I think I may need help. Despite pre-release not caring in the slightest about Nintendo’s plastic tat, I now find myself deep within their grasp with a collection that is ever growing.
What initially started off as a Toon Link and Mega Man soon grew and I now have over ten of the damn things with more on order. I have no idea who Ike is yet I own the figure simply because it was there on the shelf ready to be bought. And the thing is, if somebody asks me why I buy them, I can’t really think of a decent answer.
Unlike Skylanders or Disney Infinity there’s no great benefit to having them. There’s a mode in Super Smash Bros that I have dabbled with where you can train a chosen amiibo to fight. I used it once and never returned, a largely pointless feature that is just a waste of my Toon Link figure. Then there’s Mario Kart, and while it’s cool seeing my Mii drive around in Samus’ attire, again it’s not a game changing moment.
I suppose the biggest highlight of amiibo’s is that they look so damn good. Surprisingly good quality, the ones I’m finding to the best are the most simple. The likes of Mario and Toad looking delightful whereas characters like Sheikh and Ike, not so much. For the roughly £10-£15 they cost you can’t really say Nintendo are overcharging from a design perspective, it’s just their lack of game integration that makes that figure seem a little high.
But Nintendo have to be commended as geniuses. Whenever the odds are stacked against them, in this case the pretty dismal Wii U performance, they still manage to come out with something that prints money. The allure of getting that one rare amiibo (£50 for a Ness?!?) is making these little figures sought out collector’s items. Who knows if the limited stock was all part of the master plan to make them more desirable, but what I do know is it’s been quite a roaring success.
As for Nintendo’s next stage in amiibo dominance, just imagine a fully fleshed out Nintendo Skylanders style world where these characters actually come to life before you. Better yet, next gen Pokemon where you quite literally have to catch-em-all, this time in the real world as real figures. The so-called “toys to life” genre is big business now and Nintendo have such a rich catalogue of characters that they could quite easily clean up. The Wii U is too far gone for anything to save it, but the NX is another story.
Indeed, Nintendo’s next console, a rumoured conglomeration of their handheld and console business could be the ultimate starting point. A new, fresh approach for amiibos with greater rewards. Or maybe this could all be wishful thinking on my part. What the audience thinks is a good idea and what Nintendo actually does aren’t always in alignment.
In the end though, love or loathe them, amiibos I feel are here to stay. Now, where can I find a Rosalina?