A pop-up Pokemon store was recently opened in London, and it’s proving much too popular for its own good. Visitors are queueing up for six hours to gain entry to the store, and many are being turned away empty-handed because stock is selling out despite buying limits. Scalpers are taking advantage of the enduring hype by offering the store’s exclusive merch at inflated prices.
There are a few reasons for this Pokemon Pandemonium. First, Europe and the U.K. lack any sort of permanent store that sells Pokemon merch. Japan has an official Pokemon retail store, and North America has Nintendo New York, from which I have personally secured a Blitzle plush in addition to a Charizard and a giant Litten. Second, Pokemon hype is churning at full tilt thanks to the upcoming release of Pokemon Sword and Shield for the Nintendo Switch—and since the Galar region is based on the U.K., it’s easy to understand why British Pokemon fans are especially jazzed. Third, have you seen the dapper London Pikachu they’re selling there?
The London Pokemon Center has since opened up an official Twitter account to let potential visitors know how long queues are, and which items they’re sold out of. Some unhappy responses to the tweets reveal people are coming in from all over Europe to PokeShop.
Unsurprisingly, scalpers are happier than a Wooloo in a green meadow. Searching for “Pokemon Center London” (or “Centre”, if you don’t want the Queen to teleport to your living room and hit you with her scepter—er, sceptre) reveals lots of exclusive merch going for inflated prices. Bids are driving prices for the London Pikachu doll to $100 USD (with days still left to go on the lot). Oddly, the most expensive item so far seems to be the London store’s hoodies, which are being sold for $200+ USD.
The London Pokemon Center closes for good on November 15, the same day Pokemon Sword and Shield come to the Switch. With any luck, the popularity of the pop-up will convince The Pokemon Company to open a permanent location somewhere in Europe. If you’re overseas and you’re waiting in queue for an exclusive umbrella, why not pass the time by looking at our Pokemon Sword and Shield guides?