Game Market 1983 - Chapter 15
Toy World was a big chain store that had several big shops in other cities. As large as they were, people obviously went to them; thus, virtually every company wanted to display their items there. Was that the reason?
It was rare that Toy World would directly request toy companies to send Toy World their items. Instead, the representatives of these companies visited them with a catalog, and they requested their items to be stocked. After briefly looking around the Toy World store, I discreetly opened the store door, entering inside.
The interior of the store looked more luxurious than six months ago. This was almost like a scene out of ‘Toy Story’. But still, no video game corner could be found anywhere inside.
“It’s still the same…”
I bitterly moistened my mouth, and I started examining the store once again. Because it was the weekend, there were many children with their parents browsing around for toys. As I was observing the joyous faces of the children, I started feeling happy as well. At that moment, one kid shook his mother’s hands, and he asked:
“Mommy~ Where is Super Marigee and M.H.E.S?”
“I don’t know… The store is too big, so it’s hard to find it. However, it should be here somewhere in this huge store, I’ll try asking an employee.”
Huh? It must be a customer who came here to buy a M.H.E.S. My curiosity arose as I was examining a toy at the corner, so I followed the boy’s mother, maintaining my distance.
“Excuse me, are you guys selling a device that can play Super Marigee?”
The kid’s mother gave off an impression that she didn’t know much about the M.H.E.S.. In response, the store employee adjusted his glasses, and he answered with a bright expression.
“Would you follow me here?”
Mmm? From what I know, Mintendo hadn’t stocked Toy World with our devices yet. What was that employee trying to show? I turned my head sideways in confusion, and I moved my footsteps towards them. A while later, the place that the employee led them to was a small hidden corner in the store that was displaying Atari’s garbage products.
“Currently, we’re selling the console at a very low price from Atari, the biggest Game Company in America. On top of that, we’re also selling cartridges at a value of $1 dollar each. It should be much better than the M.H.E.S. console; it is very expensive, and only a few games have been released for it.”
… Does this bastard think of the customers as a free meal? I stared at them with a weird expression. At that moment, the kid who was grabbing his mother’s hands asked the employee:
“I want the M.H.E.S.; I want to play Duck Hunt and Super Marigee.”
“Little kid~ Every game is pretty much the same thing. Mintendo is also a game company, so, if you wait a little, they will make a separate cartridge for Atari.”
“Did someone say we would design Super Marigee for the failed Atari 2600 device?”
I couldn’t contain myself any longer, and I approached them; the employee looked over to me with an alarmed gaze, and he murmured:
“Who… Who are you?”
I approached them, I took out a business card, and then I handed it to the kid’s mother.
“Hello, I am an employee from the headquarters that’s managing the M.H.E.S. console. We are not planning to produce the games that the kid wants for Atari. It’s a little far from here, but, if you walk down three blocks from here, there is a small toy store called ‘Toy Box’. If you show my business card there, the owner there will kindly explain everything you need to know.”
“Ah, thank you.”
The kid’s mother gave me a thanks, and she walked out of the store with her child. After they left, the store employee glared, starting an arguement with me:
“Who the hell are you to come into our store and chase away a customer?”
“Then who the hell are you to lead on the customers and lie to them?”
“What did you say? Is this yellow monkey assaulting me?”
“Are you looking down on me because I’m Asian? Does this store treat their customers this way?”
I responded to the employee’s remark with an even louder retort, and the people who were viewing the store were turning their gazes towards us. Soon after, the employee named Smith – who kicked me out of the store last time – quickly came, trying to calm us down.
“What’s the matter, Jason?”
“This person interrupted my conversation with a customer, and he led them away to another store to buy their products. This is clearly a disturbance of business.”
As Mr. Smith turned his head toward me, and, when he laid his eyes upon me, his face hardened.
“Hello, Mr. Smith, how have you been?”
“You’re the M.H.E.S.’s representative…?”
“Your memory is quite good; we had only met once.”
“If I recall correctly, your name was Mr. Kang?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“If you’re available, our president would like to see you again. Could you possibly make an appointment?”
Hoho…? Why should I have to meet with that person again? I briefly glanced at my wrist watch and answered Mr. Smith:
“I’m sorry to say this, but I have a meeting to attend to, so I have to leave. I’ll visit again. If it’s urgent, please contact our MHES office.”
‘If you even have the courage to lower your head and call, that is~’
I handed Mr. Smith my business card, and I walked out of the building. After this event, there was no contact from Toy World, even after waiting a couple of days. They’re probably busy scamming customers to clear out the garbage Atari products… The more they do that, the more they would lose their reputation; it looks like the Toy World president is a fool who doesn’t understand the other half.
Every time I came back, after making a trip outside, a stack of documents that needed approval was placed on my desk. Most of it was about the Display Incentive Program; Elise organized the different types of documents into separate stacks, and my job – that was given to me by the headquarters – was to review and approve them. Then one day…
“Manager Kang, this is a complaint filed by a customer. Would you like to read it?”
“Mmm? From a customer?”
“Recently, there has been numerous complaints bursting out about the inconsistency in the product’s pricing across different stores.”
“How could that be? The stores that we’re managing are being strictly monitored by us!”
“Then the rise in prices could be due to the lack of supply?”
“Haa, selling too well has its own disadvantages.”
After letting out a long sigh, I took a look at the customer’s letter.
-To the supervisor of the MHES
-I am a mother of a child who is deeply infatuated with video games. My child is, especially, very much in love with Super Marigee. Whenever he came back from school, he would bring up games like Super Marigee, Marigee Brothers, and Duck Hunt. Then, he would beg about being able to play them with his friends.
-How many parents in the world are able to win over their children? I’m worried about his education; however, due to him wanting it so badly, I purchased the MHES at Toy World last week.
Wait a second, she bought a MHES at Toy World? What the hell is she saying? Something’s wrong here.
-As you already know, Toy World is an incredibly huge toy store that displays a variety of toys from different companies, and their reputation is high, due to many famous celebrities visiting them. However, after purchasing the MHES from there, I couldn’t help but be shocked due to its astronomical price. Even if the package contained the electronic gun and the robot, a price of $299 was too high.
$299… Not $2, or $30; they’re selling it for a whopping $100 more!? I was speechless as I continued to carefully read the rest of the letter.
-We did buy it for our child because he wanted it so much; however, from what I know, the MHES is priced at $199. When I asked the store clerk about this enormous price discrepancy, I couldn’t receive a satisfactory answer. There were other stores nearby that were also selling the MHES, but the prices were similar to Toy World. I think there is definitely a problem here. I hope the company responsible for the MHES will investigate this matter in order to prevent the customers from being swindled.
“Ha… I’m going crazy…”
“I read this too, and I’m furious about this as well. How could the biggest toy company in the states do such a shameless act?”
“Because it makes money…”
“First, I’ll visit the Toy World store written on this letter. Elise, put a halt order to all the devices that are being prepared to ship out for now.
“M-Manager, what are you saying!?”
“I’m telling you to stop the shipments until this situation is settled.”
I quickly put on an attire, and I headed out of the office door. I hopped onto a taxi that was on standby in front of the building, and I rushed towards the Toy World store. After a while, I stood in front of a Toy World chain store, took a deep breath, and then I pulled the door open.
“Good afternoon ladies and gentleman. Welcome to Toy World! A land full of joy and wonder.”
“Welcome my ass, you conniving bastards!!!”
As soon as I stepped into the store, I cursed at the employees in Korean. The confused employee asked:
I coughed a few times and asked a question in English.
“I’m looking for the MHES, is it being sold in this store?”
“Ah~ Of course. Come this way~”
When the store clerk found out that I knew how to speak English, he nodded his head with a satisfied expression, leading me to the counter. A moment later, the store clerk took out the MHES, from below the counter, and he asked, with a bright smile, if this was the one. As I halfheartedly nodded my head, I asked for the price. He slightly twisted his lips upwards, and he opened his mouth.
“Thank you, it is $299.”
“… Is this bastard playing with me?”
I took out my business card from my pocket, and I placed it on top of the table. As the store clerk was examining the card with an indifferent expression, he spotted the words MHES, blinking his eyes.
“As you can see, I’m a Mintendo employee, Kang Junhyuk. Can you please explain why you guys are selling the MHES at $299 when we priced it at $199?”
However, the clerk unexpectedly had an unconcerned expression.
“What does it have to do with you for how much we are selling the devices that we purchased?”
Huh? What the fuck is with this arrogant attitude when It wouldn’t even be enough, even if they went on their knees and begged for forgiveness?