pokémon has always had numerous other avenues of profit and publicity, cementing its status over time as one of the most beloved media franchises in modern culture.

Related: Pokémon’s Rarest Cards Ever (& What They Cost)

28-year-old Kensuke Nakanishi of Tokyo apparently understood this value, as it was reported Monday by The Mainichi (via Game Rant) that he was arrested under suspicion of breaking into a trading card store at 5 AM on March 23. 80 Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! cards were reportedly stolen from the store, totaling a worth of roughly 1 million yen ($9,120). It can be assumed that this is roughly what he would be able to get for the cards on eBay, where Pokémon card sales have skyrocketed as of recently. Nakanishi would round out his heist by taking around 260,000 yen ($2,370) in cash. Nakanishi is said to have done it to “pay off a debt.”

Even outside of the aforementioned first-edition Charizard auction, Pokémon cards have been steadily breaking records in recent years for the prices collectors have been willing to pay for them. Most recently, a first-edition Pokémon TCG base set was valued at $750,000. These cards are from 1999. Many people can recall a single booster pack from the ‘90s costing $3 or $4 when they came out. It’s now a common regret to have opened the packs. All across the internet, you’ll find sorrowful posts expressing agony in having broken the seal on their first-edition Pokémon cards.

Clearly, some people will even go as far as to steal such cards due to their value. Due to both the legacy of Pokémon and the rarity of some of these cards, the Pokémon TCG has established its own culture within fans of the franchise. Many of these prices have been set by the community, given that they mostly come from auctions. This is a perfect example of something being worth whatever people are willing to pay for it. The community has solidified the value of Pokémon through their continued support, dedication, and willingness to spend outrageous fees on trading cards. Earlier this month, a talented artist on Reddit who goes by bizzybxi completed immaculate paintings of various Pokémon cards. The drive bizzybxi has to immortalize their favorite trading card set is the same drive collectors have to fill out their hoards. There’s a great love for the Pokémon franchise that continues to speak volumes across the industry.

Next: What Pokémon’s Top 4 Most Popular Trading Cards Were In 2020

Source: The Mainichi (via Game Rant)

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