Amiibo and GameStop: F*ck That Noise!

Picture of the Wave 4 Amiibo

At first, I didn’t care for Amiibo, because I didn’t have a Wii-U. Then I got the New 3DS, and found out that Codename: Steam allows you to enter Fire Emblem Amiibo. I immediately ordered Marth for an obscene amount of money, and started the lookout for Robin and Lucina.

Picture of the Wave 4 Amiibo
Wave 4 Amiibo. Good luck getting your hands on one of these!

I searched like a woman obsessed. I regularly hit up local GameStops, Toys R Us stores, Targets, and Best Buys, asking if they heard any news about pre-orders for Robin and Lucina. I signed up for the text alerts at NowInStock.net. I even rushed to the computer at midnight a few times, only to be shut out of pre-ordering on Amazon.uk.

Today, I was lying in bed, nursing a cold, feeling guilty for skipping work, when I got a text about Best Buy. The listing for Lucina said "Coming Soon." Then I saw Twitter, and the announcement that GameStop would start taking pre-orders web in-store orders at 3pm Eastern. I looked at the time. It was 2:48. I made sure the kid was still napping, told my husband I had to go to the drugstore to get more Theraflu (fact), and rushed to GameStop. I got there right about 3, and was the fifth person in line. The lone clerk was having difficulty getting on the proper website, and explained that he had no idea about the availability until we customers told him.

I struck up a conversation with a the family ahead of me who wanted two sets of Charizard, Robin, and Lucina. A second worker came in and started checking his register. The young man in that family kept checking Reddit and giving everyone updates. The mother and I discussed everything under the sun, from previous fad toys (anyone remember the pet rock?), to childbirth, to my current cold. Around 3:45, he started getting antsy, and his phone started dying.

Right before 4, the first order in our store went through.

Then the second and the third customers were up. More difficulties. The computers were being slow. Around 4:05, I heard the dreadful news:

"The bundle, Robin, and Lucina are sold out."

"Well, fuck." I said. The young man silently walked out. His mom, dad, and sisters seemed conflicted. I let out a few more "fucks" as I walked out the store and headed to the nearby supermarket for the aforementioned Theraflu. I heard the mother call out "feel better!" I half-heartedly waved.

While grocery shopping, I started thinking. I thought about how ill-prepared GameStop was. The workers weren't warned of the highly-anticipated figurines' availability. The servers weren't capable of handling the increased traffic. They didn't let you order from home; you had to go into the store. There's just so much wrong with the situation.

But it's a First World Problem. And I examined the situation some more. I can't put the blame completely on GameStop. I'm responsible for my own feelings. What responsibility did GameStop have? I was the one stupid enough to wait in line for an hour for them to take my money and promise me an item in two months' time. They hadn't yet made a promise to me. So why did I feel so betrayed? What are customers' legitimate entitlements? I'm probably better off for not having ordered the figurines anyway. I'm going to put that $30 into my son's 529 college plan.

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