I have a confession to make: I own far too many amiibo. In fact, other than Marth, who is getting restocked in May, I have every single amiibo that has been released so far. For some, I had to go to extreme lengths to get them. I stood in line for the golden Mario amiibo for two hours at a Walmart in the middle of nowhere. I paid $55 for a brand new, in box, North American Wii Fit Trainer amiibo, and paid more than $100 for a villager figurine. I even met shady characters off of Craigslist in order to trade for that last amiibo I have been hunting for my collection.
I have a bit of a “problem”, as do many other fellow hunters on the amiibo subreddit.
Then, during last week’s amiibo mess, I began questioning my sanity while waiting for two hours at a Gamestop to try to order the fourth wave of amiibo. After all, Nintendo had announced two new lines of amiibo at their recent Nintendo Direct: the Splatoon series and the Yarn Yoshi series. Although Splatoon is understandably receiving three figurines in order to promote the release of the new IP, the release of Yarn Yoshi amiibo seemed a little stranger.
First off, there are three variants in a single amiibo’s color. Some crazy people, such as me, are assuredly more than willing to buy all three of the color variants of the Yarn Yoshi amiibo. The problem is not necessarily the price of purchasing three amiibo, although that is also a concern in the long-term, but the handling of a possible launch of three different color variants. Currently, there are 37 released amiibo on the market, already hard enough to find. By the time the Yarn Yoshi amiibo series launches, there will be more than 50 amiibo “available” simultaneously. Is it even reasonable to assume that Nintendo would stock enough of one type of the Yarn Yoshi amiibo, let alone three different colors?
Moreover, the functionality offered with these amiibo is getting rather sleazy on Nintendo’s end. Being able to play with a second Yoshi in Yoshi’s Wooly World seems like a feature that should be available right off of the disc, without a requirement to buy an amiibo to use it. When Nintendo first introduced amiibo, the company implied that these amiibo would be essential in their implementation and use. In Super Smash Bros, for example, amiibo hold a vastly unique functionality that would be impossible to implement without the amiibo. In Yoshi’s Wooly World, on the other hand, the amiibo functionality seems incredibly cheap and unnecessary, which is quite the shame for those that actually like using their amiibo in-game.
At this point, I ask myself whether the hunt is even worth it. Last week, I went to Gamestop in the middle of the day in hopes of pre-ordering the fourth wave of amiibo. I waited in line before pre-orders went live for more than an hour, then waited for nearly two hours after Gamestop’s system crashed in order to put the money down for the toys. After a total of nearly three hours of waiting, I walked away with a pre-order for Pac-Man, Ness, Charizard, and the Splatoon amiibo. In fact, I missed out on the Lucina, Robin, and Wario figurines due to the terrible handling of pre-orders by both Nintendo and Gamestop. And do not even get me started on the pre-orders for Greninja and Jigglypuff, both of which are exclusive to one retailer, who had pre-orders sold out within mere minutes after going live.
Sure, a small amount of amiibo scarcity can be beneficial. It raises demand for the whole line of amiibo figurines, and makes the “hunt” much more fun while uniting the Nintendo community behind the common goal of collection. The insanity that ensued in the last week, however, lead me to question my future collecting amiibo figurines.
I can manage with paying for different variations of a Yoshi amiibo – so far, amiibo releases have not been incredibly overwhelming. However, if Nintendo decides to begin releasing far too many of these stupid, plastic figurines, then I, along with a myriad of other amiibo fans, will surely cease to buy them anymore.