"There were some WTFs flying": Collector shocked after US customs shreds Pokemon Yellow copy he spent thousands on

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

A sealed and near-flawless boxed copy of Pokemon Yellow was recently reported to have been totally obliterated by US customs, and the collector who paid several thousand dollars for the game is understandably upset by the "senseless damage." 

Last week, we wrote about the destruction of a collectible version of Pokemon Yellow worth anywhere between $4,000 and $10,000. The copy, which boasted a 9.2 rating from grading experts WATA, had its case, seal, and box destroyed as it went through shipping, slashing its value.

We reached out to the game's new owner, the_master_of_unlocking, to ask about their response to the game's destruction. "My initial reaction was one of shock, naturally. It was really disappointing and disheartening seeing the senseless damage done to the game." The damage to the case was of little overall importance, but "destroying the game box seem[ed] a step too far, considering there were alternative methods to opening the game's cardboard box that didn't involve cutting the front completely off."

The_master_of_unlocking says that they began collecting around 20 years ago, focusing primarily on the SNES, Sega Genesis, and Neo Geo systems "with an emphasis on the best and traditionally rare titles." While they described their significant attention to detail, they admitted that they had been starting to trim down their collection: "As I have gotten older I had less time to player these once-cherished games and I needed to simplify my life. Recently, I started to cull many of my things and just hold on to a few items that are important to me."

That included Pokemon Yellow. "I was thoroughly entranced," they said of the game. Unfortunately, the_master_of_unlocking says that they'd "regretfully given up a mint copy of the game years earlier and were trying to secure a near-mint copy for display on my office desk. I wanted something that reminded me of the simpler times in my life." That led them to this particular copy, which was close to the market rate, the beneficiary of a helpful currency conversion between Canada and the US, and in good condition.

The initial shock upon receiving the damaged goods quickly led to anger: "I am generally a reserved and calm person but there were some WTFs flying around that day for sure." From there, work to recover the costs began. The_master_of_unlocking says they're working with the seller (who has been "both communicative and collaborative as we work to resolve this incident" and is "just as disappointed by this outcome as I am") and their credit card company, but those efforts are ongoing. 

While the game was shipped by UPS, "by default that offers very little protection unless you can prove that the carrier was at fault." With no insurance in place and UPS very much not at fault, hope would appear to lie with PayPal's claims process, especially since the_master_of_unlocking says they have no plans to get in touch with either the airport or US customs, at least until the claims process is over.

Speaking of Pokemon Yellow, find out if it placed in our best Pokemon games list. 

Ali Jones
News Editor

I'm GamesRadar's news editor, working with the team to deliver breaking news from across the industry. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.