I was fortunate enough to be awake during the four minute window that Amazon.com offered preorders of Nintendo's Super NES Classic mini console somewhere around 4:30am back in August, so I felt confident that I would be happily playing Star Fox 2 and all of my other favorite 16-bit games come release day last week, but then Amazon let me down when they seemingly diverted their preorder allotment stock to their roaming Treasure Trucks. There's still no estimated shipping date for my preordered console, but those folks who tracked down a Treasure Truck were able to score, right? Let's go to Platypus Comix's Peter Paltridge who braved the Treasure Truck scheme to try and give Amazon money in exchange for a console and see how well that worked out for him.
The Amazon Treasure Truck was exactly the kind of truck you would expect an SNES Classic to come from. It was a giant, glowing, blaring, gaudy carnival attraction, flashing with lights on every corner. A circular LED display in the center cycled through bright images of the SNES while dual speakers blared out classic Nintendo tunes. As if to say "too much is never enough," a bubble machine sat below the van, blowing out a stream of perpetual bubbles that constantly filled the area.
I approached what looked like a sales counter and casually said to the lady behind it, "They're probably sold out, right?" She said back "No, they aren't!" and pointed to the large table covered by a canopy on the far end. It was covered with glossy bags sporting the Treasure Truck logo, each neatly filled with one SNES Classic machine. There had to be over two dozen!
"I'LL TAKE ONE!"
"Do you have the Amazon app?"
"No, but I brought money--"
"You need the Amazon App to buy a Super Nintendo Classic."
"I can only buy it here with the app?"
"That is correct. But I'll show you where to download it. Do you have your phone?"
Amazon made him jump through additional hoops and then, in a frustratingly nightmarish Catch-22 situation, left him starring at consoles on the truck that they would not sell him. Amazon disappointed a lot of people with their handling of Super NES Classic sales. I don't know what went wrong or why the company made it so difficult to buy this item from them, but I hope that they get their act together soon and start shipping out consoles to people who ordered them. To paraphrase Jerry Seinfeld, Amazon knows how to take the preorders, they just don’t know how to fulfill the preorders and that’s really the most important part of the preorder, the fulfilling. Anybody can just take them.