Will Tiny Troopers XL Be A Future Nintendo Switch Rarity?
Limited Run Games started it all. With their continuous sell out of limited physical prints of titles, some have become highly desired in collecting circles. Some titles released in the past by Limited Run Games have more than quadrupled their original price tag, making these very difficult for collectors to get their hands on. Other companies have sprouted up and are following a similar business model as Limited Run Games and are also being successful at constantly selling out, especially when it comes to Nintendo Switch titles.
The Nintendo Switch is an interesting system to collect for. Considering how popular the system is, more and more budget titles are making it to the brick and mortar retail stores. Despite the extra overhead it costs to make a Nintendo Switch cartridge, developers are finding creative ways for bringing their titles to the retail market. There are certain games such as Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus which are being partially loaded onto the cartridge and requiring an extra download when the card is first inserted into the console. Some companies are even taking it a step further, and just including download codes inside of a Nintendo Switch game box such as Super Putty Squad. Regardless, many titles now have options for getting their game into retail spaces such as Gamestop, Bestbuy, Target, Walmart, and others.
Speaking of Walmart, something interesting has recently occurred concerning the publisher Wired Productions. Their new game Tiny Troopers: Joint Ops XL has made it to the US market retailing at $19.99, but only at a print run of 5,000 copies. Additionally, the game was sold to Walmart as an exclusive, although it really hasn’t been advertised as such, with the exception of a tweet from Wired Productions. So what does that mean for collectors? Well, the limited print run of 5,000 is the first red flag to go up. Supposedly the minimum Nintendo Switch game card release is 3,000 copies, so while this isn’t the smallest release, it is still quite scarce.
Since there are “only” 4,769 Walmart stores in the United States, there is barely enough for a single copy of Tiny Troopers: Joint Ops XL to show up in each store. No copies of the game have currently been released on Walmart.com, and it seems as though this was intentional. Even worse for collectors is that it seems random as to which Walmart brick and mortar stores are actually carrying the product. Starting last week copies of the game have started to surface at select Walmart stores. For instance, in my area there are three Walmart stores within a 20 mile radius of my house. Only one of these has received three copies of the game, and all were sold out as I grabbed the last copy at that particular store. This is obviously frustrating for many collectors out there, especially if they are unlucky in the fact that their home Walmart store never received any stock. If you are looking for a copy you can use the tool Brickseek.com to check Walmart inventories near you.
Facebook Groups, Amazon, and eBay have started to see multiple copies of the game surface in their marketplaces, some users asking more than double the retail price of the game or trade values to try to make a quick buck on collectors that are unable to grab a copy in their area. Instantly some have accused these people as “scalpers”, and some groups going as far as banning anyone trying to profit on the sale of Tiny Troopers: Joint Ops XL. Currently prices on eBay are hovering around $40 plus shipping for the game if you really wanted to grab one for an inflated price.
My perspective is this, sure there is always a possibility that Wired Productions could order an additional print run of the game. History has shown that other hard to get games have been reprinted such as Katamari Damacy and Bendy and The Ink Machine, but this due to retailers requesting it to be reprinted. However, this isn’t a prominent title out on the market, and really is only appealing to collectors at this point. There is a very real possibility that 5,000 copies is all that we will ever see released here in the US. The European version of the game is also available on the Internet for those just looking to play the game, but hardcore collectors know this hard to find US version will be required for a full US Nintendo Switch set. My advice is grab this while you still can. Check your local Walmart Inventory and see if there are any left, you might get lucky. Those complaining about double the price, sure it could get reprinted or maybe even the demand dies down, but taking that chance is your call. Regardless of how this turns out, Tiny Troopers: Joint Ops XL has cemented itself as a footnote of Nintendo Switch collectors everywhere. This also opens the door to other game publishers performing similar small print runs and landing a deal with Walmart or a similar retailer. Only time will tell if this game truly becomes a rarity or just a laughable mention when talking with other collectors.