Someone Dumped $400,000 Worth Of Stolen Playdate Gaming Handhelds At A Random Restaurant

Someone Dumped $400,000 Worth Of Stolen Playdate Gaming Handhelds At A Random Restaurant

Earlier this year, Panic, the company behind the whimsical Playdate gaming handheld, revealed that a shipment containing more than a thousand of the devices had been stolen. Several months and a lot of sleuthing later, the rogue shipments have been discovered after seemingly being dumped on the pavement outside a random restaurant in North Las Vegas.

“Did you hear the story about how $US400k worth of Playdates were misdelivered by FedEx to a construction site near our warehouse?” the Playdate account tweeted today. “And then someone just… stole them? Seriously. Well, guess what got hastily dumped at a random restaurant this morning? Welcome back stolen Playdates!”

Photos from the location showed dozens of boxes full of Playdates outside of what looks like an unfinished steakhouse in a vacant lot that’s still under construction. Some of the boxes were just hanging out in the street like whoever was ditching them decided halfway through stacking them along the wall that they didn’t actually give a fuck.

The Playdate is a $US200 handheld with a crank that plays indie games designed for it its unique screen and inputs. One of those is Mars After Midnight, a sci-fi adventure by Papers, Please designer Lucas Pope about running a late-night support group for aliens. It’s the kind of bespoke retro oddity that shouldn’t even exis,t which is part of why Panic decided to make it in the first place.

Cabel Sasser, Panic’s co-founder, told attendees at GDC earlier this year that they only discovered shipments were missing after he realized the inventory numbers weren’t adding up. FexEx claimed at the time that the $US400,000 worth of missing Playdates had been delivered even though there was no trace of them. Other shipments had gone missing at a nearby construction site, which were later recovered. Apparently the same person had been involved in both incidents. “It’s a bit of a true crime drama,” Sasser said at the time.

“More details—and likely a very good Playdate Podcast episode—in the future,” the Playdate account tweeted today. “For now, this was our best possible outcome, the result of lots of time and detective work. (Which, ok fine, we enjoyed.) The real question is, can we sell these as a limited edition? Playdate Hot™.”

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