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Finding the SNES Classic is still a pain

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But you can try to get one at ThinkGeek

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SNES Classic Shai Ben-Dor/Vox Media

I have purchased two Super NES Classics, one from Walmart.com at launch and one from GameStop.com a few weeks ago, when they briefly appeared in stock. The process went pretty smoothly, even though Walmart canceled my original order because they retroactively limited pre-orders to one per customer. The second I bought for a friend who wasn’t online during the five minutes they were available from GameStop.

Friends and colleagues seem to have had little issue snagging one, but most of them are either on the internet all the time or know someone who is. Still, months after launch, getting your hands on a Super NES Classic — even though people clearly are — seems like a hassle, just based on how they’re still being sold.

For example: ThinkGeek is currently offering customers who want to buy a Super NES Classic (or last year’s NES Classic!) a chance to win the opportunity to buy one. The retailer said it received shipments of the NES and SNES Classic Edition consoles, and it’s holding a drawing to let you buy one.

ThinkGeek says it’s trying to distribute its stock of NES and SNES Classics “in the fairest way we know.” That means customers can submit their email address and, if they’re randomly selected, purchase either one of Nintendo’s mini retro consoles. (They can’t buy both.)

In an email, ThinkGeek’s PR firm indicated that it’s holding a drawing to prevent “bots from buying them up.” It’s not a bad strategy, but it does underscore that the stock situation for Nintendo’s retro hardware still kind of sucks.

The Super NES Classic Edition is currently out of stock at major online retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, Target, Toys R Us and Walmart. Secondary market resellers will sell it to you for roughly a $50 premium, if you’re desperate. But Nintendo president Reggie Fils-Aime said you shouldn’t need to resort to that. “I would strongly urge you not to over-bid on an SNES Classic on any of the auction sites,” Fils-Aime said in September, adding that Nintendo had “dramatically increased” production of the system.

The good news is that, if you’re patient enough, you’ll probably get the chance to score a SNES Classic (and an NES Classic!) without resorting to overpaying. Nintendo said it plans to produce more of both systems through 2018.

In the meantime, as we have been, we’ll do our best to let you know when the system comes back in stock. Good luck.