Last night we left our band of intrepid PS3 and Wii pre-order hopefuls to survive the brutal New England evening. They survived the night -- but not without incident. The police were called by disgruntled pre-order hopefuls, who said a fight had broken out in front of the store. The police were ready to send everyone home but, upon seeing the people wrapped up like burritos trying to stay warm, the Dedham police had the common sense to realize there was no fight and let them stay outside. At 5 AM Toys R Us employees allowed the people to come into the vestibule and at 6 AM began handing out sheets of paper. They were not allowed to pre-order both units as originally stated and had to pick their poison: PS3 or Wii.
Today wasn't just the PS3/Wii event at Toys R Us. They also started selling the Elmo TMX today -- they were the only folks walking out with an item in hand. A group of parents and grandparents were set up behind the Wii/PS3 people. Tammy (pictured right) found a comfortable spot on top of some carriages. Bill was the first of the Elmo group, and was only one behind the last Wii pre-order person. Bill said, "I have a PC and when I play it's on a PC. When my child comes of age then I'll wait in line for a Wii too ... but now I wait for Elmo."
Around 9 AM the cops and security showed up for a second time. Once again, somebody reported a fight -- jealous, jealous people. The officer walked in and asked what was going on. The assembled crowd said there was no fighting. One of the parents mentioned they were there for Elmo so the officer said, "No fighting. Elmo is on his way." Later on one of security guards turned around at the door and said, "No fighting, no clawing, no hair pulling." One gamer retorted, "That's the Elmo people you have to worry about!"
Irina, our capitalist
from the night before was struggling in the morning, asked if it was still worth waiting the night, "Don't know." If she gets her $2000 on eBay, we're sure she'll be fine.
The rest of the people who camped out the night were in high spirits -- and became more excited as the morning progressed. Asked what they did between 2-5 AM they said they pulled their cars up to the sidewalk in front of the Toys R Us and got some sleep and warmth in their cars. They were appreciative of Taylor Aubut, who had set up the entertainment system in the back of his car the night before.
At 9:30 AM they began packing up their chairs in preparation for the doors opening. "Rude Ken," the store director, came to the door to let people know how the pre-order would play out. They'd be opening the doors at 10 AM and people would line up outside the media section and allowed to enter in groups of 4 to purchase their units. Those wild and crazy Elmo folks could pick up their stuff at the register.
10 AM everybody proceeded very orderly and got their pre-orders. Alfonzo, who was #1 in line, said good-bye to Emilio (pictured at right) and went off into the sunshine, the proud owner of a pre-ordered PS3.
Taylor who was #9 (pictured below with his Wii pre-order), who didn't get a PS3 pre-order thinks he still has a chance of getting a unit at launch. He'll be camping out again to see if he can get a PS3 at a local big-box store that he believes will have extra PS3s. Of course, at that point it'll be late November - we hope we don't have to report on dedicated gamers being sent to the hospital for exposure, because it's going to be freezing!(Side note: The Toys R Us management, especially "Rude Ken" the store director, should learn to be a little nicer. Maybe if y'all were a little more respectful your corporation wouldn't be hemorrhaging money. If reporters show up to do a nice fluff piece about people waiting in line all night -- let them take photos.)