Target puts nonexistent New Nintendo 3DS XL on sale

From Target’s weekly ad published today:
Target puts nonexistent New Nintendo 3DS XL on sale - Bent Corner
How is Target allowed to put something on sale they don’t have? Target doesn’t have the New Nintendo 3DS XL. They’ve been out of stock since Black Friday.

Here’s a recent photo I took at the Hagerstown Target. It’s the locked case that normally has Nintendo handheld consoles:

Target puts nonexistent New Nintendo 3DS XL on sale - Bent Corner
The Nintendo handheld console case at the Hagerstown, Maryland Target.

I could take another photo this morning and it would look actually the same. Target doesn’t have any New Nintendo 3DS XL consoles for sale. Target hasn’t had any New Nintendo 3DS XL consoles for sale for nearly a month. What does Target do? They lower the price of the non-existent game console from $199.99 to $174.99, saving the consumer $25.

If Target had any. Which they don’t.

If Target is going to place nonexistent products on sale, why lower the price only $25? Why not lower the price all the way down to $49.99? It’s not like they will have to sell any units at that price.

They don’t have any.

Walmart helping scalpers gouge customers on the Nintendo 3DS XL

The New Nintendo 3DS XL, a handheld gaming console first released nearly two years ago is still sold out nationwide. The units usually sell for $199.99. Because of the demand and non-availability, third-party “retailers” are selling these units on eBay, Amazon, and even Walmart, at a huge markup.

So if you need to buy a Nintendo 3DS XL, all you have to do is go to Walmart.com and pay $145 above MSRP, and it can be yours.

Walmart is helping scalpers gouge their customers - Bent Corner

The website shows that’s not being sold by Walmart, but by BOS Inc. Who exactly is BOS Inc.? The Walmart site is pretty vague about that. It shows they’re located in the state of Michigan. At least they’re charging Michigan sales tax. It wouldn’t surprise me if BOS Inc. was owned by Walmart.

So not only did Walmart, the largest most powerful retailer in the world, not get enough New Nintendo 3DS XL units to satisfy demand, they’re serving as a conduit for scalpers.

Back in the day, scalpers would prowl the aisles at Walmart on the lookout for high-demand toys and collectibles. They would buy them and then immediately post them on eBay a huge markup. Now, Walmart has made it even easier for scalpers. Instead of making them go to eBay, they’re allowing them to gouge customers right on the Walmart website.

Walmart is helping scalpers gouge their customers - Bent CornerAs soon as Christmas is over, I’m sure all sorts of Nintendo 3DS units will be found everywhere. That’s usually the way it works. With that said, who would pay $345 for a New Nintendo 3DS XL now when they can be found next month for $199? Parents who feel that because of Christmas, they have no choice but to pay too much. Non-custodial divorced parents are especially susceptible to this scam.

Non-custodial divorced parents are already in a vulnerable spot when it comes to their children. The time they get to see their children is usually very limited. In a desperate attempt to remain relevant to their son or daughter, they will often spend way too much money on Christmas, particularly when the other parent is doing the same thing.

It’s sad, and it’s one of the reasons I hate Christmas.  

Why does Nintendo create artificial demand?

If you wanted to buy a Nintendo New 3DS XL this holiday season, you’ve probably noticed they’re hard to come by. That’s because Nintendo of America artificially creates a higher demand for these hand-held game consoles by purposely not making enough to satisfy the demand. Why? How does this benefit Nintendo and its shareholders? I see how it helps eBay and Amazon scalpers, but not Nintendo.

The Nintendo New 3DS XL has a manufacturer suggested retail price of $199.99. Try buying one right now at that price. You can’t, not from a standard retailer. They’re all sold out. You can find them on the secondary market, but not at that price.

Why does Nintendo create artificial demand? - Bent Corner
What good is buying an abiibo Pit figure if you cannot buy the game console it interacts with?

I just don’t get it. Nintendo can’t make money from selling games and game accessories if consumers can’t get their hands on the game console. If you want to buy a Playstation 4 or an Xbox One, there’s really nothing hard about it. You just go to a store and buy one. That’s not the case with anything made by Nintendo.

When the Nintendo Wii first came out ten years ago, they were very hard to obtain. People who had no natural interest in the gaming consoles would search stores for them so that they could then post them for sale on Craigslist. People needing a Wii for Christmas presents for their children would happily buy them from a scalper on Craigslist.

This scheme on Nintendo’s part seems so short sided. What they should be doing is flooding the market with their consoles. Once consumers have the console, they’ll then be in a position to buy games, from retailers and directly from Nintendo through their digital download store.

It’s like the razors and blades business model. Companies sell the razors at a loss, but make up for it with selling lots and lots of disposable blades. I’m not saying Nintendo should be selling New 3DS XL consoles at a loss, but they should make enough for people to actually buy them.

The Game Hub: ‘odors tend to linger’

I was walking past one of Hagerstown’s two game stores, The Game Hub. It’s located in downtown Hagerstown on Franklin street.

They sell Magic The Gathering cards and have a play area in the back of the store. According to the above sign, they have a problem with customers in the play area not practicing  good personal hygiene. The problem is so bad, they have to post a sign at the door.

I don’t know anything about the store. Not really. I know it used to be called Mystikal Keep. I stopped in a few times, although not when it was at this specific place. Mystikal Keep was located various places, all in downtown Hagerstown. The last time I stopped in at Mystikal keep was when it was catty corner from the Hagerstown branch of the Washington County Free Library. It could have been a nice shop. The problem was that it reeked of cigarette smoke. The owner chained smoked cigarettes.

When I noticed the name changed from Mystikal Keep to The Game Hub, I assumed there was a change in ownership. I also assumed it wouldn’t smell like a dirty ashtray. That may be true, but they’ve evidently swapped one awful smell for another. Then again, maybe the Mystikal Keep had a problem with customers not showering and wearing deodorant, but the pungent smell of pre-lung cancer masked it.

deodorI can’t imagine having to display a sign telling customers to take a shower and use deodorant. And this sign is displayed to everyone, not just customers. How many prospective customers have read this sign on the door and changed their mind about shopping there?  Without stepping foot in this business, you learn they have poor ventilation and their customers have a problem with personal hygiene.

There has to be a better way of telling nerds not to smell bad.

Do HeroClix figures really look like this?

Wizkids, maker of collectible miniature games, has released images of some of the 2016 HeroClix convention exclusives. Included in the offerings is Batman with Bomb. From the Wizkids HeroClix website:

Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb… and you are going to want to get rid of this bomb— pass off the Bomb dial hot-potato-style until one unlucky figure goes BOOM! Batman with Bomb is available for $15.00 while supplies last!

I have never played HeroClix, but I have purchased a few of the figures. I like to buy things that I can place on a shelf and collect dust. When I noticed the quality of the paint jobs dropping, I stopped buying them.

Looking at the image of Batman with Bomb, either the quality of the paint job on HeroClix figures has gotten better, or they are dedicating hours of painting time to their prototypes. What are the chances when buying this set on eBay, the figure will look like this?

HeroClix

I think the chances are quite low.

Convicted rapist banned from ‘Magic: the Gathering’ play

Wizards of the Coast suspended a player of Magic: the Gathering from competitive play until the year 2049. His Magic Online account, the online version of Magic: the Gathering played with digital cards, has been frozen and flagged for deletion. The reason? He’s a convicted rapist listed on the Virginia sex offender website.

Zachary Jesse finished 8th place at the Grand Prix Atlantic City held this past May. During his match with Christian Calcano, the tournament’s eventual champion, the following tweet was posted on Twitter:


The link goes to an 11-year-old news article about the rape committed by Zachary Jesse while he was a student at the University of Virginia. The article details the plea agreement reached between the then 19-year-old Zachary Jesse and the prosecutor in the case. According to the victim’s testimony at a preliminary hearing, also a student at the University of Virginia, she was “raped both vaginally and anally while slumped over a toilet in her apartment.” She also had bruises constant with rape.

Zachary Jesse’s victim was also highly intoxicated. Hours after her last drink, her blood alcohol level was .15, nearly double the state’s legal limit. As drunk as she was, it’s highly unlikely that she would have been capable of consenting to sex on a toilet with someone she just met.

In exchange for pleading guilty to aggravated sexual battery, a felony, Zachary Jesse served only three months in regional jail, and it was scheduled so that it wouldn’t interfere with his college classes. He was also given ten years of probation, 18-months of that supervised.

For raping a woman as she lay drunk on a toilet, both vaginally and anally.

How can someone plead guilty to raping a woman and not serve serious time in prison? I’d like to think that’s what we build prisons for, so we have places to send predators like Zachary Jesse to when they rape incapacitated women on toilets.

015550-13
Zachary Jesse’s photo from the Virginia Registered Sex Offender website.

Evidently a lot of people in the Magic: the Gathering community are critical of Wizards of the Coast for banning Jesse.  Some are also critical of Drew Levin for bringing this to people’s attention by tweeting about it. I don’t get any of that. Zachary Jesse is a convicted felon. He’s a registered sex offender in the state of Virginia. In fact, he’s classified as a violent sex offender.

How could Wizards of the Coast, a game company owned by Hasbro, a toy company, not ban someone like Zachary Jesse? Once it became known that he was a convicted rapist, someone identified as a violent sexual predator on the Virginia sex offender registry, they didn’t have a choice.

Don’t want to get banned from playing Magic: the Gathering? Don’t violently rape women passed out drunk on toilets.