Nintendo NES Classic Edition U.S. Sales Nearly Topped 200K Units In November, GameStop Preps Christmas Restock

The NES Classic Edition console is one of the hottest and hard to obtain toy items this holiday season. Nintendo and its retail partners have been selling out of every unit produced, which in the United States came out to 196,000 of the miniaturized consoles in November, according to data collected by industry tracking firm NPD Group. That is an impressive start for the NES Classic Edition, though it did not come close to meeting demand.

Stores that receive stock of the retro console have been selling out of whatever inventory they get in matter of seconds. At brick-and-mortar locations, any advance announcement of having stock at a particular day and time leads to people camping out in front of the store hours beforehand. The shortage has led to a NES Classic Edition consoles routinely selling on second-hand sites such as eBay and Craigslist for three times its retail value, or more—a look at eBay's most recently sold items shows the going rate is around $200 shipped, versus its MSRP of $60.

Nintendo NES Classic Edition Console

Nintendo of America's chief operating officer Reggie Fils-Aime recently stated that Nintendo is "constantly replenishing" stock to the marketplace, adding that consumers who want to find one before Christmas should be able to. That sounds a bit optimistic to us given the incredibly high demand, though there are a few retailers that are planning to offer more NES Classic Edition consoles this month.

Best Buy is one of them. The electronics chain said it will have "limited quantities" available in its physical locations starting December 20 and that they will be sold on a "first-come, first-serve basis." Amazon also teased that it would have stock sometime in the second half of this month, but hasn't offered up an specifics yet. Finally, GameStop announced it will have limited quantities today and tomorrow.

Nintendo NES Classic Edition Controller

Meanwhile, ThinkGeek is using a lottery system to sell whatever inventory it has—anyone who registers an account and adds the NES Classic Edition to their wishlist will be entered into a drawing. Those who are randomly selected will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to purchase the console. This has been going on for a few days now and will continue until ThinkGeek is out of stock. It is one of the more fair methods we've seen, and is certainly better than the bungled effort by Urban Outfitters earlier this month.

The NES Classic Edition console is a tiny version of the original that debuted in the 1980s. It comes with a single full-sized wired controller, HDMI cable, AC adapter, and 30 built-in games.