As part of the 25th-anniversary celebration of the Pokémon franchise, The Pokémon Company and McDonald’s have teamed up for a special-edition Happy Meal that comes with Pokémon trading cards. The promotion launched in North America earlier this year, and just yesterday, the Pokémon-themed Happy Meal has become available in the U.K. for the first time.
The box of the special-edition Happy Meal is bright yellow and features Pikachu’s face on the front and pop-up ears just below the handle. Each box contains one blind pack of four Pokémon trading cards, including one that is holographic. The cards are also accompanied by an extra stationery item, which can either be a cardboard holder, a plastic card frame, or stickers.
There’s a total of 25 unique Pokémon trading cards to collect. The cards feature all 24 of the starters from the various Pokémon generations, as well as Pikachu. Though all of the cards have previously been released in older sets, they feature new numbering as well as Pokémon’s 25th-anniversary logo.
Pokémon trading cards have been around since the earliest days of the franchise, but there has been an apparent surge of increased interest in the cards in the past few months, especially on secondary markets like eBay.
In fact, the Pokémon Happy Meal promotion was such a huge mess when it started in the U.S. last February. In order to buy up as many trading cards as they could, resellers camped outside McDonald’s restaurants across the country to cut through the crowds. And once they had purchased several Happy Meals, many of them just discarded the foods that came with their orders and left for home with just the cards. Unsealed boxes of the trading cards also found their way on eBay, which suggests that the cards didn’t even get into McDonald’s locations where they were supposed to be sold.
@McDonalds @Pokemon I sure hope you do some form of inventory control for your promo Pokémon cards as some of your stock is being sold in sealed boxes which means they’re not even making it to your stores 😳 Though same thing happened with Tim Hortons Hockey too. Retail $1.99 😳 pic.twitter.com/kX8qZyRX2V
— redphoenixsportscards (@redphoenixcards) February 9, 2021
To avoid such chaos in the U.K., each customer is only allowed to get one set of Pokémon trading cards per Happy Meal transaction regardless of the number of Happy Meals bought.