Toys R Us Restocking NES Classic Edition On Sunday, GameStop Rep Says Nintendo Dropped The Ball

NES Classic 2
The NES Classic Edition game console is this year's Tickle Me Elmo, only it's not just kids who have it on their wish lists, it's adults too. And just like the Sesame Street doll, Nintendo's retro-themed miniature game console is sold out everywhere, save for second-hand sellers who have gone and jacked up the price on places such as eBay and Craigslist. If you really want to grab one in time for Christmas, you can pay a grossly inflated price, or you can try your chance at Toys R Us tomorrow.

Toys R Us is kicking off its Christmas sale bonanza on Sunday. It's a week long event featuring an assortment of toys and electronics, including the NES Classic Edition console and Hatchimals, another of this holiday season's hottest and hard to find items.

"On Sunday, we're launching our Great Big Christmas Sale (Dec. 4 thru 10) and the catalog, which is arriving in homes in the coming days, features Hatchimals and NES," Toys R Us told CNBC. "Our stores are receiving shipments of both holiday must-haves to support and we expect that when stores open at 8 am, they will sell very quickly."

Translation? You'll probably have to show up early and wait in line if you're hoping to score either item. It's reminiscent of how Apple customers used to camp out in front of Apple Stores and Best Buy locations when a new iPhone or iPad was released, a practice that's largely been replaced by online pre-orders.

The NES Classic Edition is a miniature version of the original NES that launched in the early 1980s. It doesn't accept game cartridges like the original, but it does come with 30 classic titles pre-loaded, along with a wired controller that's also a throwback.

It's supposed to cost $60, a pretty good value that's akin to paying $2 per pre-loaded game and getting the hardware for free. However, the console sold out almost immediately at every retailer that carried it and quickly found its way to eBay. A look at recently completely sales shows that it averages around $200.

NES Classic Edition Console

While Toys R Us will have some units available tomorrow, it's not clear if other retailers such as Walmart and Target will get more stock in time for Christmas. Nintendo issued a statement in November saying that "there will be a steady flow of additional systems through the holiday season and into the new year," but that's turned out to be an empty promise so far. Even some retailers feel that way.

One GameStop employee told Business Insider that "Nintendo's dropping the ball," while several others it contacted suggested checking back frequently by phone. Just be prepared for a response similar to the one Arnold Schwarznegger's character received in Jingle All the Way when inquiring about a Turbo Man doll.

ToysRUs Bellingham MA
Update 12/4/16: Toys R Us Bellingham, MA was sold out this morning - no word when stock will be replenished.