$400 Pokémon Trading Card Game Classic Pre-Orders Sold Out

Back in February, The Pokémon Company announced it was reprinting beloved cards from the very start of the Pokémon trading card game, including the original holographic Venusuar, Charizard, and Blastoise, as part of a $400 board game set. Pre-orders went live on September 21 and sold out in the first hour.

We now know exactly which cards are in the three decks featured in the Pokémon Trading Card Game Classic set, as well as its release date: November 17. The set also features brand new cards, including Lugia ex, Ho-Oh ex, Suicune ex, and a version of Mr. Mime that’s releasing outside of Japan for the very first time.

Pre-orders went live on The Pokémon Company’s own Pokémon Center storefront and GameStop shortly after the release date was revealed, and stock immediately ran out. Pre-orders are also expected to become available at BestBuy, Target, and other retailers at some point, but it’s not exactly clear when, or if they’ll take any longer to sell out when they do. It’s also possible that some stores are reserving some stock for additional pre-order waves.

The Pokémon Company didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

A screenshot shows scalper prices on eBay.

Screenshot: eBay / Kotaku

The Pokémon Trading Card Game Classic set trades on millenial nostalgia for the original late ‘90s heyday of the Game Boy RPGs and their trading card spin-off. I still remember exactly where I was when I opened my first three Pokémon booster packs ever and got a holographic Venusaur and Poliwrath, both of which have long since vanished. I now have kids of my own, and it’s clear the set and its absurd $400 price tag is aimed squarely at me.

As news of the initial pre-orders selling out made the rounds on Reddit, collectors were quick to point out that you can actually buy copies of the original cards, including holographic Charizards, for way less. The three decks featured in the Classic set aren’t tournament legal either. It’s effectively just an expensive novelty replica. “This is so not worth it,” wrote one fan. “Cool thing but $150 is my price point. Would rather go buy the big 3 vintage and a Switch Lite for this cost.”

For anyone who does want the Pokémon Trading Card Game Classic set, they’ll have to keep their eyes peeled for new rounds of pre-orders. Scalpers are already trying to flip their existing orders on sites like eBay for hundreds more than the standard sticker price. It seems unlikely that anyone will actually buy them at the up to $800 that resellers are currently requesting per set, but if The Pokémon Company doesn’t end up printing enough stock to meet demand, a few desperate fans might.

In the meantime, the Scarlet and Violet-era Pokémon 151 set takes the original Kanto Pokémon and features them with beautiful new art. The expansion launched on September 22.

Update 9/27/2023 12:50 p.m. ET: A spokesperson for The Pokémon Company International said it’s aware fans are dealing with stock shortages and blamed global freight costs for the price of the set outside of Japan. “We are working to address it where it is within our control,” they wrote in an email. Here’s the full statement:

We’re aware that some fans are experiencing difficulties purchasing Pokémon Trading Card Game Classic due to very high demand impacting availability. In addition, due to rising global freight costs, Pokémon Trading Card Game Classic will see higher MSRPs in markets outside of Japan. We understand this inconvenience can be disappointing for fans, and we are working to address it where it is within our control. Fans will have additional opportunities to purchase Pokémon Trading Card Game Classic when it releases on Nov. 17 at participating retailers while supplies last, and some retailers will restock the product later this year.

Pokémon Trading Card Game Classic is uniquely and thoughtfully designed to be a staple playset that is both beautiful and functional, delivering a polished and elevated battling experience for all types of Pokémon TCG fans. We are grateful to the community for their continued support and patience as we work to deliver fun and innovative Pokémon TCG products, including premium items like Pokémon Trading Card Game Classic.

Buy Pokemon Scarlet and Violet 151 Collection Elite Trainer Box: Best Buy | GameStop



Goldman Sachs Employee Allegedly Used Xbox For Insider Trading

Leonardo DiCaprio stands behind an Xbox 360.

Image: Paramount Pictures / Microsoft / Kotaku

A newly unsealed FBI indictment accuses a former analyst at Goldman Sachs of insider trading, including allegedly using an Xbox to pass tips onto his close friends. The friend group earned over $400,000 in ill-gotten gains as a result, federal prosecutors claim. “There’s no tracing [Xbox 360 chat],” the analyst allegedly told his friend who was worried they might be discovered. He appears to have made a grave miscalculation.

The FBI arrested Anthony Viggiano and alleged co-conspirator Christopher Salamone, charging them with securities fraud on September 28. Viggiano is accused of using his previous position at Goldman Sachs to share trading tips with Salamone and others. Salamone has already pleaded guilty. Bloomberg reports that this is the fifth incident in recent years of a person associated with the investment bank allegedly using their position to do crimes.

Viggiano and Salamone were childhood friends, the FBI claims, and beginning last last Salamone allegedly purchased shares and call options for obscure companies including Maxar Technologies, Atlas Technical Consultant, and Syneous Health, after receiving tips from Viggiano. It sounds like at least some of this insider info was shared on Microsoft’s high tech, ultra-secure gaming platform.

“Signal, or like Xbox 360 chat, there’s no tracing that, good luck ever finding that,” Viggiano allegedly told Salamone in a recording made by the latter after both were first interviewed by the FBI in June. The two were discussing who in their inner circle might flip, with Viggiano trying to assure Salamone that potential incriminating evidence was out of the FBI’s reach. “So, I mean, at worst—we’re talking worst-case scenario, maybe I said something in…like the very first [message to Steve]. But that’s the worst case.”

It’s not clear if both friends actually still played games on the Xbox 360 in the year 2022, or if Viggiano was mis-remembering the name of the Xbox One or Xbox Series X/S. Maybe they did use the original 2005 console to communicate, thinking it was somehow more private as a result of its archaic interface and outdated systems. We also don’t know if the FBI ever actually got ahold of the Xbox chats in question, or merely got Salamone to confess by making it seem like they did.

Probably best to keep the crime talk on Xbox to a minimum either way, especially now that Microsoft is using AI to monitor communications for illicit and toxic activities.


Rocket League Will Ban Item Trading, Nuking Market For Skins

A major shakeup is coming to Rocket League’s player community. The popular car soccer game will turn off the option to trade items starting in Season 13, destroying the vibrant market around buying and selling cosmetics in the process. Fans appear universally shocked, confused, and frustrated by the move.

The last day to trade items in the Epic-owned free-to-play game will be December 5, the day before season 13 goes live. After that, players will no longer have an option to share their favorite hats, rims, and exhaust trails with one another, or sell them on third-party marketplaces. “We’re making this change to align with Epic’s overall approach to game cosmetics and item shop policies, where items aren’t tradable, transferrable, or sellable,” developer Psyonix wrote in an announcement on the game’s website.

The studio said this shift “opens up future plans” to have some vehicles be owned across multiple Epic games. Presumably, you might buy the Ghostbusters Ectomobile once in Rocket League and then be able to use it in Fortnite as well. The ability to transfer items between seperate games is a big part of the promise and challenge underlying pitches for a gaming “metaverse” made by Epic CEO Tim Sweeney and others. At the same time, it’s not clear what the benefit of an “open” metaverse is if all the transactions are still routed through Epic’s in-game shops. Sweeney has previously blasted companies like Apple and Google for creating closed platforms that don’t offer users choice.

Item trading was added to Rocket League seven years ago in the Rumble update. The approach to random cosmetics that dropped after matches was similar to Valve games like Counter-Strike and Team Fortress 2, both of which have also cultivated lively and lucrative second-hand markets for in-game items. Some Rocket League players just trade with friends for fun or to get rid of duplicate items, while others try to amass collections that can sell for hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Lending is also a big part of the community around Rocket League’s in-game economy. Players might agree to share rare items for a set duration of time before giving them back.

In its FAQ about the changes, Psyonix stressed that players will still be able to trade their duplicate items back to Epic for a shot at another random cosmetic of a higher rarirty, but that all current trades will be final after December 5. At that time, “Websites or servers advertising such services are fraudulent and have no connection to Psyonix or Epic Games.”

The reaction by the Rocket League community so far has been surprise followed by swift condemnation. “RATIO FOR MY ALPHA BOOST,” tweeted pro player Tristan “Atow.” Soyez. “Killing the game even more good shit lads,” tweeted Finlay “rise.” Ferguson. The subreddit for the game is also in shambles. “Epic Games was supposed to be this huge thing for the game, and all they have done is increased Esports prize money and made it more global,” reads one top comment. “They have basically said ‘fuck you’ to the casual community since they bought Psyonix. Removing trading is genuinely the stupidest idea I have ever seen.”

The announcement comes after parent company Epic Games recently announced 860 layoffs, impacting Psyonix, Fall Guys maker Mediatonic, and other parts of its growing Fortnite empire. Sweeney told attendees at an Unreal Engine conference that it wasn’t until “about 10 weeks ago” that the company realized it was having financial troubles that would apparently need to be addressed so quickly and drastically. It’s not clear if Psyonix was already planning to remove item trading from the game prior to these cuts.