Vincent van Gogh's "Self-Portrait with Grey Felt Hat" (1887) featuring Pikachu, part of the Pokémon x Van Gogh Museum collaboration. (all images courtesy Van Gogh Museum)

Pokémon fans excitedly waiting for the brand to release its limited-edition Van Gogh-themed collection today, September 29, were disappointed to learn this afternoon that the merchandise had completely sold out in mere hours.

Footage from the opening of a new Pokémon-themed exhibition at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, which collaborated on a special line of merchandise fusing Van Gogh’s artwork with characters from the Pokémon universe, shows swarms of fans and alleged scalpers frantically grabbing stacks of posters and other products.

For the opening, fans were able to purchase exclusive merchandise at the Amsterdam museum’s gift shop, which sold a rare promotional card of Pikachu and other items. In a chain of events not completely unlike that of the global blue-chip art world, the line of exclusive merchandise is already listed online at significantly marked-up prices.

On Ebay, new listings of the highly sought-after “Pikachu With Grey Felt Hat 085 Promo Card” are now valued at hundreds of dollars.

“The Van Gogh Museum expected a great deal of interest in the collaboration with Pokémon, and it is wonderful that so many people are engaging,” a museum spokesperson told Hyperallergic. “The regrettable behavior of a small number of visitors was not anticipated.”

The spokesperson noted that the Pokémon x Van Gogh Museum merchandise available on the first day was sold out in four hours. From now on, purchases will be limited to one of each item per person and will soon be available in the museum’s online shop. And the coveted “Pikachu in a Grey Felt Hat” trading card will only be distributed to participants of the “Pokémon Adventure” treasure hunt upon exiting the museum.

“Due to overwhelming demand, all our products from this collection have sold out,” The Pokémon Company announced this afternoon in a statement on X, apologizing to the many disappointed fans “who were looking to our official email and social media channels for guidance on how and when to purchase.”

The Pokémon Company said in its statement that it is already working on ways to provide future fans shopping at the Pokémon Center with access to the limited edition cards and that details will be announced later.

Gotta catch ‘em all, I guess!

Maya Pontone (she/her) is a Staff News Writer at Hyperallergic. Originally from Northern New Jersey, she currently resides in Brooklyn, where she covers daily news, both within and outside New York City....

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