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Massive GBA Launch Retail Report!

by Max Lake - June 11, 2001, 2:39 pm EDT

Over the weekend, lots of folks wrote in letting PGC know what's up with GBA at numerous retailers! Our longest Retail Report yet!

Feathers were ruffled big time after we posted a few retailer reports that indicated Game Boy Advance would be released on the 13th and not the 11th at some stores. In fact, I got tons of email reporting this fact and/or offering numerous perspectives on how retailers are handling the launch of the GBA.

Today, the GBA hits (many) stores across North America and I wanted to post up a Retail Report covering many of the emails I got over the weekend. We’ve already established some retailers will have it sooner than others… Here’s what some retailers wrote in to say!

(Note: I tried to touch up some of these but most aren’t edited. I’ve also kept folks as anonymous as possible!)

Starting things off is good ol' "SillyMrMan!"

SillyMrMan says: What's up? I'm getting fed up with all of this June 13'th crap. The GBA will launch June 11th. You know where I work and I can tell you that I was forced to call all of the people who reserved them and tell them to be here on the 11th, Monday. I know that both the Gamestop (Babbage's, Software Etc., Gamestop, Planet X Software, and Funcoland) chains and the EB chains will be selling them on Monday. There is another store in our mall called "Record Town": I asked them and theirs go on sale Monday as well.

Just so you know it is only the large department stores who won't be selling them until the 13th. The smaller electronics / software stores will be getting them on time. I repeat, the smaller electronics / software stores will be getting them on time!

Please make sure the people get this information, it's depressing to think it's been delayed another two days... I know what that's like. Oh and on a happier note, on Saturday (yesterday as it is 12:45 Sunday Morning) alone our store sold four reservations for the NGC! Count 'em FOUR! And they're more and more common as the days progress. Good forecasts for Nintendo! :-)

From another previous PGC Retail Reporter, "Mr. Purple!"

Mr. Purple says: Hey Max, just letting you know my store that I run is getting our GBA units Monday at 9:30 AM, we open at 11 AM. As I told you before I work for Babbages etc. All Funcolands, Gamestops, software's, and Babbages will be getting in their units on Monday, and selling them, remember though this is only for pre-orders all of are stores are only getting in what they had reserved.

Just to let ya know, our store tonight had a sudden rush around 7:00 concerning nothing but a horde of people buying GBA games and accessories, it was crazy we were like where the hell did that come from, we are already sold out of Rayman and worm lights, were getting the store ready tomorrow night for Monday morning, it's very exciting to see the GBA launch with this much support from consumers. we are also informing customers that it's gonna be first come first serve for system colors, so we are expecting a line in the morning.

From "IceBlast" who lets us know what's going on at his GameStop (this post combines two of his emails):

IceBlast says:

I work at GameStop. We're getting the units in our shipments to stores on the 11th, but for some reason we're not supposed to sell them until the 12th. I've been talking with my store manager, and he has told me we can actually start selling any item on the "official release date" which is the 11th. I guess we'll see on Monday if we will sell them when they arrive. Most are reserved, but we should be getting some extra.


I sent you an email earlier about GameStop selling the units on the 11th, but mainly for pre-order people. I just got home from work and we received a packaging list of what we will receive tomorrow morning. We are getting in about 10 more GBA's than what we have reserved, so those are sold on a first come first serve basis.

From "Mysterious Manager Joe":

Mysterious Manager Joe says:

Hey Max it's Joe, remember me? I'm a manager of a certain store, anyways we were told last night that our GBA's were shipping out over the weekend, and we will have them on monday!! Remember this is for

Babbages, Gamestop, Funcolands, and Software Etc's. See Ya!!

Here’s a little ditty from an "Exec at Target":

Exec at Target says:

Just a side E-mail to you. I think every retailer is selling it at $90. I am an Executive at Target and we are also. Makes sense. One other note is that I know we are selling it as soon as it arrives in stores (except for the pre-sells.) We want to promote fathers day sales and we feel that Game Boy Advances might be a way to go. I 'think' this is company policy. Good job on the site.

Interesting point about Father’s Day, though we do know every retailer isn’t selling GBA for $90! (Shop around!)

Now here’s something short and sweet from "Lane," an EB employee:

Lane says:

I work at an Electronics Boutique in CT, we're planning on selling the morning of the 11th... I hadn't heard of that 13th date you mentioned.

Another EB report, from “Anthony”:

Anthony says: Hey I am big fan of the site, and I wanted to let you know that I work for EB in Staten Island NY, and we are selling the GBA today, 6/11. I know that most stores are saying 6/13, but we actually got in the GBA

systems on Saturday, and held them in the back room. We had all the launch games as of last week, and today we are good to go. So let your readers know that Electronics Boutique has them and is selling them.

Here's a rambling rundown from EBX from "Salohcin":

Salohcin says: There is an amazing overwhelming interest in the GBA at the EBX I work at. People are always asking about it and seem really excited about what's coming out. As for the GameCube, It seems as if no one has ever heard of it. I've had a few people ask about something while the others either look confused or say that Nintendo is just for kids (Silly rabbits). This doesn't scare me, though. These are the same people that think Xbox is the revival of Jesus because of some cheap plastic green sign that's been sitting on our counter for the last six months. They know nothing about games, except what makes itself loud and noticed. As soon as Nintendo starts to show what it has in store, and Microsoft shows the lack of anything original, I'm sure I'll be getting a lot more positive GameCube interest around my counter. Until then, I'll just block them out and replay that Smash Bros Melee movie in my head... Ah... Gaming goodness...

"XxGPxX" comes at us from KB Toys:

XxGPxX says: I work for KB Toys.

We have every game that is a launch game already locked in our backroom, also plenty of accessories like cases and lights. The systems themselves have not shipped, we are expecting them on the 11th-12th and we will begin selling immediately although there will be plenty of foreseeable problems in regards to color selection and pre-orders. On a related note, our store, the third biggest in new york, was only allowed to pre-order 16 units.

Here’s "Farox" who works at Sears:

Farox says: For anyone wondering about the June 13th date, from what I've found out, stores are only doing that because they need time to work out the preorders and whatever complications that entails. Also, as someone said, some stores aren't getting their shipments until the 12th. BUT, from what our Nintendo rep here at Sears told us, and according to our monthly Nintendo information handout, we will be selling them the 11th. Of course, we got that flyer about a week before E3, so it's possible things have changed since then and we just haven't been told about it. But Sears doesn't do any kind of preorder or anything, it's all

first-come-first-serve as it was with the /ugh/ PS2's, so, to my knowledge we will have them for sale on June 11th.

I almost forgot to add: Sears is selling the GBA's for $99.99. But we do price match. All you have to do is

bring in an ad or tell the associate to call a store that has it cheaper. So if other stores are out, and your local Sears happens to have some left, you can still get the lower price.

"Strange D. Nintendophile" chimes in with a word from Canada:

Strange D. Nintendophile says: Hey Max –I just want to give you the jest of what's happening with Game Boy Advance up here in Canada. I work for Electronic Boutique in Mississauga, Ontario (suburb of Toronto; one hour away from Silicon Knights Headquarters in St. Catherines). A Nintendo of Canada has sent us an email stating that we will be receiving the shipment of Game Boy Advance systems at 3:00 pm on Tuesday, June 12. But here in Canada the launch is on June 13th. Nintendo has give us the option to actual break the date a day before launch and we can sell the systems. We have received almost all the launch titles except for Super

Mario Advance, F-Zero, Fire Pro Wrestling, and Super Dodge Ball Advance. My manager is going insane with all the calls that we have received about Game Boy Advance.

"shigerufan," our retail reporter from the UK returns with this:

shigerufan says: I work in Woolowrth's in the UK. GBA-Day is June 22nd. Customers can pre-order for £5. Machine will cost about £85 and games £30-£35 (The same price as N64 player's choice!!!). The only GBA display stuff we have are a few dummy boxes and leaflets from NINTENDO Europe highlighting Mario Advance, F-Zero-X and Kuru Kuru Kururin.

Now, here’s lots and lots of reports from readers!

From "vze2ksnk"

vze2ksnk says: I saw your article about Cirtcut City selling GBA for $89. Well Best Buy is also selling it for that price. Just thought I would let you know.

Alex F.:

Alex F. says: I don't work at my local Funcoland, but am pretty good friends with most of the employees. Anyway, they are getting their GBA's on the 12th at about 2:30, and selling them immediately, so I'll get mine on the 12th. They also have all the 3rd party launch games, and worm lights. I didn't have to pre-order a worm light, it was walk in, pick one off the wall, pay for it, and walk out. Also, they had ready to be purchased copies of all the games (I was told by a worker that you had to pre-order a game to get it for launch, so this may not be as important as I have made it out to be). They are taking pre-orders for the 1st party link-cables, also. This is all I could think of now.


AlexAC8 says: Yo max. I don't actually work at Kay-Bee, but I pre-ordered my GBA and they're saying that I can pick mine up on June 11. I've called about twice a day and they've been sticking to that date.

Brad B:

Brad B. says: Just thought I'd let you know that when I called up my Software eTc., they told me that their shipment of GBA's should be arriving June 11, at 10:00 a.m.and would begin calling those who have pre-ordered the system to come and pick them up as early as 11:00 a.m.

Andrew T:

Andrew T. says: I live in the Seattle area. My Toys'r'us said that they might get their GBAs on the 12th, and that if they did, they would sell them. I also think that they would sell them on the 11th too, but the guy didn't think that they would get there until the 12th. Anyways, he didn't seem worried about selling it before the 13th at all.


Barto says: Yeah my local Toy's R' Us (where i reserved it) already has 3 games and originally claimed to expect them the 12th of June. I recently called Toy's R' Us expecting them early, and to pick up my GameBoy Advance Carrying case (for being the few first to reserve it, and i want to keep my GBA safe. However, it turns out that when my friend and I called, they were delayed to the 13th...I was so __ disappointed__ !


Darin says: I live in Louisville Kentucky, and I've called every store I could think (Walmart, Toys R Us, Target, EB, Software Etc., Funcoland, and more) of to see what was up with the GBA. Previously most of the stores had told me that they would start selling the GBA on June 11th, but today I called stores to see if they were sticking to that date, and all of them have changed dates to the 13th. All stores, that is, except Game Force.

Game Force told me they have been selling the GBA since last week, and that they are sold out (both locations told me this). Too bad I'll be out of town for 2 weeks starting on the 11th, so looks like I won't be

getting GBA for a couple weeks... however, I went to Walmart tonight to shop for out-of-town type stuff, and noticed that Walmart had a lot of GBA games, and also had all the accessories (worm light, case, grip...

thing to attatch to the back). Just thought I'd add my comments. Hope it helps. Later.

"Hoju" in PA:

Hoju says: The EB near me said they can start selling on the 11th but most likely will be starting to sell them on the 12th. I`m going to check on the 11th anyway.

The guys at EB checked on my pre-order and said all the 3rd party stuff I pre-reserved had come in when I checked on thursday. So my local EB has all their 3rd party but, nothing from Nintendo itself.

Here’s an entertaining tale of persistance from Travis K aka "Ju Jube":

Travis K says: My name is Travis and I just finished reading the news about pre-sales of GBA not being available.

I live in Edmonton Alberta Canada and was blown away that my friend phoned me up yesterday to tell me he had purchased a Game boy Advance from Wal-Mart.

He said that he stood there pleading with the Cashier behind the counter for 25 minutes to sell him one. Then purely for the reason to get my friend out of her hair she gave in and sold him a GBA. Funny thing is he got it for $134.99 instead of the $139.99 that I pre-ordered mine for (which is also the suggested retail price up here).

I tried the same thing later that night but it wasn't the same employee and I walked away empty handed. :-(

Just thought I would drop you a note about my friends good luck, I will being going to Wal-Mart every night to try and get this person to sell me one. 25 mins of pestering someone is worth it to have my GBA 4 days early! :-)

(NOTE: PGC does not recommend you pester retailers to death –these poor people are just doing their jobs!)

Now, here's a run down on who has what, fresh today from "Robert V"

Robert V says:

Dear Max,

Since you're collecting data I thought this might help. Today, Monday 06/11 GBAs were available at the following local (King of Prussia, PA - just west of Philadelphia) stores:

Toys R Us

Electronics Boutique

Kay Bee Toy & Hobby

They were not to be seen at:


Circuit City (a large electronics store)


I had mine pre-ordered at Toys R Us and had no problems securing it. Toys R Us also seemed to be the only store with any available units for actual sale. Everybody else either was sold out or only had enough for pre-orders.

Hope that helps your list. Now if I can just pry my GBA out of my son's hands!

Finally… if you thought waiting till the 13th might be rough, here's something from "Jonathan B in Springwood!" I don't know where Springwood is, but it's not the place for would be GBA owners this week!

Jonathan B in Springwood says: Electronic Games at Springwood won't start selling them until the 20th for some reason, but that is a pretty crap part of the country.

Got a news tip? Send it in!