Every year, parents are confronted with an elusive holy grail of toys. From Fingerlings to Hatchimals, popular toys have parents hunting every holiday season because they just end up flying off the shelves and online in seconds. If your kid is hoping to get Nintendo’s newest retro gaming system, you can feel the struggle, so you should know how to get the SNES Classic, even if it requires some extra time and money.
My daughter is an avid gamer and a huge fan of Nintendo in general, so I wasn’t shocked when she asked for their newest novelty gaming system: the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) Classic Edition. I would love to get it for her, but the problem is that I can never find it in stock anywhere. Whenever I’m alerted of stock available online or in store, the consoles sell out in seconds. The only places you can find the SNES easily is from scalpers on eBay and Amazon. The good news is that stores should be getting more stock of SNES consoles for the holidays.
This week ThinkGeek announced that it will give consumers a chance to buy an SNES Classic in a more fair manner. According to their website, after signing up (with email or login), people will be randomly chosen to gain access to the purchase, keeping bots and scalpers out of the picture. Their website further noted that they have a shipment sitting in their warehouse, and this drawing is the fairest way to distribute them. Sounds fair enough to me.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aimé mentioned that Nintendo is working on getting a steadier supply of SNES consoles in stores for the upcoming months. He explained that last year’s fiasco with the NES Classic (they didn’t make enough of them) has put Nintendo on a path to ensure people don’t have too much trouble finding them in stock. While Nintendo may be doing its part with the production and distribution, it’s hard to keep a track of demand due to scalpers and bots (programs that automatically buy up all the stock as it is released).
So why is the SNES Classic so popular? It isn’t the highest tech console, nor does it do anything really spectacular, but according to Nintendo expert Alaleh Zafar, it’s all about the sentiment associated with its games. “Many people are buying these consoles for nostalgia,” explains Zafar, “adults are getting to play their favorite childhood games, while kids are getting a feel of what gaming used to be.”
Zafar says that the SNES Classic Edition is essentially a tiny retro gaming console that comes with 21 of Nintendo’s greatest classic games, including Donkey Kong, Super Mario World, and Zelda. The console comes with two wired controllers and provides a retro gaming experience with its graphics, aesthetic, and feel when connecting via an HDMI port to your TV. And for a gaming console with so much hype, it has a pretty affordable price tag of just $79.99.
So if you are looking to get your hands on an SNES Console, you should definitely enter the ThinkGeek drawing soon. You can also keep an eye out on stock alerts with websites like BrickSeek and NowInStock, and if lucky, you can get one before the bots buy them up. In a phone interview, one local GameStop employee suggested that you can sign up on Gamestop’s website for SNES Classic stock alerts, as well as calling your local store weekly for stock updates and arrival information.
As a last resort, if you are willing to spend the extra bucks, you can get one from resellers on Ebay, Amazon, and Walmart’s website. Resellers are charging from $100 to $200 for the consoles, so you’ll be paying a lot more than it is worth. But at the end of the day, for most parents, a smile on their kids face is priceless, so whether it requires an excessive hunt or some excessive cash, you’ll do what you have to.
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