Yesterday, on Thursday, September 28th, 2023, The Beat shared the news of a pair of exciting Pokémon collaborations. But unfortunately, exclusive merchandise and a unique card giveaway caused the exhibit (and the gift shop) to descend into chaos.


Today, on Friday, September 29th, 2023, the Van Gogh Museum announced that the supply of exclusive merch and unique Pikachu Pokémon cards had already been exhausted.

“Due to overwhelming demand, all our products from this collection have sold out,” reads the statement. “We understand this is disappointing to many who were looking to our official email and social media channels for guidance on how and when to purchase.” This is in spite of the fact that the exhibit is scheduled to run through January 7th, 2024.

Pokémon x Van Gogh Museum

The news comes after many videos of the exhibit gift shop being overrun by unruly crowds, along with images from listings on auction sites depicting dozens of the coveted, limited run TCG cards snatched up by single scalpers. This is in spite of the fact that, according to the FAQ at the bottom of the official page for the collab, vistors may not “take an extra promo card for the people at home.” And second FAQ questions reiterates, “a maximum of one promo card will be issued per person.”

Pokémon fans heartbroken at the missed opportunity for needn’t dispair. According to the statement released on social media by the official Pokémon account, “We are actively working on ways to provide more “Pikachu with Grey Felt Hat” promo cards for fans shopping at Pokémon Center in the future. Details will be released at a later date.”

To be fair, any Pokémon fan can see the appeal in the card, which features the painting of Pikachu in the style of Vincent van Gogh’s “Self-Portrait with Grey Felt Hat,” created by Naoyo Kimura. And ditto for the Pokémon x Van Gogh Museum official merchandise, which featured such varied items as a special plush Pikachu, t-shirts, tote bags and prints.

But of course, no matter how enviable the Pokémon merch is, there’s no excuse for abusive behavior toward museum employees and volunteers. And while we’d all love one of those Pikachu plushes to go with our own personal pile of Pokémerch, looking at the videos of the crowds in the Van Gogh Museum gift shop, one must ask whether the price tag has become quite a bit too steep for Pocket Monster prizes.