I’m going to try to make this post as high-functioning as I can, but since this involves Nintendo I can’t promise anything.
What are Amiibos?
They’re simply fun, cute toys that you can connect to your Wii U or New 3DS (it’s a new form of the 3DS console, in case you don’t keep up on your children’s toy news) to unlock periphery benefits in supported Nintendo games.
You know, periphery benefits like costumes, new gameplay modes, and actual characters. Oh, and these are all exclusive to your purchase of Amiibos; you can’t unlock them in any other fashion.
Sounds a lot like DLC, right? Well, sure. If you mean limited-edition, retailer-exclusive DLC.
Limited-edition, retailer-exclusive DLC
And I don’t mean limited edition like you’d normally think.
See, Nintendo is keeping the supply of Amiibos low to the point where everybody who wants one (even at MSRP) is shit outta luck. And Nintendo ain’t keen on restocks. For some reason, Nintendo thinks it makes sense to drum up demand when you can’t supply.
We will aim for certain Amiibo to always be available. Due to shelf space constraints, other figures likely will not return to the market once they have sold through their initial shipment.
So if you want a character, you’d better buy it ASAP, cuz there are good odds you won’t have another chance at getting it. Hard to think of any company that hates its fanbase as much as Nintendo does.
If you wanted to get a Rosalina, for example, you could either have ordered it from Target in the 10 total minutes they were available online, or waited in this fucking cold outside till they opened this past Sunday.
You could also be like me and go on a grocery run at noon and pick up a couple you found still lying on the shelf. But most people aren’t quite at my level, so I can’t always recommend the Lazy_Sage option.
And what if there isn’t a Target you can easily access? Sucks to be you, I guess. Cuz you won’t be getting her for any less than a premium price.
Unlike with Skylanders or Disney Infinity, Amiibos are used across a wide variety of games, so their value needs to be assessed in that context. It’s a little harder to just ignore these things if you’re a fan of, say, Hyrule Warriors.
Sure, if you’re the kind of person who never buys DLC, you probably don’t give a fuck. But Nintendo isn’t trying to prey on you here, so you’re in luck.
Unclear Benefits — Better Speculate
Nintendo does not always operate within the realm of sanity, which makes predicting their moves very difficult. And they are very tight-lipped on what their Amiibos can fucking do, so it’s not hard to expect the worst (or best, if you’re a masochist). Like… what games will support Amiibos in the future? And what benefits will the Amiibos provide? Nintendo is content to let you guess.
Let’s say you’re a Fire Emblem fan.
The next series iteration (projected to release this year) may support Amiibos. And since it’s a Nintendo game that has series characters appearing in other games via Amiibo…
Nintendo announced that amiibo of Fire Emblem characters Marth, Lucina, Robin, and Ike will unlock corresponding characters in Codename S.T.E.A.M.
…I’d say that “may” is much closer to “will”.
So, what if Nintendo offered up Rosalina as a Fire Emblem character if you used her Amiibo? You know, the one that Target has stated it will never re-stock and is already at an after-market price of $40 just four days after release? What if her price goes up to $50? $80? $100+?
Even if none of the above applies to you, I’m sure you can see how frustrating this shit can get… for people that aren’t me, cuz I am like -way- above this bullshit.
Amiibos are an exploitative form of DLC that’s reminiscent of abusive microtransactions with how much they target the completionists in the Nintendo fanbase. It’s disgusting and shouldn’t be celebrated by anyone.