In June, 2014, Nintendo officially announced Amiibo would be making their way to stores everywhere. These character-based figurines were strikingly reminiscent of both Skylanders and Disney Infinity figures that have popped up in recent years, and would additionally support saving information right on the figurines themselves. This would allow the figures to gain experience or “level up” in games specifically designed for them. In November, 2014, the figures went on sale and my new obsession was born.
Gotta catch ’em all!
Let me start by saying that, so far, only a few Nintendo games support the Amiibo (Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart 8, Hyrule Warriors, and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker), and none of them do it in an incredibly engaging way. The signature title for these figures seems to be Super Smash Bros., where every one of them is represented in the game. You can touch an Amiibo to the Wii U GamePad and a corresponding computer-controlled player will enter the fight. In Mario Kart 8, they unlock special costumes otherwise unaccessible in the game. In Hyrule Warriors, you can unlock certain weapons with them. It’s all well and good, but what I’m addicted to is collecting the little critters and keeping them in the box!
I honestly never expected to have interest in them. We’d tried Disney Infinity and even my kids found it extremely boring. (An awful, bland, joyless game.) It was the first day the Amiibo went on sale that my wife and I found ourselves in a Toys R Us and, when I saw them, just…wow! They looked beautiful in their magical little boxes and I felt compelled to collect them!
I was in love. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t them all right away except for Kirby. I wish I had, because a few of them have completely sold out and are now selling for 3-6x more than the $12.99 retail price! So, if you happen to come across a Marth, it’d be a good item to buy!
Nintendo is releasing these figures in “waves.” Wave 1 was available the first day and, currently, Wave 2 is rolling out somewhat more slowly. Wave 3 was released over the span of many weeks. Wave 4 is coming next with characters such as Wario, Ness, and Charizard. Several figures have been exclusive to certain stores, so if you normally don’t like going to GameStop you may have had a hard time getting Shulk unless you ordered online!
Amiibo are absolutely perfect gifts for the gamers in your life — well, so long as they play Nintendo! The low price makes them great stocking stuffers, and the collectability will appeal to the most devoted gaming fans. Here’s a little chart to keep track of each Amiibo’s availability in stores:
(current as of March 23rd, 2015)
|Availability||Ease In Finding|
|Wii Fit Trainer||No Longer Available||Hard|
|Villager||No Longer Available||Hard|
|Marth||No Longer Available||Hard|
|Little Mac||No Longer Available||Hard|
|Pit||No Longer Available||Hard|
|Lucario (Toys R Us exclusive)||No Longer Available||Hard|
|Rosalina (Target exclusive)||No Longer Available||Hard|
|Meta Knight (Best Buy exclusive)||No Longer Available||Hard|
|Shulk (GameStop exclusive)||Yes||Hard|
|Gold Mario (Walmart exclusive)||Yes||Hard|
|Mario Series: Toad||Yes||Medium|
|Mario Series: Yoshi||Yes||Medium|
|Mario Series: Peach||Yes||Medium|
|Mario Series: Luigi||Yes||Medium|
|Mario Series: Bowser||Yes||Medium|
|Mario Series: Mario||Yes||Medium|
|Charizard||Not Yet Available||N/A|
|Ness||Not Yet Available||N/A|
|Pac-Man||Not Yet Available||N/A|
|Robin||Not Yet Available||N/A|
|Lucina||Not Yet Available||N/A|
|Wario||Not Yet Available||N/A|
For some of the harder ones to find, eBay is a great option. Expect to pay more than retail price, however you can find the Japanese version of some of them for cheaper than the ones sold here! There’s currently debate over whether Nintendo will re-release the unavailable ones. Consensus seems to be that it’s a possibility, but if you want to guarantee you’ll have them all then now is the best time to get them. Marth was announced to be one that will be coming out again, but it’s not too clear what the packaging will look like. If Nintendo were to announce that they’ve become officially discontinued, prices will skyrocket again!