The Van Gogh Museum has removed the Pikachu with Grey Felt Hat promo card from the museum after it was caught off guard by the frenzy that occurred at the museum’s gift shop.
You see, when the Pokemon x Van Gogh exhibit opened at the end of September, Pokemon fans and scalpers (mainly scalpers) flooded the Van Gogh Museum’s gift shop, pushing shoving, and ripping items out of people’s hands to obtain the various merchandise available.
You can see just how ridiculous it was here.
Obviously, many missed out on the items they wanted, and of course, that very day, scalpers were offloading their spoils online for an exorbitant amount.
“The Van Gogh Museum and The Pokemon Company International take the safety and security of visitors and staff very seriously,” reads the notice. “Recently, a small group of individuals created an undesirable situation that has led us to take the difficult decision to remove the Pikachu with Grey Felt Hat promo card from the museum. In this way, visitors will be able to experience this special collection of Pokemon paintings and the rest of the museum in a safe and enjoyable manner.”
If the Van Gogh Museum had researched how Pokemon fans and scalpers act in person, the museum would likely have implemented a lottery system like Pokemon Centers do in Japan when special merchandise is released to avoid this very thing.
For those that missed out, the official Pokemon Center store was to offer the same merchandise for sale online. However, the day the items dropped, everything was sold out within minutes, the website crashed, and some customers were locked out of the site due to it thinking they were a bot. Others were lucky enough to get items in their cart, enter their credit card information, hit purchase, and then boom – sorry about your luck, we are sold out. Others had their orders canceled , and when contacting customer service, they were told the order was canceled because they had “violated terms and conditions.”
Most folks blamed the issues they encountered on the website for being able to handle the influx of visitors, while others blamed scalers using bots that were able to bypass the website’s security feature. Others blamed the company in general.
The Pokemon Company released an apology, but it rang hollow for many fans. The store did, however, offer up more of the Pokemon Trading Card of Pikachu in the grey felt hat, but it too sold out rather quickly.
For those that missed out, it’s unfortunate because The Pokemon Company will not produce extra items once sold out. It is notorious for only producing a set amount of merchandise, and rarely, sometimes if ever, does it produce more of an item after it is sold out. Why it does this, personally, I have no clue, but it’s strange considering companies like to make money, and as popular as Pokemon is, the company is missing out on adding more funds to its coffers. But what do I know? Nothing.