The amiibo game has been kinda slow lately, unless you count the fervent search for Mario Sports Superstars cards that some collectors are after. These cards have been quite difficult to find, with stores receiving as little as 10 packs (50 cards) every 2 weeks. And so far, I haven’t seen them anywhere except Target, Toys R Us, and small numbers at GameStop. This is pretty crazy considering the set consists of a whole 90 cards! Thank god for the internet though, right?
Anyway, yeah, like I said, amiibo collecting has slowed down a lot ever since early 2016. I mean sure, you might have a hard time finding certain characters after a week but gone are the days of long lines and site-crashing pre-order craziness. I’ve made it easy on myself lately by pre-ordering from Best Buy – the site (and stock) is more reliable than GameStop, they’ll hold the item for 8 days after release, and worse case scenario, you can usually have them shipped to you, arriving on the release date itself! The feat has also been made easier by Nintendo’s relaxation on all this exclusive shit – keep in mind that Nintendo has created exclusives for Target, Walmart, GameStop, Best Buy, Toys R Us, and Amazon. That’s pretty damn crazy. Nowadays many Walmarts scarcely have an “amiibo section” to speak of, and Target has seriously scaled back their shelfspace for the figurines as well. A lot of it has to do with the amiibo’s waning popularity, but it also ties into the oversaturation of toys-to-life in general. I don’t think Disney’s Infinity 3.0 had the impact they’d hoped, Skylanders has been spent 2 years trying to regain the glory of their Swap Force days by throwing out an endless barrage of gadgets and add-ons to consumers – so many that it’s just hard to give a shit anymore – and finally we have LEGO: Dimensions which any parent could’ve told you from the get-go that this shit was waaay to expensive to sustain interest.
This is all kinda good news for those of us still collecting, right? Well I thought so, but after seeing some the release notes accompanying these latest amiibo, I’m a little worried that Nintendo is bent on recreating that clusterfuck of anxiety and disappointment accompanying previous waves. As a quick aside, it appears that neither the 6 Monster Hunter Stories amiibo nor the Cuby amiibo will be making North American appearances.
Celica and Alm
These 2, from the Fire Emblem Series, are due out on May 19th as a 2-pack. So far it looks like you can still preorder these from pretty much anywhere, so probably not much to worry about.
Link: Majora’s Mask, Skyward Sword, & Twilight Princess
Our next batch, consisting purely of different (sortta) versions of Link, is due out on June 23rd. Unfortunately, if you check out all the regular preorder places, you wont see any of these guys. This is where I start to get nervous… Majora’s Mask currently has no information attached to it. Skyward Sword is an alleged Amazon.com exclusive, though nothing but a placeholder page exists at the moment. Twilight Princess seems to be a GameStop exclusive, where it is already listed as
unavailable. I’ll be a good little collector and gather these up as best I can, but I’m a little perplexed by Nintendo’s decision to release so many Links. We just had 2 with the Breath of the Wild set, 3 others not long before, and then the original Link and Toon Link from the SSB Series. I mean I could understand if we were talking about someone like, say, Scorpion from the Mortal Kombat franchise who gets a redesign every few years, or a character like Batman who’s been interpreted in countless ways, but this is Link – a nondescript elfin guy with a simple green suit. Just look at Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess next to the original SSB Link – is there really any point in making these 2 new ones. Like ’em or not though, it feels lie these 3 might be a total pain the ass to get.
Super Smash Bros.
Finally, finally the Super Smash Bros. fans get their way, and the last 3 DLC characters – Bayonetta, Cloud, and Corrin – will be available come July 21st. So far so good – these 3 can be preordered at your leisure.
But wait – we do have just a little bit of bad news to bring you down with…
Ok ok…that’s cool…we get new figures for some of the many alternate costumes available in-game. But wait a minute: where was this idea back when we needed a female version of Robyn? Or how about the characters who actually change characters when changing into certain outfits, like Olimar’s “transformation” into Alph or Bowser Jr.’s ability to appear as the 7 Koopalings. Currently Corrin – Player 2 (also referred to as Female Corrin on some sites) appears to be a GameStop exclusive and guess what:
unavailable. Yup. Cloud – Player 2 is reportedly exclusive to Amazon, but as of now Amazon only hosts a placeholder page on the toy. And when it comes to Bayonetta – Player 2 – the coolest of the lot in my opinion – there’s absolutely no information available. July 21st is shaping up to be one crazy ass day…although at least Amazon isn’t one more damn store I’ll have to hit up…
Well, here’s another set of Splatoon amiibo, released along with the remaining SSB characters on July 21st. I have to admit, it ain’t the most exciting thing, though at least we get the characters in different poses this time. I’ve got no problem with Splatoon amiibo in and of themselves, I just wish they could be a bit more unique (names, maybe?) and a little less generic…especially when you consider that these will be released alongside Splatoon 2. Thankfully these 3 should be easy to knock out as they’re available for preorder at all the usual outlets.
Due for release on July 28th, I’m not 100% sure what series these are a part of or what game it’s primarily geared towards. Nothing wrong with having a Pikmin amiibo…except how exactly is it supposed to be different from the Olimar amiibo with 3 Pikmin that we already have? There’s an unhealthy bit of redundancy starting to take hold here; I mean can’t Nintendo at least give us some white, purple, and rock Pikmin to spice things up…? Good news is that these don’t appear to be exclusive, with at least Best Buy (and probably others) taking preorders already.
Ugh, you know, I don’t know quite what to think about all this exclusivity shit cropping up again. It reminds me of extremely frustrating times, and at the time I guess I felt like I could either get into it or not, but now that those days have naturally passed, I don’t understand why Nintendo wants to make it so complicated for customers. I guess if nothing else I can always grab the Japanese versions which are significantly cheaper but that could mean waiting awhile, assuming Japanese versions even exist.
The unknown 3rd exclusive retailer is bothering me a lot. The way the Links and Player 2s are divvied up it only makes sense that Marjora’s Mask and Bayonetta Player 2 will be under a single retailer’s roof…but who? So far no Walmart exclusives can be inferred from their listings, neither are available for preorder at Best Buy, GameStop and Amazon have their exclusives, so we’re left with what, Target and Toys R Us?
Something else that’s left me a little confused is that Amazon hasn’t even opened their pre-ordering, yet GameStop is already sold out of theirs…? I mean, GameStop really takes it up the ass from Nintendo, and I don’t know why. Ever had some GameStop employee scare the hell out of you about some upcoming Nintendo game, only to walk across the street to Walmart and find 2 dozen of the same game on the shelf? It’s not that the GameStop guys are necessarily trying to frazzle you, it’s that Nintendo sends them crazy low quantities of games. Honestly though, about 80% of the time I’d rather buy a game from a big box store than GameStop. I mean if I have a detailed question GameStop is great, but otherwise the stores usually stink (from whatever food the employees bring in), the staff talks way too much and can’t gauge disinterest, stores are often crowded with patrons reeking of boy-funk and totally devoid of even the most basic human social graces.
So the gameplan is of course to keep checking Amazon and GameStop for preorders. Even if GameStop is sold out, lately they seem to be pretty good about offering up subsequent batches of preorder stuff. And if that doesn’t work, there’s one GameStop around here I can hang around at until they open in an attempt to snatch up the one or two extra amiibo they may have.
Wish me luck. These dates will start popping up before we know it. Naturally, let me know if you know something I don’t! Until next time…