The first quarter of 2018 saw a copy of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Sega Game Gear sell at full retail. Mat Piscatella, who works for the NPD Group, has access to detailed sales reports from retailers and noticed that one copy of the game had been sold in March 2018.
While this could be a mistake, Piscatella's credentials are clear to see and his regular access to highly-detailed information certainly means he is more than capable of spotting false data. That being said this is very much a mystery, with Mat currently able to offer no explanation as to how this might have happened.
The game, which was first released in 1992, must have been sold as new by the retailer in question because consignment stores do not provide point-of-sale (POS) data. As well, the data was transmitted to Mat via the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) something which is not done by second-hand retailers.
At this point the circumstances of the sale are unclear but the analyst has stated that he will continue to make inquiries to find out how this might have happened, 21 years after the console was discontinued by Sega. The console itself sold reasonably well - a total of 10.62 million units - but it was largely forced out of the market by the Nintendo Game Boy, which managed to ship a monstrous 118.69 million units in its various forms.
There are a variety of theories as to why this strange event might have occurred. Chief among these is the idea that this item may have been sold via a Toys R Us store, following the announcement that all branches of the chain were to go into liquidation. Liquidation sales mean that literally every item contained within the store will be put on the shelves, even if it has been sitting in a back room for more than two decades.
As of now Piscatella is yet to find out how this may have happened but he has promised updates when he gets them, so stay tuned to find out i this modern-day mystery gets a thrilling conclusion.