Target to stop selling Pokémon and sports cards in stores because of ‘safety concerns’ about crazed criminals

Apparently, Target stores will no longer be selling the likes of Pokémon cards, as well as MLB, NBA, and NFL trading cards inside of their stores.

As strange as it may sound, Target confirmed the halting of in-store sales, citing concerns of safety for patrons and employees.  

News regarding the ban on certain collectible cards being sold inside of Target stores came from the website Bleeding Cool, a news site focused primarily on comic book, film/TV, games and collectibles culture.

Shortly after Bleeding Cool broke the story, Target issued a statement confirming the halting of in-store sales of certain collectible cards:

“The safety of our guests and our team is our top priority. Out of an abundance of caution, we’ve decided to temporarily suspend the sale of MLB, NFL, NBA and Pokémon trading cards within our stores, effective May 14. Guests can continue to shop these cards online at”

This revelation about “safety” and “trading cards” would lead any reasonable person to ask why there are safety concerns of trading cards being available inside of a Target store.

While not being confirmed as the impetus, it might have something to do with an incident that occurred at a Wisconsin Target parking back on May 7th.

According to Brookfield Police, a 35-year-old man was exiting the Target store at 12725 W. Bluemound Road when he was suddenly attacked by four men, aged between 23 and 35-years-old.

Authorities say that the victim was attacked over some sort of disagreement pertaining to trading cards purchased at the store location. The four suspects reportedly assaulted the victim, but the confrontation came to an end after the victim pulled out his concealed-carry firearm.

The victim was said to have suffered minor injuries that did not require medical attention.

Police say no shots were fired by the victim and the four suspects were later identified and apprehended, where charges of battery, strangulation and disorderly conduct were presented to the Waukesha County District Attorney’s Office in relation to the incident.

Gang-style assaults over trading cards may sound bizarre, but the trading card industry (especially with respect to Pokémon cards) has exploded in popularity – and the secondary market for these collectibles can fetch sellers a decent amount of money for certain cards.

With the increase in popularity and the appeal to benefit from the secondary market, instances of “scalping” (which is legal, but generally frowned upon by the collecting community) and criminal activities surrounding trading cards has been cropping up.

For instance, back when General Mills announced a partnership with the Pokémon Company to include trading cards in certain marked boxes of cereal, there were incidents where people were actually opening up cereal boxes inside of stores just to pilfer the Pokémon cards inside of the boxes.

One video that was shared on TikTok showed an array of Cinnamon Toast Crunch boxes that had been opened inside of the cereal aisle of a grocery store.

@harryama297People stealing Pokémon cards from cereal boxes. Can’t make this shit up. #pokemon #DoTheScottsSlide #ItWasntMe #pokemoncards #FYP♬ original sound – harryama279

Apparently, the cereal box shenanigans got to be so bad that some store locations began using security devices on cereal boxes that contained Pokémon cards so as to avoid theft.

Another report coming from Tokyo, Japan detailed an attempted collectible card heist back in March where a 28-year-old man was arrested after trying to allegedly steal roughly $9,000 worth of Pokémon cards.

It is unclear whether the ban on selling these collectible cards in Target stores will simply be temporary or permanent.

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In other instances of criminal activities being allegedly linked to toys, a sheriff’s department in North Carolina seized a firearm styled to look like a Nerf toy gun back in March. 

Here’s that previous report. 


CATAWBA, NC – Sheriff’s deputies in Catawba County made an interesting discovery while serving a search warrant on March 17th, allegedly finding a pistol modified so as to appear as though it was a NERF toy gun.

While the practice of doing so isn’t illegal, it was described as “concerning” to law enforcement officials.

On March 17th, narcotics investigators with the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office, Hickory Police Department and the Newton Police Department reportedly executed a search warrant at the residence of 35-year-old Damien Alonzo Burch.

When executing said warrant, investigators reportedly seized various narcotics, which were said to have been cocaine, mushrooms, and marijuana. Which resulted in Burch being charged with felony cocaine possession, felony mushrooms possession, and misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

Yet, the show-stealer in this search warrant came from what wasn’t illegal – but seized – via the search warrant, as noted in a press release from the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office:

“Investigators also seized approximately $2,300.00 in United States Currency and twenty firearms consisting of pistols, rifles and shotguns.”

“One of these weapons, a converted Glock model 19 pistol with a fifty round drum magazine, had been altered to resemble a toy Nerf gun. Firearms of this type, while not illegal to possess, are concerning to law enforcement. Firearms, in general, are commonly seized in conjunction with searches were felony amounts of narcotics are present.”

Sheriff's department seizes pistol during search warrant disguised to look like toy Nerf gun
Image of altered pistol – Catawba County Sheriff’s Office

It’s certainly fair for law enforcement to have concerns over weapons modified to the point that they appear as though they’re children’s toys – but it’s still perfectly legal.

Painting and modifying a firearm for the sole purpose of alteration of appearance is just as legal as painting your car and adding a body kit.

As for the suspect in the case, Burch was issued a $20,000 unsecured bond and made his initial court appearance on March 18th.


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Author: Gregory Hoyt

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