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  • As early as 2020, employees at Pokemon printing factories have been stealing cards off the production line.
  • Thousands of cards were stolen from the Fusion Strike expansion back in 2021.
  • One famous stolen collection was valued between $200-600k

If you have noticed that you’re not getting a lot of hits while opening Pokemon card packs, this could be due to employees stealing Secret Rare cards from production before they are put on store shelves.

The Pokemon TCG community has been buzzing about a viral photo of Secret Rare cards stacked high on a table, all from 2021’s Fusion Strike set. This shocking photo is actually leaked from an investigation of Pokemon employees back in January of 2022.

Starting in 2020, employees at Pokemon printing factories would snatch a few cards off of the production line and then sell them for some quick cash after noticing that the prices of cards had skyrocketed during the global health crisis.

According to PokeBeach, The Pokemon Company International started to investigate the theft rumors and found out that thousands of Secret Rare cards from the Fusion Strike expansion were stolen from a factory in 2021. The giant stack of rare and valuable cards were offered to a card store in Texas called Trading Card World.

The store told PokeBeach in a subsequent interview that they were approached by an individual selling their “hits” from the set. But TCW was skeptical when they saw that the guy had thousands of cards, all super rare. This seemed nearly impossible for a customer to obtain.

“The seller explained his connection to his source and we immediately contacted TPCi through proper channels,” Trading Card World said.

This resulted in TPCi getting a hold of the stolen cards, the “largest return of stolen property to date.” The individual has most likely been identified and caught since the investigation concluded in 2022. But the Pokemon TCG has just found out about this insane story in the past few days.

Players that got a look at the photo estimated that the Secret Rare collection was worth at least $200,000 to $600,000 at the time. The community was also flabbergasted that the guy would try to sell the entire collection at once, an instantly suspicious thing to do.

Were Pokemon TCG Pulls Impacted?

It seems as though the investigation is complete and the people stealing cards from factories are caught. But this left Pokemon players wondering if their own pulls were negatively impacted by the behavior, with some fans noting that they had terrible luck when opening Fusion Strike packs.

Secret Rare cards are printed on different paper from more common cards, which means they are printed separately during production. This was confirmed by The Pokemon Company International during a video that showed the production of a card set from start to finish.

In the leaked photos and videos from the investigation, it can be assumed that the thief stole a single box of Fusion Strike Secret Rares. So would one stolen box of Secret Rares impact pull rates?

PokeBeach said no, explaining that 27 million cards are printed per day — billions a year. One stolen box of Secret Rares wouldn’t significantly decrease the amount of Secret Rares in the Fusion Strike packs. A few unfortunate souls were probably impacted but it wasn’t a widespread phenomenon.

Still, Pokemon players are still lamenting about their low pull rates and wondering if Pokemon would ever consider giving them a refund for not getting any hits. The answer? No. The Pokemon Company does not guarantee good pulls or any pulls at all.

Unfortunately, this Fusion Strike theft isn’t the only time that employees have been accused of stealing rare cards. 2005’s EX Unseen Forces were also stolen in bulk from factories, another investigated and solved incident. So Pokemon players continuing to be vocal about insider theft is overall a good thing and will hopefully stop future incidents from occurring as TPCi continues to crack down on the issue.