The Pokémon Company has announced that it will be acquiring The Millenium Print Group, the manufacturer that has been printing the Pokémon trading card game since 2015. According to a press release put out by TPC, Millenium will remain autonomous, while benefiting from TPC’s investments and expertise to expand its current production capabilities.
According to Kenji Okubo, the president of TPC: “By joining forces in a more meaningful way, our goal is to enhance the ways our organisations work together and continue to bring the highest quality Pokémon TCG products to market. Simultaneously, we aim to develop Millennium into an even better, bigger, state-of-the-art version of their already exceptional organisation, benefitting not just Pokémon, but all of their customers.”
TPC has a very good reason for wanting to beef up its ability to print Pokémon cards: the current supply is lagging behind enormous demand. Pokémon cards have become a speculative commodity during the pandemic. This has led to huge headaches for major retailers such as Target and Walmart, both of which were forced to restrict sales. Even McDonald’s struggled to keep cards in stock while they ran a Pokémon promotion.
Pokémon cards have been going for enormous sums in recent years. Just this month, Logan Paul bought a Pikachu card for $US6 ($8) million, setting a world record for the most expensive card sold in a private auction. While Pokémon cards have become one way for the mega-rich to flex their wealth, there’s still a ton of interest among ordinary collectors and enthusiasts. Twitch content creators have been capitalising on the Pokémon card meta by opening card packs on stream.
The acquisition does raise some hilarious questions about why The Pokémon Company didn’t already own their own card printer. Its partner company, Nintendo, has recently made similar moves to acquire companies I already assumed that it owned. I am expecting Nintendo to also acquire TPC any day now (this is a joke).