If you are into the Pokémon Trading Card Game, you are May I heard about the name Gary Haase. Known by many as “Pokémon Re”, This 67-year-old father of three fame claims is that his TCG collection is worth $ 10 million – making it the most valuable collection of its kind in the world.
Haase is treated like a rockstar every time he shows up at events and has celebrities all over the world approaching him in hopes that he will part with a part of his collection. It is reported that Justin Bieber has been in contact, but Haase is famously reluctant to sell his assets (a recent exception has been YouTuber Logan Paul, who purchased a first-edition Charizard PSA 10 card for $ 150,000 and then took it to the ring for his “boxing” match with former champion Floyd Mayweather).
At a time where Pokémon TCG is hotter than ever the cards change hands for insane amounts of money, Haase is considered a legitimate celebrity himself (a recent encounter and greetings with him at the Collect-A-Con event in the United States lasted for five hours – should last an hour and a half).
Haase’s profile means he’s a target of contempt and acclaim, of course, and recent comments he made during an interview have frustrated fans in the wrong way.
During the interview – taken from a show about finance instead of Pokémon – Haase discussed one of his precious Charizard cards, in this case signed (on the protective case, not directly on the card) by the original artist Mitsuhiro Arita. Arita, in case you didn’t know, has been involved with Pokémon TCG for decades and has created art for hundreds of cards. Among fans, he is revered and adored.
As you might expect, the reaction to the clip was not good:
However, many people have pointed out that Haase’s comments were taken entirely out of context and were made in a show that is focused on finances. They said he wasn’t despised – rather, he was pointing out that the card was of such high value that the firm wouldn’t make a huge amount of difference to its price.
For his part, Haase responded to the original tweet via his own Instagram account and highlighted the charitable work he participated in with his wife.
He also posted the following statement regarding the clip, confirming that his comment has been taken out of context (edited to remove the emoji and some ‘lol’s):
Since there have been several messages on the Arita comment. This comment has been taken out of context which is a trend today. I was just referring to that card. I have a dozen Arita cars with 5 or 6 including big sketches that I like.
According to the text, I have inflated the market even though I have only sold 3 cards out of my collection in 5 years. I bought a hundred though. I think making it the most popular hobby is equivalent to inflating the market.
This girl for some reason is very mean and ugly on social media but it’s not about her. We weren’t all raised the same. We don’t know what evidence these children hated went through. Best to let them work their own hatred.
I prefer that it’s about us. What can we do to shed light on others? How can we raise them? 99% of our community is positive, charitable and loving. Don’t let the 1% affect, as RealBreakingNate would say, your positive vibes.
While Haase seems to have a point here, the negative reaction has a lot to do with the way in which Pokémon TCG has been transformed into a massive money-spinning exercise in modern times, with Driven reporting that those responsible for classifying a card (and therefore deciding its value) are subject to intense scrutiny.