Trying to find a copy of the Oregon Trail card game? Good luck


Want to play the new Oregon Trail card game? Good freaking luck finding a copy if you haven't bought it already.

The Target-exclusive game, which most locations began putting on shelves at the start of this week, was sold out in the Twin Cities area as of Wednesday morning. And it's pretty hard to find everywhere else.

"The response has been unprecedented for a game at Target," Target spokesperson Lee Henderson told BringMeTheNews.

Jeff Pinsker – president of the company that makes the game, Pressman Toys – told BringMeTheNews the first run of the Oregon Trail card game is "completely gone" after having been shipped to Target. They're now working on a second production run, and trying to get multiple factories to help meet the demand.

Making the game

The card game comes from Pressman Toys/Goliath Games, and is based on the old, green-and-black computer game that three Minnesota teachers created back in 1971.

And in the new card game you do essentially the same thing – pack up your family into a wagon and try to travel from Independence, Missouri, all the way west to Oregon without dying.

"You’ll work closely with your wagon party of 2-6 players to safely travel the trail together, this time with calamity and supply cards instead of a space bar," Target's description of the game says.

"We had so much fun developing this game," Pinsker told BringMeTheNews.

One of the hardest things, he said, was figuring out how to make the game fun when "everyone will lose most of the time."That led them to the idea of making it cooperative, not competitive.

"We also had to make sure that we stayed true to the original video game since people know it so well," he said. "Luckily, the Oregon Trail provides great material to work with."

Nostalgia country-wide

Target had the Oregon Trail game stocked in its entire chain – nearly 1,800 stores, Henderson said (and also noted Target doesn't share exactly how many copies of an item it purchases).

They're seeing "strong demand" for the game across the entire country.

That's reflected at, which says the game is mostly out of stock around Madison, Wisconsin; and is out at more than half the stores in the Chicago area. Stock is also low in New York, Seattle, Los Angeles ... just punch in a city and look at how many say "Out of stock."

"There is definitely lots of fan love for the nostalgic game," Henderson said.

So where can I buy it?

You can't buy it through anymore (though that was an option Sunday).

Locally, some of the stores in Greater Minnesota might be worth a try, at least according to the not-always-current Target website.

If you're up on the Iron Range, says the game is available in Grand Rapids, Virginia and Cambridge – but not Duluth or Superior. It's also in Moorhead and Bemidji, but not Fargo.

It's in stock at Sioux Falls East, but no other locations around there; the Rochester area has seven stores with the game in, but a lot more where it's out of stock.

So when will it be back in stock?

Target doesn't have specifics on when stores will be getting more copies of the games.

The spokesman said your best bet is to check and use the store locator to see when it's back in stock.

One tip though – since the online database isn't always current, you may want to call ahead and ask. (This writer hoped to snag one at the Northeast Minneapolis location Wednesday morning since the website said it was available – only to call and find out the last one there had just been sold.)

There are some copies on Ebay – but of course, you'll be paying well over the $12.99 Target price for one. There's even a Reddit thread for people who discussed buying the game and flipping it for more money. Meanwhile the Twin Cities Craigslist is surprisingly empty.

In the meantime, one Imgur user uploaded a bunch of photos of the game. And this Reddit thread has some game reviews from users.

Target <3 board games

The bullseye is betting big on board games.

Target announced Monday it's bringing 50 new exclusive games to its stores starting this fall, and will be introducing some at Gen-Con this week.

The reason? Double-digit growth for board games at Target, Senior Vice President of Merchandising Scott Nygaard said in the announcement.

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