Target suspends in-store sales of sports cards, cites safety

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Target on Friday cited safety concerns in suspending in-store sales of sports and Pokemon trading cards, but it made no mention of a recent fight over cards outside a Wisconsin store.

Although the Minneapolis-based retailer didn’t give a direct reason for the change, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that it came after police in Brookfield, Wisconsin, said four men attacked another man over cards on May 7.

“The safety of our guests and our team is our top priority,” Target said in a statement. “Out of an abundance of caution, we’ve decided to temporarily suspend the sale of MLB, NFL, NBA and Pokémon trading cards within our stores, effective May 14. Guests can continue to shop these cards online at Target.com.”

Dave Bonde, president of Twin Cities Sports Collectors Club, said sports cards have been rising in value over the past year for several reasons: the emergence of some exciting rookies in baseball; the release of a documentary about the Chicago Bulls during the Michael Jordan years; and Kobe Bryant’s untimely death. He also said card companies are printing fewer cards.

“The boxes of cards are not as readily available as they once were in the ’80s and ’90s,” Bonde said.

He cited a 2011 Topps “update” card for Angels star Mike Trout.

“Up to a year ago, it was probably a $20-25 card,” Bonde said. “Now it’s approaching over $1,000.”

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This story has been corrected to show the collector’s last name is Bonde, not Bondi.

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