That’s definitely a best-case scenario
Collecting amiibo has, to this point, been largely an exercise in madness. Nintendo has shellacked us with a flurry of figures from across several lines, brands, and degrees of availability. At least we knew what we were getting (or not getting).
That changes today. With the release of the Animal Crossingamiibo cards, we take a stab in the dark. These blind packs of six cards run $6 each and there are 100 cards in the collection. Further complicating matters, there are 83 normal cards and 17 special cards — five normals and one special per pack.
It sounds bad, but it somehow doesn’t need to cross into the realm of ridiculousness. With lady luck, diligent planning, and savvy dealing on your side, a full set could cost just slightly more than $100.
A user named Pikmin34 on the amiibo subredditbreaks down the probability of accomplishing this. His math is worth a full read, but it basically amounts to needing to buy a minimum of 17 packs. It’s assumed that the odds of pulling any given special card are almost identical to pulling any given normal card, and no cards are any rarer than others. Special cards are considered “the limiter” here because buying 17 packs to get all the specials would yield 85 normals — two more than the 83 in the set.
Got all that? The gist is that, on average, you’ll get 11 unique specials and 54 unique normals by buying 17 packs. If you can then trade your duplicates, it’s possible to pull off an entire set for about $102 without tax. Good luck finding that many people who are interested in trading. It’s definitely a best-case scenario.
Conversely, without trading, Pikmin34 speculates that the average person would need to buy 83 packs and accumulate 415 normal cards to complete the set. That would cost just shy of $500.
Realistically, the true cost is probably somewhere between those two because it’s likely going to be very hard to find that many people to trade with. But, we’ve always known that amiibo collecting takes some expendable income. The cards will require a lot more of that, and you won’t even have a neat figurine to show for your troubles.