Or how an influencer added a whole new generation and segment of an audience to an already crowded market. Within the last few weeks, both Walmart and Target have suspended the sale of trading cards in their stores due to customers that don't know how to act like mature grown-ups. There has been a huge surge in Pokémon cards in particular, and a lot of people seem to be getting back into card games in general. When it came to quarantine, a lot of people turned to things that brought them joy as children or young adults to cope, and that isn't surprising. It was an extremely stressful time for everyone and whatever you needed to do to get through the quarantine with any semblance of sanity is a good thing. That explains the uptick in adults wanting cards again, but that doesn't explain the new generation that are dipping their toes into Pokémon cards for the first time. For that, we have to thank YouTuber Logan Paul.
So Paul isn't directly involved in why Target and Walmart had to halt their sales, obviously, but when it comes to introducing a new generation and audience to the cards, he absolutely played a role. Paul is one the biggest names to come out of youtube, and his audience remains on the younger side. His audience isn't just limited to kids who already have interests in things like Pokémon. Kids from all walks of life and interest watch Paul's videos, and he's considered an influencer which means if he's into something, those kids in the audience will want to be into it too.
On October 3rd, 2020, Paul posted a video to his 23 million followers titled, "I Bought A $200,000 Box Of Pokémon Cards." At the time of writing, the video has 8 million views on youtube. Just six days later, Paul hosted a charity live stream called "Opening The $200,000 1st Edition Pokemon Box (Official Live Stream)." At the time of writing, it has over 11 million views and the fundraising done from that live stream was over $130,000, and it went to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Several months went by, and Paul posted his third Pokemon-related video titled, "I Spent $2,000,000 On Pokémon Cards." This one has over 6.5 million views. Finally, Paul hosted another live stream titled "Opening The $1,000,000 1st Edition Pokemon Box (Official Live Stream)," and this time, it has 5.2 million views. That's a total of 30 million views across just four videos of a whole new generation potentially being introduced to this card game.
The explosion of things that were considered retro is not that surprising. We all needed something to get quarantine, and in the case of Logan Paul, he needed #content to pay the bills and chose something that was already pretty popular. Regardless, it's going to be interesting to see if this boom in the card sector is temporary or if they are really coming back in a way that will be long-term. Either way, there will be a Paul brother there to insert themselves into whatever thing is popular now.