Huge crowd waits hours, pays hundreds, for popular toys in Greenville


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Hundreds of people spent hours waiting in line outside of Toys R Us in Greenville hoping to get their hands on two very popular toys.

Those in the front of the line got there at 9:30 p.m. Saturday. The store didn’t open until 8 a.m. Sunday.

The craze was for the popular toy Hatchimals and the Nintendo gaming system called NES Classic Edition.

Hatchimals are on the top of many kid’s Christmas list across the country, creating a shortage. Word began spreading that Toys R Us in Greenville would have some, so people lined up.

Rebecca Lane drove from La Grange and waited in line for 11 hours to get her hands on some.

“I do it for my children. I do it for my community, and I do it for my family and friends,” Lane said.

Other parents said they knew if they didn’t deliver, their kids would be disappointed.

“It’s one of the hottest toys this year, and she lived in Texas, so I just wanted to get it for her, because she’s been calling saying if Santa don’t bring it, she don’t want nothing else,” said Marquis Lawrence.

But not everyone was so lucky. Due to extreme shortages of the toys, hundreds left empty handed.

Store employees handed out tickets to those in the front of the line to purchase one or both of the popular toys early Sunday morning. Anyone who didn’t have a ticket, couldn’t buy them.

What ended up happening outside the store were people selling their tickets. Daniel Bissette was just one of those who paid a lot so he could get the NES gaming system.

“I paid $100 for the person’s ticket because I wanted one really bad,” he said.

The NES is popular with adults, mainly because it brings back childhood memories. It also is hard to find, with some people selling it online for thousands of dollars.

“I’ve been waiting for the NES,” said Amanda Minneker. “When it first came out I wasn’t able to get it, and I just really wanted it as a Christmas present for my family.”

Some in line gave their tickets to others for free in the Christmas spirit.

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