After reading that caption you might say to yourself, “Woah, Bear. Why don’t we cool it with the profanities?” To that I say, no, fuck that. Mario’s a big bitch.
Bear’s mad. And he’s mad about Amiibo. As you may be aware, dear reader, I love Amiibo and I am an avid collector. But I feel wronged by the company who brings me such collectible goodness.
Earlier today, I was made aware of this post on Nintendo’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Nintendo/photos/a.120520318032430.30157.119240841493711/826917464059375/?type=1&theater
At first glance, you can draw conclusions from this post that Nintendo is really, truly, making a conscious effort to improve the availability of Amiibo. There’s talk of re-issue, making a larger effort to improve the announcement of Amiibo, and “easy to access as a platform to enhance game-play experiences.”
Here’s where this is all a big crock of shit. I’m gonna break this down paragraph by paragraph for you.
“We appreciate the enthusiasm that our fans continue to show toward amiibo. Sales for the product have exceeded our expectations. We understand how frustrating it can be at times if consumers are unable to find certain figures, and we apologize for that.”
This is probably true, else this post wouldn’t exist.
“We’re trying to meet the demands of our fans and consumers by increasing the amount of amiibo we manufacture and ship to retail. We may continue to see consumer demand outpace supply levels for certain characters at times, but we will do our best to prevent that from happening.”
To me this says, we’ll make of few more of characters that are in the same league as Captain Falcon, King DeDeDe, all of the retail exclusives, etc. in terms of rarity, however probably not that many more.
“As our library of amiibo continues to grow, some figures will be easier to find than others. We are constantly looking for the opportunity to reissue amiibo and are already making plans to bring back some currently out-of-stock amiibo figures. Stay tuned for details.”
As we issue more amiibo, you’re still just as fucked as you were before, only with more kinds of amiibo. We are constantly looking for the opportunity to fuck you hard by partnering with retailers like Best Buy (Meta Knight), Gamestop (Shulk, Ness), Toys R’ Us (Lucario, Greninja), Target (Rosalina & Luma, Jigglypuff) and let the chucklefucks in charge of those stores decide how amiibo are released and the availability of pre-orders.
Coincidentally, these amiibo are all extremely rare, hard to find (if not impossible) and are only available on ebay by scalpers for 3-5 times the retail price.
“Nintendo plans to make it easier for consumers to know when new amiibo are on the way, through Nintendo press announcements, timely updates on our social media channels and working closely with retailers.”
See above. Also, knowing the date of release doesn’t help anyway. I know Greninja is coming 5/29. What I didn’t know is that Toys R’ Us would put up Greninja pre-orders at 3AM EST, and as a result not many had a shot at getting one. Mine’s coming from Germany, for 29$.
“We remain committed to keeping amiibo affordable and easy to access as a platform to enhance game-play experiences. These plans include Animal Crossing amiibo cards that will become available by the end of 2015, and a free-to-download app for Wii U called amiibo tap: Nintendo’s Greatest Bits that launched on April 30, 2015, that lets consumers enjoy playable scenes from certain NES and Super NES games with amiibo.”
Probably this biggest “fuck you” Nintendo could give, and the crux of why I felt this statement needed an article to respond to, highlighting all of my rage.
After reading the first sentence, I said, “Oh that sounds promising.” Continuing on, though, you end up with them touting that the Animal Crossing amiibo cards are anywhere close to what amiibo collectors want out of amiibo, and that amiibo tap is supposed to make you feel better about not having amiibo. I’ll tackle amiibo tap first because it’s quicker.
Amiibo tap is a “game” where you tap your amiibo (dur) and a RANDOM (hurr durr) (S)NES game for like, 1-5 minutes (HURRR DURRR). For example, your Link amiibo might let you play The Legend of Zelda for the NES. Or Balloon Fight. It makes no sense and is decidedly garbage.
Okay, Animal Crossing amiibo cards. Cool idea for that specific game, I guess. The cards give you access to furniture. It’s physical DLC. You know what? No, never mind. The Animal Crossing amiibo cards are bad. It’s DLC furniture that you have to keep a fucking card for and that is garbage. Besides THAT. Nintendo doesn’t seem to understand why people are collecting amiibo. Here, let me help you, Nintendo.
The actual part where you play with amiibo is okay at best. Super Smash Bros. having the most interesting way to play, for every other game with amiibo support, it’s mostly just as a way to sell physical DLC. If they were collecting data on what happens with amiibo sold by tracking how many figures actually touched an NFC pad, they would probably find that not even half of the figures sold ever communicated with the Wii U/3DS.
This is, to my knowledge, the first time many of these iconic Nintendo characters have ever been made available in decent to high quality figurine. People want to look at a cool figure of Link, Bowser, Little Mac, Captain Falcon, etc. This is what they want. Amiibos look fucking good. This is the whole point.
This is something I thought of a while back, and for me it would solve a lot of the amiibo supply problem: Take pre-orders for manufacturing. Hear me out. Open up pre-orders, make them last a week, two weeks, a month. Whatever the time period you deem appropriate, Nintendo. When the period of time has passed, you count up all of the pre-orders, and make that many amiibo. This could take 6 months, a year, whatever. It almost doesn’t matter how long it takes. You make those amiibo, they get shipped to the store. Everybody shows up with their “Gib Little Mac amiibo plz” ticket that they bought, and everything is solved. Make a few extra to sell in store, but this would solve every problem. There’s not that much left over stock, and also every body gets a non-scalped priced amiibo.
For Nintendo to put this up, with this plan of non-action the way I see it, is a little insulting to me as a collector. I guess they acknowledge there is a problem, which is more than I thought they would ever do.