Guide to Acquiring a Hatchimal or NES Classic Locally

November 30th, 2016

Last updated on January 30th, 2017 at 10:48 am


This guide only applies to acquiring a unit locally.  The information contained in this guide is compiled from the discussions on our Hatchimal tracker page as well as the NES Classic discussions. For a chance at online inventory, sign up for our free alerts. Follow the steps and read the notes below to increase your chances of acquiring your item locally while also helping to set your expectations:

UPDATE 1-30-17: The Local Lookup tool has be removed.

UPDATE 12-20-2016: It appears Target is receiving inventory during the days via UPS and putting them out immediately. While some stores still to sell stock in the mornings, most appear to be moving inventory to the floor shortly after receiving them. If you see a bump in stock during the day, you should probably stop by your location ASAP. Electronics desk also seems like the place to inquire. Remember to be nice when asking!

  1. Use the Target Local Lookup between 4:00 and 7:00 AM daily. (Hatchimals Lookup | Classic NES Lookup) We show the “on-hand” quantity that Target has in the entire store, including the stockroom. There is no need to hammer the lookup with multiple requests all day. Every 10-15 minutes is plenty as stock does not change that quickly as most Targets receive one, maybe two, deliveries per day.
  2. Ideally you want see 2 or more of one item in the lookup. When a larger shipment is delivered, all 4 Hatchimals should have 2+ units showing and NES Classic will have 6 or more. You may also attempt if inventory says 1 in stock; it has worked for some, but statistically your chances are less.
  3. Arrive between 4:00 AM and store opening if your Target shows as having stock. The time you should arrive will vary based on the amount of inventory showing and your community’s desire to acquire the same items. This is where you might misjudge and consequently miss out the first time you try.
  4. Get into, or create, a line, and hope your Target operates with a ticket-based system. Not all Targets use a ticket system! If they offer tickets, you should be issued a ticket after the manager shows up which might allow you to leave and come back later to acquire your item. If no tickets are issued, make sure you keep warm on the cold mornings. Bring a chair, sleeping bag, hot beverages, and anything else you need to stay warm.


Further Notes Worth Reading:

  • Do NOT call the store. It is almost certain you will not hear the correct information.
  • It is likely you may have to visit your Target more than once after you gauge the popularity of your Target and the item you are trying to get.
  • More inventory will consequently draw more people to that store.
  • Acquiring a Hatchimal later in the day is very unlikely. When the store first opens is your best chance.
  • Weekends haven’t been as successful as weekdays, but they still have been successful for some.
  • If the Target’s online numbers are not matching up to what managers are saying, there could be a few reasons for this:
    • There is an issue with Target’s local inventory system.
    • Store is stockpiling inventory for an upcoming weekend release corresponding to an upcoming weekly flyer.
    • Employees are stashing the items on the floor or in the stockroom.
    • If you receive multiple excuses from the same Target, then we suggest you try a different store.
  • Toys R Us does not reveal their inventory online. To acquire one locally you will need to stand outside a TRU without knowing if actual inventory will be available that day (unless their local ad states otherwise).
  • Walmart typically stockpiles their inventory and online inventory checkers for their stores religiously provide misinformation.

Hope you found this info helpful. Good luck!

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