Tag Archives: Fry’s Electronics

No Crusade at Fry’s

I was at Fry’s the other day looking for, among other things, a copy of The Burning Crusade expansion for World of Warcraft for my daughter’s account.  She decided she likes blood elves during the 10 day trial of the expansion.

In the past Fry’s has had stacks of the expansion on the shelves, including collector’s editions.

But there was not a copy of The Burning Crusade to be found.

This is an unusual state of affairs at Fry’s.  The shelves still have several old EverQuest and EverQuest II expansions despite the fact that later cumulative expansions are next to them on the shelf.  Fry’s is the only place I know where you can still find a copy of Total Annihilation: Kingdoms on the shelf.  I was frankly surprised not to find a copy or two of Tabula Rasa.  They have a lot of shelf space and an aversion to throwing anything away.

But no Burning Crusade.

Which strikes me as a bit odd.  You cannot use Wrath of the Lich King unless you have Burning Crusade already.  You can get BC as part of a World of Warcraft Battle Chest, but if you have the original box (which is still on the shelf) your options are somewhat limited.  I ended up just upgrading her account via the account management page, since the iMac she plays on already has both expansions installed. (If your account has one of both of the expansions you cannot play on a machine that lacks them.)

Now, I did not go out and scour local electronics stores to see if anybody else was stocking Burning Crusade.  But, as I pointed out, Fry’s does not pull anything off their shelves unless somebody gives them a refund, so I suspect that I would find the same situation at other major chains.

I cannot decide if this is a serious blunder or a very shrewd move on the part of Blizzard.

It seems awkward, not being able to just buy the first expansion off the shelf since you must have it for the second one.  On the other hand, more cash probably goes into Blizzard’s pocket if people upgrade via the account management page, and if you’re buying the expansion but don’t want the Warchest version, you probably already have an account.

Part of me suspects that Blizzard isn’t quite sure what to do with a game with more than their usual single expansion.

No Shortage of The Wrath of the Lich King

As was the case with the release of The Burning Crusade back in January 2007, Wrath of the Lich King was available in huge quantities at my local Fry’s.  I dropped by on my way to the office to pick up my copy of the expansion, along with a copy of Kung Fu Panda/Secrets of the Furious Five.

Fry’s seemed to have cut back on the number of Collector’s Edition boxes they stocked, as they still had copies of The Burning Crusade Collector’s Edition sitting on the shelf up until last week.  There was only one pallet of WotLK CE’s visible when I was in the store.

Of course, arriving at the office, I had to open the box to see what it contained.  Contents:

  • Game install DVD with activation code
  • Expansion Set Game Manual (33 pages, of which 13 are credits… a lot of people worked on this!)
  • Two 10 Day Guest Pass Keys (destined for the recycle bin)
  • Blizzard Entertainment Product Catalog

The catalog was easily the biggest thing in the box, which I found odd for a company with essentially three game IPs, two of which are years out of date: Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo.

But I had not considered the World of Warcraft spin-offs.  They include:

  • WoW Novels (StarCraft and Diablo have them too)
  • WoW Strategy Guides (Is the game so complex we need a hard copy Atlas?)
  • WoW Manga
  • WoW Miniatures Game
  • WoW Original Comic Series
  • WoW Board Game (StarCraft too)
  • WoW Trading Card Game (10 different flavors, plus a treasure chest set with dice)
  • WoW Action Figures
  • WoW Wall and Daily Calendars
  • Talking (?) Murloc plush toy
  • Life Size Frostmourne replica sword
  • WoW T-Shirts
  • Carrot on a stick key chain
  • WoW Custom Statues

The last one intrigued me.  A company called FigurePrints will, for $130, make an up to 8″ tall statue of your character with its current equipment.  They are worried about such an onslaught of customers that there will be a lotto for the privilege of getting to pay to have you character created.  And they are probably right to worry.

I wonder why the company making the custom guild shirts does not have a similar plan to get you a custom picture of your character or if such a feature is being planned?  That would seem to be a more reasonable path.

And with all this, no animated series.  Maybe after the movie version of the game.

Anyway, still hours to go before I can get home and install it.  I’ve heard that there are some non-functional disks out there. (Earl seems to have gotten one.)  We’ll see if I am on that list.

No Shortage of The Burning Crusade

At least not in Santa Clara County California.

I drove over to Fry’s in Sunnyvale at 11:30am to get a case for a new cell phone and to see what the supply situation was for The Burning Crusade.

I wish they would let people take pictures in the store, because I could have shown the huge piles of copies right where you walk into the store.  A 50″ project TV was next to that display running the demo reel for the expansion.  Walking around the store I counted no less than four pallets of boxes on the sales floor in addition to the shipper displays that were around the store.

If no place else was, Fry’s was ready for the launch of The Burning Crusade.

In the presence of so many copies, I weakened and picked up a copy for myself at the full retail price of $39.99.  I’ll be pissed at myself if the price goes down in the next few weeks.  Given how many copies there were in the store, that might happen.

When I checked out of the store, the cashier laughed when he saw the box.  He explained that people had been lining up since Sunday to get their copy of the game while here I was at 10 minutes to noon on the big day and I just walked in and picked up a copy.

I did not see anybody else walking out with a copy either.  I compare this to the biggest sales day I have ever seen at Fry’s, the day when the original Star Wars Trilogy came out on DVD.  On that day there was an ant-like stream of young-to-middle-aged men walking into the store, to bins in the DVD section that frantic employees kept refilling, and then snaking into line at the cashiers, all with the very same item in their hands.

How did stock look by you?  Did you get a copy?