The cheapest game sold at FuncoLand was the Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt cartridge for NES. We sold it for $.09 and it was the item we had the most of at any given time. It was also a game that we rarely sold. The reason for this was that every Nintendo Entertainment System sold in the 80’s included a free copy of Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt on the same cartridge. So everyone already had a copy of this game and when they came to trade in their NES for credit, 9 times out of 10, this cartridge would be included along with it. Our shelves for NES games could hold 26 games across and it wasn’t uncommon to have 2 or 3 shelves dedicated just to this game or any of its variants.
One Summer evening, Shane and I were working together and we were in a strange situation. We had our typical 3 shelves full of Super Mario/Duck Hunt on top of about 5 stacks of 10 on the floor giving us a total of roughly 130 copies. Normally FuncoLand corporate would monitor when we were over stocked on a particular item and if we were, they’d issue a “pull-back”. A pull-back consisted of us printing out a report, boxing up the items on that report, and sending them to the infamous FuncoLand warehouse out in Minnesota. For whatever reason, Funco corporate didn’t realize we were over stock and never initiated a pull-back. Wooza could have called for one via our district manager but it would have taken a few days to get this going. We were all frustrated about how much room these games were talking up as it was effecting the storage of the rest of our NES games and the trade-ins continued to come in daily.
So there we were, Shane and I, working a slow Summer evening and we hadn’t had a customer in hours and a stack of 130 copies of Super Mario/Duck Hunt. I think it was Shane that was like, “We should just buy all of these to get them out of here.” A light bulb went off in my head, I had a crap ton of change in my car and I was pretty sure Shane did too. What if we cleaned out all of the change in our cars and just bought what we could with it to just clean those games out. I told Shane my idea and he agreed it was a good plan. So we each went out to our cars, pulled up our mats and brought in all of our change. We totaled it up we had around $12 in change between the 2 of us. So we did the math:
130 games * .09 cents = $11.70 – 10% employee discount = $10.53
So for $10.53 we could clean out our inventory problems. So we did it. Shane and I were now the proud owners of a 130 Super Mario/Duck Hunts. We split them up into two separate garbage bags and took them home.
For weeks we tried to come up with ways to get rid of them all, leaving them as tips, leaving them in public places, or whatever other wacky ideas we came up with. None of them ever worked. We were stuck with all of these games.
A few weeks ago, my Dad called me up, “Sean, I found a box of Nintendo games in the garage. You need to come get them.” Sure enough the next time I came back to my parents house, there they were in the garage. The photo you see above is a picture of that stash, 25 copies of Super Mario/Duck Hunt. Somewhere in my parents house is another 40 copies and who knows what Shane has laying around his place. So if you or anyone you know is looking for 130 copies of Super Mario/Duck Hunt contact Shane or I…