Gotta catch ’em all, right? Looks like a bunch of hobby shops in South Korea won’t be getting their next shipment of Pokémon toys this month. Authorities in South Korea seized over 530,000 unlicensed Pokémon plushie toys.
A report from YTN News, which we’ve posted below, says the plushies were smuggled into the country at some point between April 25th and June 2nd, 2017. From there, they were then illegally circulated to several shops and arcade businesses as toys and crane game prizes. The total cost of these toys is over $6 million USD.
This isn’t the first time this has happened. In fact, this kind of stuff happens more frequently in Great Britain, the United States, Japan, and Russia more than you think. Back in the early ’00s, I remember a story on Yahoo that said illegal shipments to the U.S. of kids toys for amusement parks and recreational toys was so high, the chances of you having a fake one was one in five.
Even with shipments being monitored closely these days, you can’t stop what people do on eBay or third-party websites. But when it comes to mass distribution, other countries have their act together, which is what led to the bust you see in front of you.
A small bit of humor to this is that once the word was out about the fakes and their Chinese distributor, businesses across South Korea took them out of their shops, businesses, and arcades to send them to authorities — which means somewhere in South Korea, there’s a police officer in a warehouse acting as a real-life version of Professor Oak, receiving hundreds of Pokémon that no one wants.