New Pokemon Oreos are giving fans something to get excited about — and providing collectors with a new avenue to potentially rake in thousands of dollars.
Launched earlier this month, the new Oreo x Pokemon collaboration features the brand's traditional sandwich cookies, this time emblazoned with one of 16 Pokemon (or pocket monsters, for the uninitiated). Each pack includes a random selection of cookies that feature classic characters like Pikachu and Charmander, but also one extremely rare Pokemon: the mythical Mew. And as has long been the case with rare Pokemon cards, the rarest Pokemon cookie of all has become a hot commodity.
An eBay search yields dozens of Mew Oreo cookies for sale, with prices listed everywhere from $50 to $10,000 to $100,000. Some listings promise a "mint condition" cookie; one claims the cookie was only handled with tongs, while others include photos showing the snack tucked safely in a plastic baggie. Judging from the items listed as "sold," a number of the cookies have gone for as low as a few dollars and for more than $15,000.
There are other collectors trying to turn a profit on full packs of the cookies, and not just on the rare Mew Oreo. While packs of Pokemon Oreos are sold in stores for less than $4, those who miss out on the limited-edition snacks and turn to eBay may find themselves looking at prices of $20 or much, much more. One pack sold for $1,200.
The cookies are the latest in a long line of Pokemon crazes
While collectable cookies may sound like an outlandish (and not very sustainable) idea, it's par for the course for the Pokemon franchise, whose products have encouraged devotion sometimes verging on mass hysteria for decades now.
"The thing about Pokemon, it was designed for people to just go collector crazy," Dennis Lee, a staff writer with The Takeout told Weekend Edition. "So you've got some characters that are really hard to capture, and the scarcity is what really drives up the prices."
Pokemon card collecting became the hot new hobby for kids and many adults in the '90s, and it's a subculture that's still going strong today. Some who have been diligent collectors have profited considerably: there are Pokemon cards that have sold for more than $45,000, according to the gaming site Kotaku.
Some fans stayed away to support striking workers
But not all Pokemon fans immediately joined in on the cookie craze. Employees for Nabisco, the company that makes Oreos, went on strike in five states last month to protest unfair demands. As part of the strike, workers asked the public to boycott Nabisco products, and some, like one Kotaku writer, chose to honor that request, rare cookies be damned.
The strike, however, ended with a union vote last week, according to the Huffington Post. So if you're so inclined, there may still be time to catch 'em all.
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