Japan: in-store quiz to prove you’re a true Pokémon fan (and stop card scalpers)

The phenomenon of scalping is always around the corner when it comes to new hardware or limited edition collectibles; things that are often bought by shady individuals in large quantities and then resold at a higher price to real end customers. A problem that for some time now has also been appearing in the world of Pokémon and, in particular, of the collectible cards which, now, some stores in Japan allow you to buy only after you have proven to be a real fan (and therefore not a scalper) with a quiz.

Fight against the scalpers in Japan where, in order to buy collectible cards, some shops carry out quizzes to customers asking them to prove that they are a true fan of Pokémon

The idea came to a couple of Japanese shops that, perhaps tired of the constant complaints of customers and the attacks of scalpers at every refueling (situations such as the chaos created recently in a Walmart for some Pokémon cards), have devised a system decidedly ingenious to make sure that the Pokémon trading cards end up “in the right hands”.

One such store is the Omiya Sashiogi branch of the Tsutaya multimedia entertainment chain in Saitama City. The store is currently making pre-orders for the upcoming expansion Pokémon Sword and Shield Fusion Arts and has informed would-be buyers of the conditions they must accept (or meet) before they can make a purchase.

These include:

“When you pre-order, you will be prompted to show the Pokémon Trading Card Deck you currently use and / or correctly answer a Pokémon quiz.”

The left half of the tweet above, posted by the same store, shows the format of the quiz. Here are pictures of four Pokémon species but with their names covered. To prove that you are a fan (and therefore be able to pre-order the Fusion Arts expansion), you must be able to name at least two of the four Pokémon.

Worried that scalpers might just look up the names of those four Pokémon and memorize them? The store has thought of this as well and claims that the tweet only shows one example, and that real quizzes, run right in the store, will show different species.

How much do you know about Pokémon?

A similar thing was also organized by the Yokohama branch of the electronics megastore Yodobashi Camera, where customers are asked more general questions in the form of quizzes in order to purchase Pokémon cards.

When Twitter user @ siro_gaming1 actually showed up to buy a box of Eevee Heroes and Shiny Star V cards, the user first had to answer the question “Who is the Pokémon partner of the main character in the series?”

A question that is not particularly difficult to answer, but which could throw off a scalper and give the shop staff the opportunity to quickly understand who is in front of them.

What if to buy a Happy Meal, now on sale together with Pokémon cards (often unavailable), we had to answer a quiz correctly?

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