|So I did not get a Wii pre-order.|
10.29.06 / 07:58PM / Joe
This was extremely sucky. I had pre-orders with Toys R Us on both the PS2 and the GameCube, with almost no effort. I made no special trips. I just grabbed a pre-sell ticket during any old random visit and, on launch day, I got there as the store opened.
Obviously something awful has happened over the last five to six years. And it's either that the console manufacturers just stopped making enough to go around, or, launch day hype has finally come to sleepy, racist, pro-creation south central Pennsylvania. Because this is what I saw when I arrived at Toys R Us around 8am, two hours before opening:
The guys in the front, apart from most likely being complete eBay bastards, had been there all night. They had dismantled their tents just before I arrived. They were also unhelpfully blocking the signs that offered some explanation of what was going on: 15 Wii pre-orders, 5 PS3 pre-orders, and 150 TMX Elmos.
Yeah, a new shipment of Elmo dolls. Most of the people directly around me in line had no idea that PlayStations and Nintendos were even there; they assumed everyone was queueing up for a TMX Elmo. I did a fair amount of explaining what a "Wii" is, which only underscores the idiocy of abandoning your brand name in favor of something new.
But look at those numbers: only 15 Wiis! That is tripe. And 5 PS3s is embarrassing. I stuck it out, just in case. But all the Wii tickets were snapped up by the choads who had, admittedly, slept on concrete all night.
I cornered the manager later and he said that he did not anticipate any more PS3s arriving on launch day, and that additional Wiis were a big "maybe." Nintendo has made a lot of talk about how many Wiis they intend to ship before the end of the year, so they better deliver on that. I'm still debating the odds on a launch day stakeout to get a non-pre-ordered Wii. And there's always Target and Wal-Mart. Or I just don't get a Day One model and steer clear of the tidal wave until they start getting on shelves without all the forced-scarcity panic.
Sucks. It was so easy last time.
Here's the line behind me. It's almost entirely Elmos at this point.
The good news is that Toys R Us had the last two Spider-Man and Friends toys that we needed, Super Strength Colossus and Flipping Action Beast. This is the final wave of the line; it's officially dead. What a shame. They clearly did artwork for a Friends-ified Storm and Thor, but they never made figures of them. Although, looking back, I've been collecting these for five years now, so maybe that's a good healthy timeframe for a kids toy line.
Clark finds the flipping Beast figure unexplainably hilarious: