INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana State Fair is in full swing with thousands of Hoosiers enjoying the food, games and fun for a few days now.
Beyond the Ferris wheel, elephant ears and double-decker carousel, a secret activity has been underway since July 30 — a Pokémon scavenger hunt.
Moonshot Games, along North 9th Street in Noblesville has hidden QR codes throughout the state fair, redeemable for $10,000 worth of Pokémon collectibles.
“Pokémon’s just such an awesome game. Kids from 3,4,5 years old all the way up to collectors like me love the game,” Moonshot Games owner Jayson Manship said. “I said we have a game store, we have physical cards, and Pokémon is super hot right now, the trading card game, and I said what if we took trading cards and hid those?”
Whether it’s prized individual cards, packs or plush characters, the Pokémon craze you may remember as a child is back.
“Back in the 90s, this game was massive everywhere, and now as the collectors markets have kicked up over the pandemic, I mean everybody wants this,” Manship said. “We can’t keep the cards in stock. We buy as much as we can possibly buy, we’re probably one of the largest Pokémon buyers in the Midwest as a store, and we still can’t keep it in stock.”
Manship says the cards fly off the shelves. Maybe that’s partially because he’s giving away thousands of dollars worth of his own collection.
“We’re taking actual Pokémon cards and hiding them all over the state fair. Everyday we’re hiding new ones with new clues,” Manship said. “The state fair is just something I’ve looked forward to ever since I was a little kid.
“Every year, it’s one of my favorite things in the world, and we’ve never done a state fair, and we’ve never done a scavenger hunt like this either, but as our brand has kind of grown and more people are familiar with Moonshot Games, we said we really want to branch out outside of the square of downtown Noblesville and make this as fun as possible for as many people as possible.”
While the physical cards, packs and boxes themselves won’t be hidden, 20 card-sized QR codes will be. If you find one, scan it with your phone and redeem it at Moonshot Games booth inside the Hoosier Lottery Expo Hall.
One of the cards they’ve hidden is this 1999 Pokémon Game Charizard – Holo. Alone it’s worth at least $250.
“The best Pokémon of all time from the earliest set of all time in holographic format — it’s kind of the grand prize,” Manship said. “It’s a really great card. It’s something collectors would love to have and something kids would love to have.”
Collectors like YouTuber RealBreakingNate, a Pendleton, Indiana native.
“Just seeing people get excited about Pokémon again, I mean, Pokémon was huge in the 90s, and it’s still huge to this day,” Nate said. “I mean, it’s kind of a dream come true. I mean, because my whole life is Pokémon really, you know?”
RealBreakingNate’s YouTube account has nearly a million subscribers. Manship reached out to Nate to help announce their scavenger hunt and hide the codes.
That video has more than 55,000 views.
“I never would have thought that I would have been able to do something like this and, but here we are,” Nate said. “For people to be able to come to someplace like the state fair and enjoy Pokémon together as a family, I mean that’s, that’s priceless right there. It really is. I’m so happy to be a part of it.”
If you’re looking for some of the QR codes, be sure to look for clues on Findmoonshot.com and on both Moonshot Games and RealBreakingNate’s social media accounts.
Recently, some codes have been hidden in the concession area, near a ride or game.
“It’s really important to look high and to look low. They might not always be in the most obvious of spots,” Nate said. “You may have to look behind something, but if you spend some time I think you’ll walk away happy.”