Pokémon card theft leads stores to lock down Cinnamon Toast Crunch

By now, you’ve most likely heard that the Pokémon card crisis is so alarming, sellers like Target have actually advised staff members to think about calling the polices on scalpers. Maybe you understand about the McDonald’s mass buying sprees by mature grownups that left numerous dining establishments lacking Pleased Meals for real kids. However the eagerness around the collectible card video game has actually expanded beyond huge box shops and chain dining establishments, and can now be seen even at the cereal aisle of your supermarket.

In March, The Pokémon Company announced a partnership with General Mills that would pack in a set of three cards into cereals such as Golden Grahams, Trix, Cocoa Puffs, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Lucky Charms. With 14 cards in total, each pack contains at least one holographic Pikachu collectible — and certain shops, like Walmart, got special distribution for monsters like Galarian Ponyta.

You can probably guess what happened next. Thanks to the increased visibility of card collecting on social media, along with a surge in grading services pricing out high-value collectibles, folks are practically camping out of stores just to get the latest Pokémon card shipment. Everyone wants to find a rare card that they can flip for thousands of dollars, just like they’ve seen in the news.

Not long after the promotion went into effect, videos posted online showcased the aftermath at stores. In some places, walking by the cereal aisle meant looking at dozens of already opened boxes — the breakfast items were still there, but cards had been pulled out. (Some stores appeared to get the cereal boxes earlier than the official announcement.) Folks also shared screenshots of scalpers reselling the packs for way more than the cereal boxes originally cost, with some buying entire pallets just to secure the merch.

Technically, these shenanigans have been going on for a while now. What’s new is that now grocery shops are apparently responding to the increased theft rates by wrapping up cereal boxes with devices typically reserved for more expensive items, like electronics.

General Mills did not respond to a request for comment in time for press. While the promo will just go on for a minimal time, on sites like eBay, cereal boxes and sealed private packs are being cost a premium since this writing.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.