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What it takes to get a NES Classic

NES Classic Edition Walmart

Finding a NES Classic anywhere is a difficult achievement these days. Nintendo’s $60 box of nostalgia is sold out nationwide, and although some stock does keep trickling in, you’re competing with 1,000 other Nintendo fanboys looking to relive the glory days while writing off the purchase as a family-friendly Christmas gift for the kids.

That’s not to say it’s impossible, though. We have our own guide to finding a NES Classic for the RRP, and according to accounts floating around the internet, people have actually been successful. It takes a little perseverance, though.

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At this point, the most reliable way to actually get a Classic is to hunt for stock at a local store and go buy it in person. Most of the time, that requires using a website like NowInStock to track stock updates. A lot of the time, Classics will become ‘in stock’ in a small number overnight, so users have been going to camp out in front of the store for hours so that they’re the first people there at opening. Users from NowInStock have been sharing tips, and the occasional tales of joy:

“Got mine today at Target. Manager there was so awesome. When he saw me waiting, first in line, he asked what I was waiting for and went back to verify that they had them so I wasn’t waiting for nothing. The site said they had 8 and I was there by 4am with my daughter in tow. After about 30 minutes waiting (still the only one there) the manager came back out and took my name promising to pull one off the shelf for me so that my daughter and I didn’t have to wait there another 3.5 hours.”

“I got one yesterday, it kept showing one, I went to Target in the morning they said that they didn’t have any, I was watching the inventory and it still said one I sent my wife around 11 am and she spoke with an electronics employee and he looked up the number, and it said 1 available, he went in the back and went through all the boxes that came off the truck, and he found it in the last box it was upside down.”

There is a darker side, though. One user summed it up nicely by leaving this parting message: “I just gave up my health is more important right now.”

Weirdly enough, standing outside a Walmart at 4AM is not the furthest people have gone for a Classic. A New York Times report on the phenomenon says that people are searching stock on the other side of the Atlantic ocean, with one user getting his pre-ordered console shipped from Edinburgh.

And then, there are the people buying the Classic on eBay. A search shows that consoles have been sold to real people for as high as $2,850, with prices over $1,000 actually common. If you’re determined, you can probably get one slowly shipped to you for around $200-300, although historical price data shows it’ll almost definitely get higher the closer we get to Christmas.

In short, your best bets at getting a Classic before Christmas remain physical stores, or ponying up $300 on eBay. Truly it’s the most wonderful time of the year.