Ernesto Apreza talks about the Amazon Treasure Truck on Sept. 29, 2017, at 43rd Street and Indian School Road, Phoenix.
Scores of eager customers flocked to the Arcadia Gateway shopping complex midday Friday as word spread that the new Amazon Treasure Truck was in Phoenix for the first time and distributing a throwback favorite.
The item? A discounted Nintendo Super NES Classic Edition — the quintessential introduction to Mario, Luigi and Zelda — available for a cool $79.99. That’s Nintendo’s list price, but the item has been selling out around the country. Its regular price on Amazon.com is $204.
Amazon Treasure Truck is a new way the online retailer is offering bargains. Customers can sign up to get text alerts about deals and where the truck will be parked. After purchasing the items through an app, customers pick them up between noon and 8 p.m. at the truck.
The Arcadia stop is the first of many the Treasure Truck is planning around the Phoenix area. Amazon spokesman Ernesto Apreza said the truck will be making appearances a couple times a month offering a variety of goods.
“Customers should expect the unexpected,” he said. “We’re so delighted to see people enjoying it. But remember, time is of the essence., You have to decide quickly to make a purchase.”
The Nintendo game systemsold out within an hour, Apreza said.
MORE: What is Amazon’s ‘Treasure Truck’ and when is it coming to Phoenix?
Andrea Herrera, 20, said her husband has been eyeing the Nintendo for months. She arrived shortly before noon, confirmed the order and departed with it within 30 minutes.
“He’s a retro gamer and I’m excited to play it with him,” she said.
She said she and her husband use Amazon for most of their online purchases and that the ability to order and pick up the item so quickly was convenient.
Co-workers on their lunch breaks got in on the action, too.
Steve Verzak, 48, and his colleague Scott Gohus, 47, bought the systems for their daughters while waiting in line for pizza, then headed to the truck at 43rd Street and Indian School Road to pick up their consoles.
Verzak said he hoped his 11-year-old daughter would be drawn to playing “Zelda” or even “Street Fighter” with the retro console.
Others kept it all in the family, like Ryan Johnson, 45, and his sister Chelsea Hays, 29, who work near Interstate 17 and Greenway Road.
Hays said she still has muscle memory of using the game controllers. Her brother noticed the pop-up store’s visit on social media and signed up for text alerts. He’d promised his sons he’d get one of the hot items.
“Amazon, as usual, has delivered again. The big-box retailers are gonna really need to think of something quick,” Johnson said.
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