How to buy the hottest toy of the 2016 season, even though it's sold out and 30 years old

NES Classic sold out after going on sale Friday
Posted at 9:40 PM, Nov 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-17 00:51:35-05

DENVER -- The hottest toy of 2016 is nearly impossible to find, even though it's 30-years-old.

The NES Classic Edition, an old school Nintendo with 30 preloaded games has been sold out since it went on sale on Friday.

This week, however, Walmart has been putting an unknown number of consoles on sale every day at 3 p.m. Mountain Time.

HOW-TO: Click here to go to the page that you'll need to repeatedly refresh at 3 p.m.

Denver7 reporter (and former Nintendo owner) Marshall Zelinger, tried buying the Nintendo throwback at 3 p.m., ignoring his afternoon news meeting.

After getting a "technical difficulties" error, an NES Classic was put in his checkout cart, and when he went to check out, the website said:

"We're sorry, the item below is no longer available."

After trying to check out a second time, another screen showed a new failure:

"Due to state restrictions this item can't be shipped to 80203 or picked up in stores nearby."

Walmart media relations did not respond to questions in an email form request sent shortly after the website fake out.

Denver7 still wants to know how many consoles are being released each day and why the website appeared to find one in stock, just to say it was no longer available.

When you try on Thursday and Friday, you may want to log into a Walmart online account ahead of time, for fast checkout. Also get acquainted with your "F5" key to refresh the page.

eBay and other online shopping sites have NES Classic consoles already posted for four times as much, and one listed at $3,999.99.

Why is the hottest toy something that many video gamers got tired of decades ago?

"Just taking me back to my childhood, back to simpler times when we weren't hustling and bustling, worried about who the President was," said Justin Branch. "If you're looking at who grew up with it, we're all parents now, so who's going to buy it for their kids? The parents are buying it for their kids and the parents are going to want to play it with their kids."

"I don't know if it's the simplicity or nostalgia," said Austin Clarkson.

Denver7 found the two video gamers at Grandma's House, a brewery on South Broadway in Denver. Besides beer, the menu includes video games from yesteryear.

"That's actually why we came here, was to play these games," said Clarkson. "They're pretty tough too. They're pretty challenging. You can't go back to a saved position. You have to sit down and play through the entire game, there's no going back, which I completely forgot about that."

While chatting with Denver7, Branch was busy playing Street Fighter for Super Nintendo. He said he still had his original Nintendo at home.

"Still rocking the Paperboy, Mario Bros, even some Tecmo Bowl," he said. "Man, if you ain't blowing in the cartridges man, you ain't doing it right."

That's one benefit of the new system -- there is no need to blow into the cartridge itself to get the game to work. (Reporter's Note: You'll likely find online articles that suggest blowing into the cartridge did nothing, but Nintendo video gamers know that's not true.)

Target, which is also sold out of the console, told Denver7:

"We will be replenishing inventory throughout the holiday season and encourage guests to check back at their local Target store."

Best Buy responded:

"We don't comment on inventory, nor future release plans."


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