Classics always find their way back into popularity, and Nintendo’s NES Classic Edition from 1985 is a perfect example. The video game console was re-released in November, and people have experienced a tough time trying to get their hands on one after selling out within minutes at U.S. retailers.
The nostalgic gaming console is essentially a miniature version of its old-school Nintendo Entertainment System and is pre-loaded with 30 different games like Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Pac-Man, and more. The console is also paired with its classic miniature controller and an HDMI cord that is a little on the short side if you are wanting to comfortably play from your couch.
The console’s current retail price is $60, which means its 30 games are practically free.
Stores like Best Buy, Target, and Gamestop, which are usually fully equipped to sell popular items like the NES Classic Edition, have been selling out regularly, and their updates have been few and far between.
Walmart offered the console during a November promotion, but the site crashed every day the first week when the new stock went on sale and sold out in less than a minute due to the high demand. So what’s a gaming fan to do?
How to buy the NES Classic Edition right now
Gaming and toy stores like Player’s Choice and Chunk Toys are selling the NES Classic at a hefty price that fluctuates weekly. Player’s Choice is offering the console for $239 with $5 shipping, and Chunk Toys is selling it for a total of $249 and free shipping. Chunk Toys also offers a two-player bundle for $299.
Third-party sellers on Amazon are offering the NES Classic anywhere between $180 to an insane $1,000.
Gamestop started selling the mini NES Classic in their physical stores on Dec. 15. Make sure to call and check the availability before making a trip.
The NES Classic is listed as the second best-selling product in the video game consoles category on eBay, with prices ranging from $41 to a ridiculous $12,000.
Walmart is selling consoles for $227 with free standard shipping. The superstore also offers an option to purchase through third-party sellers with prices ranging from $224 to $239.
The Nintendo store in New York announced Tuesday that the NES Classic will be available for purchase at the physical store starting at 9am while supplies last.
One good option for scoring Nintendo’s NES Classic Edition is through third-party sellers like Gameinstock.com and Players Choice Videogames, which are offering the NES Classic Edition for between $200 and $250. Craigslist and eBay sellers are offering the consoles for purchase as of this writing, and a lot of sellers offer free shipping to make up for the steep after-market raise in price point.
On Dec. 14, Amazon announced its Amazon Prime Now members would be able to order the gaming console on Dec. 15 with a free two-hour delivery service. The offer was only available while supplies lasted in Austin, New York, Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.
Amazon’s first batch of brick-and-mortars called Amazon Books located in Seattle, San Diego, and Portland, Oregon, announced they will carry the NES Classic Edition in stores. The first shipment will most likely be sold out, since the announcement was made on Dec. 8, but Amazon has reassured anxious fans that more NES Classics might appear back in stores for the holidays.
For cities that don’t have the Amazon bookstores yet, Amazon has third-party sellers too, which are selling the gaming console as steep as $400. Granted, it isn’t the original bargain price, but if patience is not your best virtue, this seems to be the quickest way to get yourself a new toy with free shipping probably thrown in for pity.
According to a corporate email that was posted on Twitter, GameStop will be selling a limited quantity of NES Classics for purchase in its physical stores starting Dec. 15. Make sure to call and check stock availability before making the drive to the nearest video game store, as the distribution will not be applied to all locations.A Best Buy representative told Forbes on Sunday that it expects to sell the consoles in all stores Dec. 20 but to expect an “extremely limited” amount of consoles in stock. People hoping to snag one should also probably expect to bring a heavy jacket and lounge chairs, as long lines will definitely be present.
EBay is another great option for the fastest service and lowest price point. The online resale shop has been selling NES Classics every minute and 23 seconds, according to Polygon, and they’re selling as low as $143.
“EBay is the destination for hard-to-find consoles, from the rare and vintage variety, to hot trending options, like the Nintendo NES Classic Edition,” Jay Hanson, vice president of North American merchandising at eBay said.
Craigslist might be in your favor as another option for instant gratification. The majority of sellers are willing to meet in person to complete the trade deal. Chances of finding an NES Classic Edition in your neighborhood might be slim, but it is worth a shot. Prices for the gaming console on Craigslist range from $175 to $500.
Even though Nintendo was shortsighted in not properly preparing for a huge sell-out, there is positive news. According to the Wall Street Journal, a spokeswoman for Nintendo said there "will be a steady flow of additional systems" on its website and for other retailers moving through the holiday season and early next year.
To get an NES Classic Edition right now, one will have to take one for the team in paying the price and check out third-party sellers on eBay or Amazon. There is currently no word on when the restock day will come for Nintendo, but it can be assumed these will be sold at the same price tag from the first release of $60.So if you are patient enough to wait around for the convenience of purchasing the NES Classic Edition, you will save yourself a chunk of extra money to spend on holiday gifts. If you are not, you definitely have the right to flaunt your new NES Classic Edition.
Here’s the full list of games that will be available:
- Balloon Fight
- Bubble Bobble
- Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
- Donkey Kong
- Donkey Kong Jr.
- Double Dragon II: The Revenge
- Dr. Mario
- Final Fantasy
- Ghosts' N Ghoblins
- Ice Climber
- Kid Icarus
- Kirby's Adventure
- Mario Bros.
- Mega Man 2
- Ninja Gaiden
- Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream
- SUPER C
- Super Mario Bros.
- Super Mario Bros. 2
- Super Mario Bros. 3
- Tecmo Bowl
- The Legend of Zelda
- Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
Editor's note: This article is updated regularly for relevance.