Like the Pokémon they display, some of these Oreos are rare enough to drive prices sky-high.
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Slap a Pikachu on pretty much anything, and it’ll sell. But even the biggest Poké-fans may be surprised at the lengths people are going to for an odd new piece of merch.
In mid-September, Oreo debuted its new collaboration with Pokémon: cookies emblazoned with some of the most popular ‘mons to roughly coincide with the series’ 25th anniversary.
Anticipating some of the frenzy to come, Nabisco opened pre-orders for the Pokémon cookies before they showed up in stores.
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If you’ve been trying to score a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X this year, you can guess what came next: Scalpers.
Collecting rare monsters has always been part of Pokémon, and the need to catch ‘em all evidently still applies to cookies.
Despite the inherent sketchiness of buying second-hand cookies, some Pokémon fans are shelling out hundreds or thousands of dollars for them.
The psychic kitten Mew has been an object of fascination since the original Pokémon games when it could only be acquired by attending official Pokémon events.
Since then, Mew has been the poster child for rare Pokémon. Oreo even hinted before release that Mew cookies would be hard to find in the wild.
Judging by the thousands of Mew Oreos on eBay, they’re not quite as rare as some people may have thought.
Prices for the supposedly rare cookies have also started to plummet into more “reasonable” double and single digits, though some auctions are still in the $1,000 range.
Some of the price discrepancies come from the condition of the cookies, with “mint condition” Oreos selling for more than their crumbling counterparts.
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There’s also the fact that Oreo resale markets aren’t really a thing, so sellers can essentially make up any price they want and hope someone bites.
A perishable collectible may sound rather strange, but this isn’t even the first pop culture food frenzy in recent memory.
In 2017, McDonald’s brought back Szechuan sauce — which only existed as a tie-in for Disney’s Mulan in 1998 — for a promotion after it was referenced in a Rick and Morty episode.
When Szechuan supplies quickly ran out, it led to angry crowds harassing McDonald’s employees and inflated auction prices on eBay.
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More recently, Pokémon fueled another scarcity-driven run on stores. In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Poké-fans set their sights on Pokémon cards for some distraction and nostalgic comfort.
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Even more than limited-edition Oreos, Pokémon cards fetch huge prices at auction. The rush to buy cards turned violent in some cases, leading Target to temporarily suspend their sale altogether.
Fortunately, the Pokémon Oreo craze doesn’t seem to be leading to fisticuffs. And while the collectible cookies launched during a nationwide strike by Nabisco workers, the strike is now over.