Best Buy employee wages Reddit campaign to save vintage R.O.B. robot
Two days ago, a Best Buy employee discovered that some nerd-illiterate Nintendo R.O.B. (Robotic Operating Buddy) owner had dropped the 1980s-era gaming system off for recycling.
The employee couldn't allow the rare toy robot to get scrapped. First, he asked his boss if he could take it home, but heard that, per corporate policy, he would get fired if he did. So he took to Reddit.
The post instantly went viral, attracting more than 5,000 comments and 31,000 "up votes." Inspired by the reaction, the employee decided to go rogue and hatch a plan to save robot R.O.B.
- Best Buy to eliminate 400 good Twin Cities jobs
- Best Buy's Brian Dunn is the worst CEO of 2012, according to Bloomberg
- Chris Kluwe rickrolls Roger Goodell during Reddit Q&A
- The Soap Factory explores robots as metaphor
Not long after his initial posting, the employee, who goes by the Reddit handle "ipoopinthesink," wrote an update:
This might be a good time to explain what all the fuss is about. This CollegeHumor video breaks down the R.O.B.'s vintage genius perfectly. "The idea is that he plays the game with you," the video's host explains.
Since Nintendo released R.O.B. in 1985, the technology didn't exist for R.O.B. to actually plug into a video game. Instead, the game's remote controller fits into a holster in front of the robot, and R.O.B. manually presses buttons to play a video game.
And the fan base is willing to pay up for the robots that are left:
Fortunately, the power of Reddit penetrates even Best Buy's corporate campus. After higher-ups heard about the employee's campaign, they picked the robot out of the recycling bin.
"We are in the process of retrieving the robot and gaming system from the store so that we may put it on display here at our corporate headquarters in Richfield," Best Buy spokesman Jon Sandler told Business Insider.
The employee's job might not be so secure. While he didn't end up walking out with the robot or system, Best Buy told Business Insider that it's currently reviewing the situation to make sure all policies were followed. The employee updated his Reddit following to say, "My job is pending. It will take corporate a few days to 'decide appropriate action' stay tuned for updates."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.