I know I shouldn't feed the troll Woosh, etc... Ah, what the heck
Spoken like someone who never had the original one. Even while the thing was in it's heyday (late '80s), it had all kinds of issue starting. After about two-three years of heavy use, they would start with the flashing power light upon inserting a cart. Everyone always assumed it was the cart's fault, because if you took it out and blew on it or tried another one, it would work. Problem was with the female end inside the unit, the jaws would splay open after too many insertions.
That said, I'll give the parent a break — since I never owned a top loader, he may be right. My N64 still works (for now), but my SNES only starts its games about 1 in 10 times recently.