McDonald's Pokemon TCG Happy Meals are being scalped already

McDonald's Pokemon TCG Happy Meals are being scalped already

Written by 

Tom Chapman


20th Sep 2023 12:32

There are many things you can rely on every year in gaming. Call of Duty will release a new title, we'll hear rumours of a Bloodborne remaster, and IShowSpeed will say something wildly offensive. Alongside all of these, you know McDonald's will release its Pokemon TGC Happy Meals.

While Pokemon have been a staple of the gaming scene since 1996, their infiltration into those cardboard boxes comes much later than you'd think. A Pokemon x McDonald's Happy Meal collab didn't happen until 2011, with a line of toys and collectable cards tying into Black & White.

McDonald's Pokemon TCG Happy Meals are already being scalped

Pokemon Card McDonald's scalpers 2023
Click to enlarge
eBay | GGRecon

McDonald's has had a consistent flow of Pokemon cards since 2011, and while we knew we were getting another TCG crossover in 2023, we'd also guessed that scalpers would be hot on its tail. Much like the craze of Teenie Beanie flying out of Happy Meals and onto eBay, Pokemon Cards have had the same effect.

In the past, we covered how scalpers had overtaken the promotion, with wild scenes of American outlets selling out and Ronald McDonald vowing he'd put a limit on how many McDonald's Pokemon TGC Happy Meals you could buy. Still, a quick scan of eBay shows individual cards and whole sets are already everywhere.

It's clear that collectors have been quick nabbing the entire set, with the holographic cards being particularly tough to come across and increasingly lucrative to sell. When Instagram account cop_o_clock shared the promo, one commenter wrote, "Just saw a grown man order 4 of them and he didn’t even have kids."

On eBay, you can find everything from complete sets to unopened packs, and individual cards. In particular, the holographic Pikachu seems to be the most popular. You could obviously just go to your local Golden Arches to try and pick up the set, but that would take a lot of work. 

What cards are in the McDonald's Pokemon TCG Happy Meal 2023 collab?

As much as McDonald's can try and do its bit to limit the number of Happy Meals one person can buy, there's nothing stopping them visiting on multiple days, or simply, driving to the next outlet and getting your limit. Scalpers are always going to cash in on this kind of promo, so it's your choice if you're going to support them.

If you're looking to get the full set, there are 15 Pokemon TCG Happy Meal cards in 2023. The full lineup includes the three Gen IX starters in holographic form:

  • Holographic Sprigatito 
  • Holographic Fuecoco 
  • Holographic Quaxly 

There's also the classic Pikachu:

  • Holographic Pikachu

More Gen IX additions come in the form of:

  • Pawmi
  • Cetoddle
  • Kilowattrel
  • Flittle
  • Tandemaus
  • Cyclizar

Gen IX holographics include:

  • Holographic Cetitan
  • Holographic Klawf

Rounding off the pack, we have previous generation 'mon:

  • Sandaconda
  • Blissey
  • Kirlia

With the release of Scarlet & Violet's The Teal Mask DLC, Pokehype is at an all-time high, meaning there's sure to be a lot of buzz around these cards. This year's Pokemon Happy Meal promo runs from September 15 to October 16, so you'd better be quick if you want to catch 'em all. 

Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.

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