There I was, standing outside of my local Target at six in the morning. A line had already formed behind me, but I was the first. The original Nintendo Entertainment System had been very dear to me, and when Nintendo announced the NES Classic, my heart swelled. Nostalgia in a sixty dollar box.
That feeling quickly turned sour when they announced that they would not be taking preorders for the miniature box of gold. I knew then that come November 11th, I would have to be diligent. That I could not lose hope.
I want you to imagine the worst feeling you have ever had in your life. That first, terrible break-up. Remember when your childhood dog died? That feeling. Your heart sinking like the Titanic, Rose and all. As I ran to the electronics counter, I want you to imagine a head-on collision of pure joy and despair as a teenager in a red polo put his scrawny hand up and said:
“Only one per customer.”
The outrage was tangible. I could see the hate and anger on their faces as I yelled at the store clerk, holding up the line in the name of justice. “This is preposterous!” I screamed, waving my fat stack of twenties in the cashier’s face. Refusing my right to purchase mass quantities of a high-demand, low-supply hot ticket item for the purposes of reselling? Let me speak to your manager.
The angry mob roared in admiration behind me as the manager finally relented and allowed me to buy two. It was a small victory, but we had earned it. As I passed by the line on my way out, I could hear them chanting in unison.
“Scalper, Scalper, SCALPER.”
The poor Target employee had no idea he was going up against a revolution.
How could Nintendo do this? How could they force me to give a hundred dollars to the guy in the Gamestop line so that I could sell it for five hundred? How could they make me wait in front of three smartphones and two computers so that at 2 P.M. I could flood Amazon with my multiple accounts and prevent anyone else from buying a NES Classic Edition at MSRP?
I have been one of Nintendo’s biggest supporters all my life, but as someone who uses nostalgia for financial gain – with 98 percent approval rating on eBay, no less – I can't help but feel like I'm being taken advantage of. Nintendo should be ashamed of making their customers jump through hoops to resell their product at five times its original value. Don't they know this manufactured shortage benefits nobody?
I can only hope they start taking Switch preorders soon. Some of us have a house to pay for.