Linda Hobbs, an operator of the gift shop at the Route 66 site, told KOTV people began lining up early Tuesday for the sale, before daylight.
Snapchat set up a bright yellow kiosk in front of the whale, complete with balloons. Hobbs decided to go in early to get the gift shop up and running.
“They chose this spot to help support the Blue Whale and Highway 66, and we’re glad they did,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
It’s an unusual sales campaign where the kiosks appear at random locations, and fans show up as soon as they can.
The TV station said the Spectacles sold for $130 apiece, and customers could buy only two at a time. Snapchat’s little yellow vending machine is called a Snapbot.
Here’s a video from the scene by another Tulsa station, KJRH:
TJ Clark of Tulsa waited in line more than 90 minutes only to find the kiosk had sold out by 10:45 a.m. He said the entire supply of an estimated 200 Spectacles sold out in less than four hours.
Clark said about 30 people were in line when he arrived. He wrote in a text:
I heard several in line mention that it was their first time at the Whale. All the news stations were there. Tons of pics and video being taken. A great day for The Blue Whale for sure!
Snapchat has set up kiosks for the Spectacles in only two other places, both in California. The other sites were Venice Beach in the southern part of the state and Big Sur in northern California.
The Snapbots now are the only way to buy the Spectacles, although a few folks on eBay are offering them for north of $1,000. The promotional Snapbot tour is designed to create buzz for the Spectacles before they — presumably — are rolled out in stores nationwide.
Because the Snapbot crew apparently is heading east, odd but good candidates along Route 66 are the Marsh Arch Bridge in Kansas, John’s Modern Cabins or Devil’s Elbow in Missouri or the entrance to the Ghost Bridge in Lincoln, Illinois.
UPDATE 11/17/2016: The Snapbot now has appeared at the Santa Monica Pier, the traditional end for westbound Route 66 travelers.
Snapbot at Santa Monica, LA: Live! https://t.co/jY6kp47Eos
— Snapbot Sightings (@snapbotsighting) November 17, 2016
(Image of the line in front of the Snapbot at the Blue Whale in Catoosa, Oklahoma, courtesy of TJ Clark)