Techpoket Techie World Fri, 24 Nov 2017 15:21:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Save $200 at Best Buy Fri, 24 Nov 2017 15:21:25 +0000

If you’ve been itching to get your hands on a shiny new 5th generation iPad, you’re in luck: Best Buy is giving it to you for $200 off on Black Friday.

Originally $459.99, you can snag the 5th generation 32GB iPad for just $259.99.

What’s extra neat about this particular version of the iPad is that it doesn’t require WiFi. Just like an iPhone, it can operate on cellular data from Verizon, so you’ll never have to embarrassingly ask for a WiFi password again.

Treat yo’ self or give the best gift ever for $200 off here.

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Get a Free Gift Certificate Template for Microsoft Office Fri, 24 Nov 2017 15:10:29 +0000

If you’re looking for a gift certificate template for your business

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customers, employees, or friends and family, you do not have to look far for an attractive design. These templates have terrific themes for holidays and birthdays or just any time of the year.

You can use just one for all occasions or use a few different ones to mix things up. Either way, these templates are fully customizable.

Occasion-Themed Gift Certificates

You can choose gift certificates with specific themes for birthdays or holidays. Maybe you’d like to use one for a friend’s birthday or perhaps your company is handing them out for a holiday giveaway. Go the extra mile and have occasion themed gift certificates on hand with these festive options.

Single Birthday Certificate

From Microsoft Office, this birthday gift certificate is appropriate for anyone and any age. You can download it if you own Word or edit it online with your Microsoft account.

Just insert the name of the giver and what the gift is inside the brackets and you are set. And remember, you can swap out the images for your company logo or banner if you like.

gift certificate templates microsoft office single

Multiple Birthday Certificates

If you would rather create smaller certificates, this option from Vertex42 gives you three on a page. You can fill in your company name and contact information at the top of each one. Then, print the page, separate the certificates, and fill them in as customers buy them.

gift certificate templates microsoft office multiple

Poinsettia Certificates

For a lovely holiday theme, Microsoft Office offers this three-on-a-page poinsettia template. You can fill in your name with your physical address or use your phone number, email address, and website. If you want to print these, just remove the Recipient and Gift Details text and complete the information as needed.

gift certificate templates microsoft office poinsettia

Summer Santa Certificates

Add a bit of humor to your gift certificates for Christmas with this summery Santa Claus theme. Just pop in your company name or logo at the top. Then, you can print and separate the certificates along the dotted lines and they are ready to go. You can edit the fields that you don’t need, like group or department and replace the text with the actual gift details.

gift certificate templates microsoft office summer santa

Snowflake Certificate

Another cute holiday gift certificate template is from Save Word Templates and titled Flake Gift Certificate on their site. This one has snowflakes and a cartoon character holding a present. You can exchange the text at the bottom to include a custom one. Plus, you can use the spot at the top to type in a personalized message.

gift certificate templates microsoft office snowflake

Any-Occasion Gift Certificates

When you want to use an all-purpose gift certificate, you will find many options from charming and colorful to formal and elegant. The nice thing about these templates is that you can use them for any occasion.

Your customers can buy them for stocking stuffers, birthday surprises, or anniversary gifts. And you can use them for employee appreciation gifts, raffles

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or giveaways, and contest prizes. Or you could use them for private gifts.

Bright Design Certificate

This template from Microsoft Offices gives you a gift certificate with bright, vibrant colors. For adults or children, this fun option is a great one for any occasion. You can use the text area at the top under the gift language to add in your name, website, or email address to customize it per your needs.

gift certificate templates microsoft office bright design

And if you like the design, you can also check out the three-on-a-page version. Just keep in mind that there is not as much space for personalization.

Expiration Date Certificate

For a fully customizable template, Save Word Templates has this excellent certificate. It has places for your company name and contact information, a tracking number, authorized signature line, and an expiration date.

gift certificate templates microsoft office expiration date

This one is ideal if you need those details for logging your certificates. A major benefit of this template is that each text area is editable so that you can completely personalize it from top to bottom.

Note: This template is titled Loved Ones Gift Certificate on the Save Word Templates website.

Professional Gift Certificates

Vertex42 has an attractive template if you prefer three on a page. The certificates offer plenty of spots for details like your company name, address, phone, website, and logo. It also includes date issued, authorized by, and certificate number areas. If you have a color printer, you can give your customers a choice between the blue, green, or red border options.

gift certificate templates microsoft office professional

Casual Gift Certificates

Also from Vertex42, this template is similar to the professional design but a bit more casual. There are three on a page, in blue, green, and red, plus all the same text areas for company information, dates, numbers, and an authorization signature.

gift certificate templates microsoft office casual

Gold Award Gift Certificate

If you would like to stick with a full-page gift certificate design, this one from Microsoft Office offers an elegant appearance with an award theme. You can easily customize it with the award amount or gift, your company details, and the presenter and recipient. This is a nice template for an employee recognition reward or contest winner but can be edited for most any type of gift.

gift certificate templates microsoft office gold award

Bonus! Certificate and Tracking Template

When you need to keep track of the gift certificates purchased and redeemed, make sure you are prepared. This handy Microsoft Excel template from Vertex42 gives you an easy way to log all the details.

Fill in fields for the date issues, certificate number, recipient, authorization, amount, expiration date, and date redeemed.

gift certificate templates microsoft office tracking

Remember, if you do not track all of those details, you can quickly edit the template to suit your needs.

Plus, the workbook has a separate tab with a blue, three-on-the-page gift certificate template. The certificates are customizable with your company details and super convenient to have in the same spot as your tracking log.

gift certificate templates microsoft office tracking

If you prefer to use Excel

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for both template types, this one is perfect for you.

Keep Your Templates Handy

If you are in a business where you offer gift certificates to customers or work in an office where you show your appreciation to employees with them, keep these templates close by. You also customize these templates for personal use. They are each easy to edit, printable, and save you time.

And for additional Microsoft Word templates to help you throughout your work day, check out this great list

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Is there a template that you search for but seem to have a hard time finding? If so, let us know and maybe we can dig one up for you!

How to Create a Dropdown List in Excel

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Apple’s Black Friday page is now live with gift cards worth up to $150 Fri, 24 Nov 2017 14:54:20 +0000

The award for the least surprising Black Friday event this year goes to Apple.

The company launched its Black Friday page early on Friday, offering gift cards worth up to $150 with select purchases of Apple gadgets.

If you buy an Apple Watch Series 1, you’ll get a $25 Apple Gift Card. Purchasing an iPhone SE, 6s or 7 will get you a gift card worth up to $50. Buying an iPad Pro, iPad or iPad mini 4 will net you a gift card worth up to $100. And finally, if you get a new Mac — including the MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac or Mac Pro, you’ll get a gift card worth up to $150. 

Apple is running similar deals in countries other than the U.S., with slightly different discounts. For example, in the UK, the gift cards are worth £20, £40, £80 and £120, respectively. 

If all that sounds familiar, that’s because the deals are more or less the same as last year. 

While these deals aren’t anything special, there are ways to get Apple gadgets cheaper this Black Friday. Check out our list over here. a070 74f2%2fthumb%2f00001

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Shopify’s live streaming the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales frenzy Fri, 24 Nov 2017 14:44:43 +0000

Ever wonder what Black Friday’s consumerist rush looks like in real time? Now you can see it visualized in the stream above, which is a visualization of sales occurring on Shopify’s platform across its many merchants globally.

Those dots represent sales in actual merchant stores, and the lines indicate where the buyers are coming from relative to where the shops are based. As you can see, it’s a pretty international picture, though by far the area lighting up the most for this particularly North American consumer shopping spree day is, unsurprisingly, North America.

Just what does this pretty moving picture translate to in terms of actual number, though? Well there’s a live data site telling you how much the platform is seeing in terms of sales per minute (exceeding $300,000 every 60 seconds as of this writing) and orders per minute (around 3,300 or so).

Shopify is also breaking down what’s selling the most, in terms of product categories, and which cities are topping the list in terms of overall purchases (London, UK is leading right now, somewhat surprisingly). Check out more granular detail at the ecommerce company’s Black Friday/Cyber Monday microsite.

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This Oster Blender and attachments has a crazy Black Friday deal Fri, 24 Nov 2017 14:43:09 +0000

Hey, smoothie enthusiasts, you might wanna sit down for this one: this Oster Pro 1200 Blender comes with a food processor attachment and personal smoothie cup attachment. And it’s all only $55.99 today.

This Amazon best-selling Oster blender comes with just about anything you need for food prep, so you can forget having to shop for multiple appliances (plus it’s stainless steel and really pretty). Enjoy cutting through ice, greens, and frozen ingredients without feeling like your blender is about to fall apart — the glass blending pitcher is impressively heavy duty, so even with the powerful motor, you don’t have to worry about a mess. 

Oster wasn’t messing around with these attachments, either: The five cup food processing bowl has reversing blade action, which makes ultra-precise slicing and dicing a breeze. The single serve cup allows you to make enough smoothie just for you, without having to figure out what to do with the rest.

Originally $89.99, Amazon is offering a limited-time deal on this 3-in-1 gadget and taking $34 off. Get one for yourself and all of the cooking enthusiasts in your life for $55.99 here.

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$100 off a Razer PC gaming bundle Fri, 24 Nov 2017 14:29:11 +0000

Calling all hardcore gamers: Black Friday is here for you, too. Walmart is offering the 5-star Razer gaming bundle for $99—that’s $100 off the original price of $199.

If you haven’t yet joined the cult of Razer, you don’t know what you’re missing. In the words of Mashable‘s Ray Wong, the scrappy PC gaming company “conquered PC accessories and even sells some of the sleekest and best gaming laptops ever created.” 

This bundle includes the Cynosa Pro Keyboard with membrane keys, the ergonomic DeathAdder mouse with Hyperresponse buttons, Kraken Essential headset designed for extended wear, and fray-resistant Goliathus mouse pad. 

Razer gaming gear is some of the best in the biz, which means it tends to be expensive. Take advantage of this deal while you can. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or the PC gamer in your life, this bundle is sure to up your game (no pun intended.)

As more Black Friday sales drop, the Mashable Deals team will be scouring the internet to find you the best prices on our favorite products. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay updated.

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Equity podcast: Stitch Fix and Sailpoint get their IPOs done Fri, 24 Nov 2017 14:24:02 +0000


Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week we assembled the full crew — Matthew Lynley, Katie Roof and Alex Wilhelm — along with Stephanie Palmeri from Uncork Capital. Palmeri has invested in Poshmark, Chariot, and ClassDojo, for context.

Her investment in Poshmark made her a perfect guest as we spent the bulk of our time in the podcast room digging through the Stitch Fix IPO, which wound up attracting both positive and negative commentary on Twitter and in the media.

Here’s Katie’s roundup of the fracas, and, here’s something I did before we wound up in the middle of VC Twitter. The two pieces should ground you in what we were working to understand, namely can you call an IPO a success if it has to price under its proposed range?

If that sounds technical, it is, but the conversation is a good catalyst to help us all understand the world that dozens of unicorns need to venture into; the IPO world of today, that is.

At the end, we also talked through the recent SailPoint debut. IPOs! We’ve got them all.

Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on iTunes, Overcast, Pocketcast, Downcast and all the casts.

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How to unearth all your old unread emails in Gmail’s Priority Inbox Fri, 24 Nov 2017 14:18:03 +0000

This is a woman who has more important work to do than deleting email.
This is a woman who has more important work to do than deleting email.

Image: Getty Images/Hero Images

There’s no shortage of ways to manage your email, but if you use Gmail, here’s a one-two punch that’ll quickly clean up your inbox. 

The crux of our email overload comes down to two things: too much quantity and needing to sift through that deluge to get what you actually need. To fix the first issue, try Gmail’s Priority Inbox. 

Once turned on, the feature sorts your email into four main categories: Primary, Social, Promotions and Updates. You can drag and drop emails to move them between categories, but by and large, this system will let you weed out the hundreds of shopping newsletters you were probably never going to read and keeps the important stuff right in front of you. 

To enable Priority Inbox, choose “Inbox Type” under Settings, which you can access using the gear icon in the upper right corner of your inbox. Once you’ve got it, your inbox will look like this: 

But, alas, you can’t stop there. Your Primary tab will default to reverse chronological order for unread emails, so if you keep things unread as a way to remind yourself to address them, they’ll get buried in short order. Neatly sidestep this issue by doing boolean category search of your inbox. 

Copy and paste “category:primary is:unread” into the search bar and it’ll pull up all the important emails that remain unread. Voila! Treat this as your to-do list for for the day, and never worry about email overload again. 3cb1 3a88%2fthumb%2f00001

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8 Star Wars Props You Can Make at Home Fri, 24 Nov 2017 14:07:33 +0000

With forty years’ worth of movies and spin-offs to work from, Star Wars prop building and cosplay is a popular pastime. But just how do you get started constructing droids, blasters, lightsabers, helmets and other props?

The best place to go for inspiration is YouTube, where you’ll find builds based on cardboard, foam, and even industrial tubing. Basically, there’s something for all DIY abilities. Basically, not only can you build props to gain superhero powers

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, you can become a Jedi, too! (Disclaimer: Not actually true).

Here are eight Star Wars props you can build at home this weekend.

1. Build Your Own X-Wing Helmet

“Red five, standing by…” “Almost there… almost there…” “Negative, it just impacted on the surface!”

“Luke, you’ve switched off your targeting computer, what’s wrong?”

Each line evokes memories of THE greatest scene in any Star Wars movie: the assault on the Death Star. And over half of the characters on screen during this sequence (the Battle of Yavin) are wearing helmets, as they pilot their X-Wings and Y-Wings into seemingly insurmountable danger.

Building your own X-Wing helmet isn’t as difficult as you may think. As Dustin McLean demonstrates above, it can be done relatively cheaply, with tools that you may already have.

2. Stormtrooper Heavy Blaster Rifle

Fancy your chances working for the Empire? Squash the puny rebellion scum underfoot with this, a DLT-19 heavy blaster rifle as seen in the original Star Wars movie, and several films, games, and cartoons since. Carried by Stormtroopers of a particular designation, these heavy blasters look superb, and you can build your own!

All of these components are available for $10 or under, but as you can see, this build is a little more complicated. Interestingly, this build is partially based on a German MG34, a semi-automatic rifle first issued in 1936 and seen in many war movies.

Not for beginners, the end results will cause many a gasp at the next convention you attend.

3. Han Solo’s Blaster

One of the most iconic handguns in movie history, Han Solo’s blaster was the handgun used to kill Greedo in the first movie, and subsequently went up against Stormtroopers on the Death Star, Hoth, Bespin, and Endor.

Building your own? If you’re looking for an in-depth build, then this video by Odin Abbot shows exactly how he went about it. Some prior knowledge of prop building is required here, along with a whole host of heavy duty tools. The end product is stunning, however.

If all of that seems too much, however, you could just customize a child’s toy instead. No, really. In this video, Bill Doran demonstrates how an inexpensive Star Wars toy can be repainted to more closely resemble the movie prop.

4. Build Your Own BB8

Want your own BB8 droid? You don’t have to buy one for $250 or so — you can build one for under $100, using magnets, a beach ball, an Arduino (see our Arduino guide for help here, it’s really worth learning), and a few other bits and pieces.

We won’t lie: this is a complicated, time-intensive build. But the results really do speak for themselves. Best of all, this BB8 can be controlled via a mobile app over your phone’s Bluetooth connection!

Full instructions can be found in the Instructables guide, in which the builder — with help from his father — gives detailed steps.

If you’re a big fan of droids, but want something less ambitious, try this foam-based astromech droid build instead:

5. Build Your Own Lightsaber!

If you’ve never held an invisible lightsaber tube and made “vumm-tscumm-chchchchc” noises, then you probably don’t harbor any ambitions to be a Jedi or Sith. But if you do have some inclination towards the light side or the dark side of the Force, and wish to begin your training, you’ll need to be able to build your own.

William Jakespeare shows you how in this video, although do note that no blade is emitted from the saber. You’re basically looking at a build for the handle, which is mainly based on Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber in the original trilogy. However, it has a bulb in the side, as per The Force Awakens, which is a nice touch.

Of course, a lightsaber looks pretty dumb without the blade. You have several options here, but our favorite is post production with Adobe After Effects:

6. Be Boba Fett With This Jet Pack

Since being knocked into the jaws of the Sarlacc in the Great Pit of Carkoon (Return of the Jedi), Boba Fett has been missed. So much, in fact, that he was added into the Star Wars special edition, while his father, Jango, was included as a key character in the prequel trilogy.

Of course, after his Empire Strikes Back glory, Boba Fett is out of his depth. How else can you explain him being outclassed by a blind Han Solo?

Using scrap PVC pipes, crafting board, rubber tubing, plastic cups and other easily-found materials, you too can build your own Mandalorian Jetpack, just like Boba Fett’s! Just, um, make sure you don’t end up in the jaws of a Sarlacc, right?

7. Mouse Droid!

Back in 1977, the collection of droids wandering around the Star Wars universe was a source of fascination. It’s still pretty amazing, with machines such as power droids, probe droids, and these little guys, the mouse droids.

Heralding their presence with a “tututu-tuuu”, these droids have an in-world purpose of maintenance and repair. They can be seen in the original movie, as well as Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

Can you build your own? Yes!

All that is required to get started — as demonstrated by Ace Cosplay above — is a remote controlled car. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Check the full video to see just how straightforward this build is.

8. You Don’t Know the POWER of the Dark Side

It’s simple to impersonate Darth Vader: breathe heavily, aqualung-style, into a mug, and do your best James Earl Jones voice. But for the full effect, you probably need a helmet to get started. Let’s be honest: it’s the least you’ll need for cosplaying Star Wars‘s greatest character (despite what the prequels did to him).

Now, you could go heavy duty with your Darth Vader helmet, but it’s so complicated that it makes sense to start with a simple material like cardboard.

There’s no reason why you couldn’t upgrade to a better material in the future, of course. But for cosplaying events and conventions, where things can get damaged or lost, cardboard makes sense.

Do… or Do Not. There Is No Try

If you’re a fan of Star Wars, you’ve probably felt like building your own prop from time to time. Perhaps you prefer the toys, or pimping them up to resemble the movie props? Or do you like to grab a lightsaber in Toys R Us and duel with your partner or son?

On the other hand, maybe you just like practicing your Darth Vader voice in an empty Star Wars mug (like me).

Whatever the case, we’d love to hear from you. There’s enough here to start preparing for your own Star Wars movie (try not to make any mistakes

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What’s your favorite DIY Star Wars prop? Tell us all about it below.

15 Awesome Star Wars Props You Can 3D Print

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Oral History: How Marvel’s Creative Head Helped Bring Nintendo to America Fri, 24 Nov 2017 14:06:06 +0000

Today videogames are a multibillion-dollar industry, as much a part of popular culture as movies or music. But in 1983 the console gaming industry looked like it was headed for a kill screen. Atari, Intellivision, and ColecoVision had run the market into the ground, and home computers were poised to be the next thing to monopolize eyeballs. Videogame cartridges were either in bargain bins or destined for a hole in the New Mexico desert. It was bleak.

The Nintendo Entertainment System changed that forever.

In the mid-1980s the console became the hottest thing around, rejuvenating the home gaming industry and creating a whole new generation of players thanks to the unprecedented popularity of games like Super Mario Bros., Duck Hunt, and Legend of Zelda. But when the console first came to the US, its chances weren’t good. The possibility that anyone would shell out for another console—let alone one that cost nearly $200—was slim.

But Joe Quesada found a way to get people to buy them. Lots of them. Yes, the guy whose name you may recognize because he’s now chief creative officer of Marvel Entertainment (he produces the Marvel TV shows, among other things) was once a clerk at FAO Schwarz in Manhattan who found himself in the rare position of being a Nintendo evangelist. Don’t believe it? We’ll let him tell the story, starting in 1984.

Joe Quesada: After I graduated from art school, I was a musician, playing the clubs, that whole thing. I got a job at FAO Schwarz, the then famous toy store. They were on the corner of 59th Street and 5th Avenue, I think. It was the classic old store.

It was a fun place to work. They put me in the games department as a salesperson. And one thing I would do is I would take home a board game every night and play it with my then girlfriend, learn it through and through. This way, when people came in, I could tell them everything they needed to know. If they told me what they liked, I knew where to steer them. I was really anal that way.

This was the time when Trivial Pursuit was very hot, so we sold a ton of that game, but we were all over the board, so to speak. Videogames, though, were just deader than dead. We had an entire basement warehouse of old Atari videogames we were trying to get rid of at 99 cents, and even at that we couldn’t sell them.

Quesada’s experience wasn’t an isolated one. It was something happening throughout his store and throughout the industry. Nintendo had an NES predecessor, the Famicom, in the Japanese market as early as 1983, but it never really penetrated the US market. By 1985 Nintendo was ready to rebrand it and bring it America.

Tom Nestor, another FAO clerk at the time: I worked in games during the Atari/ColecoVision era. One year I was sent to Toy Fair with a buyer named Ian McDermott, who was baffled by videogames. He really knew board games, puzzles, and so forth, but he was really in the weeds when it came to videogames. Nintendo was showing a cartridge-based system that was way ahead of anything that was out there. Unfortunately Atari had oversaturated the market by licensing terrible third-party games—the MASH videogame comes to mind—and customers were growing weary. So orders for this Toy Fair Nintendo system were not great, and they never brought it to the US.

Boys looking at new Nintendo video game machine on display at Toys “R” Us toy store.

John Harding/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images

Quesada: So one day, one of the managers came to me and said, “Hey, I got this guy upstairs, and he’s trying to sell us on a videogame system.” And of course my eyes roll back. No one’s playing videogames right now, no kid wants this stuff. Atari just killed it. But my manager said, “He seems like a nice guy, just talk to him, see if there’s any ‘there’ there.” So I say OK.

I’m a young kid, maybe 21 or 22 at the time, and I’m expecting some shark, salesman-type dude who is going to make me feel like I need a shower after I talk to him. But he’s a really nice, really jovial dude. And he starts talking to me about this system, this Nintendo system.

According to Don James, the Nintendo executive who has launched every product the company has introduced in the US since 1981, that rep was almost undoubtedly Al Stone, the enthusiastic salesman who died last February.

Don James: Al was exactly as described. He was a warm, fuzzy character. Would give you the shirt off his back, always willing to pick up a round of drinks. He was really, really easy to talk to. He was just a big teddy bear of a guy.

Quesada: The game was this box, and came with this robot, and there was this gun that you used to play this game called Duck Hunt. And I’m looking at this thing thinking, “Who the hell is going to want this?” And then he tells me the retail price is going to be $199. And now I know nobody is going to want it.

And he said, “Listen, I know this is a tough sell. But take this one home. It’s yours. Play with it. If you like it, no risk. I will give you as many as you need, no risk, totally on consignment. And I will give FAO Schwarz a one-year exclusive. This will be the only place you can get it.”

He said, “Just so you know, outside of the folks in Seattle at Nintendo, you are the first person, layperson, to have one of these to play.” And I thought, “OK, that’s kind of cool.” He may have been bullshitting me completely, but I’m going to live in my fantasy.

James: Al was probably in New York for a very short period of time around September of 1985. And we did guarantee the sale. No one wanted anything to do with anything that even looked like a home videogame system at the time. That’s why we called it Nintendo Entertainment System, and not a home videogame system. We guaranteed the sale for all the product we distributed, but it was not exclusive to any one retailer.

Stone, James, and a Nintendo sales team made similar offers at a few other stores in the New York City area as a test market. Was FAO Schwarz the very first offer extended? The very first to sell? It’s possible.

Quesada: So I said, “Sure,” expecting absolutely nothing. I tell my manager, he says, “Give it a shot, why not?” So I take it home and I start playing the games and I can’t stop playing. The gun [used in Duck Hunt] was a mind-blower. The robot [used in Gyromite] was interesting but a pain to set up and play. I know they had some tech issues with it but it worked fine for me. It was insanely addicting. And I’m like, “Wow. There is something here.”

So I go back to my manager and I say, “What do we have to lose? It’s consignment!” The only thing we have to lose is maybe it looks embarrassing if nobody likes it. So I spoke to the salesman … and he was so kind, and he believed in this product so much. And that goes a long way with a guy like me.

Quesada was sold. His job became selling customers.

Quesada: So we get a shipment of these Nintendos, and I used to do this floor display of Trivial Pursuit boxes, this cool, geometric mountain of Trivial Pursuit boxes, because people would come in just to buy Trivial Pursuit and go.

So I took down the Trivial Pursuit mountain and I put up a Nintendo mountain in the middle of the games floor. And people would walk in and go, “What’s that?” And I’d say, “It’s a videogame system.” And they’d say, “Thanks but no thanks.” I couldn’t give them away, especially at the price point. So I eventually had to tell customers the same thing the salesman told me. I’d tell them, “Bring it home. If you don’t like it, bring it back tomorrow, I’ll give you back your money, no questions asked.”

So one person bought one, then another and another. And no one ever came in for their money back. They would come back in, but for a second game or a third, to buy as gifts. And I thought, “This is interesting.”

Quesada saw a change—and a tipping point.

It felt like something akin to a drug deal, because he looks around, reaches into an inside coat pocket, and pulls out this golden cartridge. He says, ‘This game is going to change everything.’

Quesada: So little by little, bit by bit, this started to progress. This was before the internet, mind you, and FAO Schwarz had a catalog business. But it wasn’t like we had a catalog warehouse. You’d call with an order, they’d connect you with the department, and if it was a game you wanted, we’d fill out the order and run it down to the shipping department. I’ll never forget the day I got a call from a woman asking for the Nintendo system, and so many of our orders were local, in the city. I said, “Sure, do you want me to messenger that over?” And she said, “No, I’m in Denver.” And that’s when I realized this thing had taken off, and all by word of mouth. You couldn’t get this at Toys ‘R’ Us. This was all literally selling them one person at a time. People would come in, I’d give them the guarantee, and they’d never bring them back. One at a time.

The NES was a hit. After the test launch at FAO Schwarz and a few other New York–area locales in 1985 with just two games, Nintendo rolled out the system nationally in 1986 with a total of 17 titles. Sales took off. And Quesada got a double-dip from Al Stone.

Quesada: So one day, the gentleman from Nintendo comes back in and says, “Hey, I got something for you.” It felt like something akin to a drug deal, because he looks around, reaches into an inside coat pocket, and pulls out this golden cartridge. He says, “This game is going to change everything.” And I look at it, and it’s something called Legend of Zelda. And he says, “Just so you know, again, outside of the people in Seattle in our division, you’re the first person to get to play this.” I don’t know for sure that I was the first person to play it outside of Seattle, but he sounded convincing.

So I bring it home and played the game. And played it all night. I didn’t show up to work the next day, I just kept playing. And the day after, I showed up late to work and all I could think about was solving Zelda. This went on and on. My girlfriend was getting freaked out about it until I told her, “You should try this too.” Eventually she started to show up late for work. We couldn’t get off of Zelda. This became rather counterproductive in our lives … but, boy, did those things sell.

Legend of Zelda went on to sell millions of units and become one of the most well-known franchises in gaming. Quesada eventually went on to a career in comics, which was probably for the best.

Quesada: The moral of the story is I ended up not becoming a gamer because I saw the dangers. I found that my particular psyche could get easily sucked into videogames. I had to walk away.

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