Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum caused quite a stir in September when it announced its partnership with the Pokémon Company. Such was the enthusiasm of players and collectors that the museum had to stop selling merchandise from this surprising collaboration. But the collectibles in question could soon be relaunched.
The "Pikachu with Grey Felt Hat" card could be back on the market from February onwards, according to Artnet News. This limited-edition item, depicting the most famous Pokémon wearing the gray felt hat worn by Van Gogh in one of his self-portraits, will reportedly be available in the coming weeks in selected video game stores in the Netherlands.
However, it's possible that only a handful of collectors will be able to get their hands on it. In fact, the card will apparently be offered free of charge to gamers who spend at least €30 on Pokémon merchandise, according to the specialist website Pokebeach.
The prospect of a potential return to the market of this collector's item has been greeted with great enthusiasm by fans. In October, the Van Gogh Museum announced on the FAQ page of its website that it would no longer be selling the Pokémon card "Pikachu with Grey Felt Hat."
The art establishment took this decision after hundreds of gamers and collectors visited its store to try to buy one of the merchandising products combining the universe of the Japanese franchise with that of the Dutch painter. Videos posted on social networks show scenes of jostling, creating what the Van Gogh Museum described as an "undesirable situation."
"[That] has led us to take the difficult decision to remove the Pikachu with Grey Felt Hat promo card from the museum. In this way, visitors will be able to experience this special collection of Pokémon paintings and the rest of the museum in a safe and enjoyable manner," explained the Van Gogh Museum on its website. It added that both the museum and the Pokémon Company "take the safety and security of visitors and staff very seriously."
Fans of the Pokémon franchise have sought solace on the internet, and on eBay in particular, in the hope of catching one of these cards. But they often face spending large amounts of money to get their hands on the limited-edition collectible. The rare examples of the "Pikachu with Grey Felt Hat" card on sale online reach hundreds or even thousands of dollars on online resale platforms.