Van Gogh Museum stops handing out Pikachu cards after Pokémon Frenzy | ET REALITY

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The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam stopped handing out Pokémon cards inspired by the Dutch artist after fans of the game caused a frenzy in the gift shop and resellers positioned themselves outside the building.

The special cards feature an image of Pikachu, the beloved mascot of the Pokémon universe, wearing a fedora and painted in the style of Vincent van Gogh’s 1887 work, “Self-Portrait with Gray Felt Hat.” To get them, fans must now go to eBay, where they can cost up to $620.

The cards were part of a collaboration between the museum and Pokémon Company International to celebrate the museum’s 50th anniversary and recognize the link between Van Gogh and Japanese art and culture. The museum also displayed paintings of Pokémon, including Pikachu and snorlaxwhich were scattered among van Gogh’s self-portraits and the famous sunflowers.

To get one of the special cards, ticket holders had to complete a scavenger hunt at the museum, walking among Van Gogh classics and Pokémon-inspired artwork. Each person who completed the hunt received a card. Until October 13, of course.

“As a result of recent incidents during which a small group of people created an undesirable situation,” Lisette van den Brink, on behalf of the museum, said by email, “we have had to make the difficult decision to no longer make the special program.” . Pikachu x Van Gogh Museum promotional card available at the museum.”

The collaboration aimed to attract new audiences to the museum. But what the institution did not foresee was chaos.

The “Pikachu with Gray Felt Hat” card was given away as a promotion at the Van Gogh Museum until demand grew too high.Credit…Naoyo Kimura/The Pokémon Company

Images circulating on social media showed a frenzy in the gift shop as people lined up to receive the cards and resellers gathered outside the museum.

“It was chaotically busy,” said Nikki Meijer-Vosters, a lifelong Pokémon fan and collector who visited the museum recently and participated in the scavenger hunt with her husband and son. They each received a Pikachu card. She said she could tell the museum was full of people who were there just to see the Pokémon art and leave with a special card.

After leaving the museum, Meijer-Vosters said, people outside offered her money for the cards. She declined her offers and instead took the cards home and placed them in a special folder with her collection of other Pikachu cards.

Demand for Pokémon trading cards has increased in recent years and skyrocketed during the pandemic.

The Van Gogh Museum is not the first institution to suffer turbulence because of the letters. In 2021, Target temporarily suspended sales of the cards due to a threat to the safety of its customers and workers.

Rare cards have sold for astronomical prices reaching hundreds of thousands. Last year, YouTuber Logan Paul broke a record spending more than five million dollars on one.

The Pokémon card game, first released in 1996, is a strategy game that allows players to battle each other using characters from the broader Pokémon franchise.

Pokémon, short for pocket monsters, became popular again in 2016 with the release of Pokémon Go, a mobile game in which players catch and train characters using augmented reality. The game brought people out and caused some chaos and security scares.

Mrs. Meijer-Vosters, the Pokémon fan who left the museum with three cards, lives in the town of Hilvarenbeek, in the south of the Netherlands. She said that she had been a Pokémon fan since she was little and started collecting the cards.

“Now, as an adult, I can pass it on to my little one,” she said. “There is nothing better”.

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