Amiibo Fever

“Amiibo” is a word that is getting pretty close to being banned in our household. For some of you this new Nintendo Skylander-Infinity style may have passed you by until now, yet for others it has become an obsession.

November 2014 saw the launch of the first wave of Amiibos – small plastic Nintendo figures on bases with chips which interact through near field technology with the WiiU controller and the New 3DS with a select few Nintendo games such as Super Smash Brothers, Mario Party 10, and Mario Kart 8, as well as several upcoming games titles including Splatoon, Yoshi’s Wooly World, and Kirby and the Rainbow Curse. For example, in Super Smash Brothers, the Amiibos can be used to spawn characters for use in-game, however they offer limited functionality in most other games and tend to unlock in-game bonus features such as costumes, music, and weapons.

The plastic figures are well made with great attention to detail and make an impressive display whether kept in their boxes or taken out to be loved and played with – which therein lies the problem, as collectors worldwide clamour to get the latest waves to add to their collection. Nintendo obviously hadn’t expected these to have been such a hit and subsequently there is a mass shortage meaning it is almost impossible to find the vast majority of the 41 Amiibos (35 for Super Smash Brothers and 6 for the Mario Classic Collection) which have already been released in your local shops for £10.99 to £14.99. This means that, currently, to obtain the full collection available to date you are already looking at around £450 to £615 at retail price…

Facebook and Twitter groups have been setup to try and help genuine collectors track down pre-orders and complete their collections. I’m not ashamed to admit that having received a notification I got up at 3am to hide in the bathroom with my iPad to make sure I got my pre-orders in before they sold out. The current record for pre-orders selling out appears to be the recent release of Jigglypuff and Greninja on the Nintendo store this month which were officially sold out within 30 seconds.

Yet there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight for the poor Amiibo hunter as there has been no definite indication of whether reprints of the earlier waves are going to be available at a later date, and so many are having to resort to eBay to complete their collections with prices reaching as much as £60 for a rare Amiibo.

Furthermore, another 17 are already starting to appear for pre-order – 3 for Splatoon, 3 Woolly Yoshis, 6 available to pre-order for Super Smash Brothers and 5 to be announced.

Something that has become very clear from all of this is that Nintendo have once again managed to recreated that “Gotta Catch ‘em All” craze in the Amiibo.