Last year, it was seemingly impossible to get a Nintendo Switch in Japan. The console was always selling out. What about Nintendo Labo? Right now, you can easily pick one off the shelf.
Well, it’s made of cardboard, so Nintendo can make a whole bunch, right?
True, it isn’t as complex to make as game hardware, but that doesn’t mean mass-produced, analogue toys can’t sell out in Japan. Nearly a decade ago, when Beyblade was hugely popular in Japan, the plastic “stadiums”, which were really just cheap plastic dishes, were sold out everywhere in Japan. You could not get one. They probably cost nothing to make, but the demand was too high.
According to Famitsu‘s figures, the Variety Kit is doing better than the Robot one, which isn’t surprising. It’s currently in the top five on the sales chart. Nintendo has sold 40 to 60 per cent of its stock. Not bad!
The Robot Kit is number 17 on Famitsu‘s sales chart and has sold through 20 to 40 per cent of its stock. These aren’t good retail sales numbers. A shame, because that Robot Kit looks rad.
As blog Hachima points out, many Japanese retailers have been announcing that they have Nintendo Labo stock, writing 在庫あります (zaiko arimasu) or “We have it in stock”.
— ゼスト大和店（zest) (@zest_yamato) May 2, 2018
— COMG!豊栄店 (@comg_toyosaka) May 1, 2018
— Fammys西尾シャオ@ゲームソフト買取強化中！ (@Fammy013) May 2, 2018
— おじゃま館 蒲生店????ゲーム売るなら‼️ (@ojamakan_g) May 2, 2018
— 万代書店高崎店ゲームコーナー (@MT2FGAME) May 4, 2018
— ゲオモバイル札幌狸小路4丁目店 (@GEOM_sapporo) April 26, 2018
ニンテンドーラボ在庫有ります⸜( ॑꒳ ॑ )⸝連休中遊ぶならこれでしょ〜！ pic.twitter.com/7s8o0YZWKx
— 万代書店長野店ゲーム (@mansho_n_game) April 28, 2018
— GEO（ゲオ）名古屋大須店 (@geo_osu) May 1, 2018
— COMG!中条店@サガスカ緋色の野望予約受付中！ (@comg_nakajyou) May 4, 2018
And, for example, it’s in stock at all these Yodobashi shops. (Next to the green circle, it reads “In stock” in Japanese.)
Keep in mind that these are sales numbers for bricks and mortar retailers, which are still incredibly important in the Japanese sales market.