Destructoid Discusses: Are amiibo worth it?

0
23

Let’s rap about it

According to at least one cursory analysis, Nintendo’s amiibo figurines are a pretty big hit, going toe to toe with Disney and Activision’s similar line of game-integrated figures. Pretty impressive, considering they barely do anything yet. The Link amiibo unlocks a new weapon in Hyrule Warriors, which undoubtedly helped it to sell well despite being relatively poorly sculpted. Some of the others unlock new outfits in Mario Kart 8, and all of the currently released amiibo can be used to help bring A.I. controlled opponents to life in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, but other than that they don’t do anything.

Yet, news on the latest discontinued or re-continued or re-discontinued amiibo is rarely out of reach. A lot of people reading and writing videogame blogs care about these things. Even dropping a comment that says “Ah, why are their so many posts about amiibo on Dtoid I don’t caaaare!” is a way of showing you care. Amiibo have gotten under people’s skin, for better or worse.

We asked a few of Destructoid’s staff members to talk about their amiibo experiences thus far. From diehard collectors to reluctant customers, amiibo has had a interesting effect on our staff. Poor Kyle. Out of everyone here, he sounds the most like a guy who was court ordered into rehab.

Chris Carter

I own all wave 1 and 2 amiibo, and have all of wave 3 preorded. As I approach my 30s I’m finding myself in a collector’s conundrum. I’ve had this discussion with Bill Platt a few times on how aging can curb your collecting habits (I’m running out of space!), but I think theamiibofigures are small enough to justify a purchase en masse. My favorite part about the concept is how they are affordable miniatures from franchises you don’t normally see represented. I can now put Little Mac with my Punch Out!! collection to make it snazzier, and Marth will look great next to Ike and some Fire Emblem games.

Obscure characters like these are only really found at trade shows by way of unofficial merchandise, and it’s great to finally get my hands on a few of them from Nintendo. I really don’t think the software angle is justified yet, and even some of the games on the horizon (mysteries like Mario Party 8 and Captain Toad) don’t really excite me in terms of theiramiibofunctionality, mostly because Nintendo hasn’t done anything worthwhile with them yet — in other words, I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone who isn’t into the toy aspect. But as collectible figures, I think they fulfill an in-demand niche.

Brittany Vincent

I’m 25 and I own all of the currentamiibo, including preorders for the retailer exclusives, with Rosalina as an import. Counting an extra Pit and Kirby (I actually opened Kirby), I have 19 figures in-hand. Either they’re already haphazardly stashed on my bookshelf or I’m waiting for them to come in one by one from the various stores I had to cherrypick from because local places just couldn’t keep the things in stock. I learned my lesson early, to go ahead and preorder every single one I can so I can beat the crowds, and as they’re made available in different waves I’ll continue to do so.With the help of r/amiiboand collectors online I’ve been able to complete my set, though it hasn’t been easy.

Why do I want them so badly? Mostly, I think they’re cute, affordable, and the Nintendo characters I love. I’ll rarely (if ever) use them with the games they’re meant to be played with, but they’ll sure sit pretty on my shelf for months to come. Then, somewhere down the road, I’ll have a nice little set of collectibles to either sell or pass down to future generations. Either way, I’ve enjoyed the thrill of the hunt. As a gamer who has pretty much every single system, game, peripheral, and item she needs to enjoy any game at any time, it’s something to look forward to again. And I love it.

Bill Platt

I think I very well may be the oldest staff member here at Destructoid. I turned 41 yesterday (thanks for all the birthday wishes) and I am still an avid collector of all things related to video games. When theamiibowere first announced, I knew that I’d end up getting them all. I figured I’d grab them here and there as I saw them out in the wild. I never thought that these little plastic toys would bring out the hardcore collector in me. As of this writing, I currently have 38amiibo. I have all of wave 1 and wave 2 in doubles, even triples for some. I currently have all of wave 3 pre-ordered (including all store exclusives). Like Brittany, I ended up having to import Rosalina due to the terrible way she was handled by Target and whoever Nintendo is using as their distributor here in the states.

I have one of eachamiibocurrently available out on display in my game room, with the rest sitting in a box in my garage. From a collector’s standpoint, I absolutely love these stupid little things. I’ve been talking with my wife lately about how the “thrill of the hunt” has seemed to fade over the past few years, with thrift stores and such getting wise to how much older video games can actually beworth. Now though, with the currentamiibosituation, we find ourselves hopping in the car (with our daughter of course, she also loves the hunt) and driving to stores we don’t normally visit to try to locate hard to find or rareamiibo. My daughter especially loves it as she is often the first to run to the game section to look for rareamiibo(and yes, she knows which ones are rare or not).

There’s been a lot of talk lately on whether or notamiiboare “worthit.” That’s a hard question to answer, as everyone has a different opinion ofworth. For my family and me, they are most definitelyworthit. My daughter uses them in Smash; she’s leveled up over half of them so far, and I enjoy having them out on display.

Darren Nakamura

I’m 30 and I have only two amiibo (Samus and Peach). It sounds like I’m the first to chime in who hasn’t gone nuts for these things. I wanted some for Super Smash Bros., and I got them via Destructoid’s Secret Santa (thanks Josh!). I did get a twinge of regret when I heard that Villager and Wii Fit Trainer were hard to find, because those were the next two I’d even consider getting, but that passed after a few deep breaths and some practical consideration.

By nature I have always been a bit of a pack rat with my stuff. Until recently, I had kept birthday cards from my grandparents from when I was a teenager, despite never looking back through them. Lately I’ve been trying to declutter, and not collecting useless junk is a part of that. And like Chris said, aside from any sort of sentimental attachment they may hold,amiibofunctionality is lacking. The fact that not collecting these saves me some money is nice too; these things are small and inexpensive for sure, but those benefits kind of dissolve when you are buying 38 of them (wtf Bill).

All that said, I know that I’m going to preorder if Nintendo ever announces a Nessamiibo. I’m actually a little disappointed thatamiiboin general have had such success, because I know a Nessamiibowould sell out, but that wouldn’t be as impressive now since just about every non-coreamiibois selling out anyway.

Laura Kate Dale

I’m Laura, age 23, I own all current amiiboand have all possible upcoming ones either preordered, or have friends abroad preordering retailer specific figures. I’m an unboxer, not a collector, and they currently adorn my work desk. Sure they’re not the best designed figures in the world, clearly they were in game designs first and figures second, but my goodness are they nice and detailed.

For me this is the first time in my life I have had readily available disposable income and relatively stable access to officially licensed, decent quality, relatively low cost Nintendo figures from a generation of titles. If you can pick them up at RRP they’re a nice cheap-ish way to grow a collection of thematically similar figures for a few generations of games. They may not do much in-game, but when you have a decent number of figures that starts to add up. A handful of new costumes, a set of challenging NPC enemies, a set of new items — it all adds up. It’s a fairly cheap way to add a few nice looking figurines to my collection every month and have extra content to look forward to when big game releases happen.

Kyle MacGregor

I’m a 26 year old very conflicted owner of two amiibo, Marth and Zelda.

Amiiboare terrible; let us never speak of them again.

This is my reaction to most all amiibo-related news these days, particularly regarding their availability at specific retailers. But I’m an surly old misanthrope hailing from a long line of pack rats, one who has seen the great evil piles upon piles of plastic crap can do to a person. It’s in my blood, the pack rattery, and I believe my aversion to collecting this bunk is some sort of primal defense mechanism.

I do have a couple of these things, though. One I acquired out of professional obligation, given these things are the talk of the town and keeping up with the dernier cri is part of the job. The other is more difficult to explain. Despite my love for Fire Emblem, I didn’t feel compelled to pick up a Marth amiiboat launch. He looks sort of shit, and doesn’t quite do the character justice. Then the shortages happened and something went off in my brain.

Word of the artificial scarcity had me importing Marth from Japan before I even had time to think about it. Every time one of these things is rumored to be ceasing production, I get an urge to run out and get one while I still can — even if it’s a character I feel little to no affection for. It’s bizarre, really, and mildly terrifying. I don’t even like these things. I’m not much of a collector. The in-game functionality has been lackluster at best thus far. And yet I feel this strange yearning.

God dammit Nintendo.

Bill Platt

I feel like I need to add an addendum to my earlier post, the reason why we have so manyamiibo, one set for me, one set for my daughter and one set to keep hidden away for my collection. As you can imagine, when you have a child who games as much, if not more than you do, the number if games and game merchandise you end up buying is always double. For example, for almost all 1st party Nintendo games we buy two copies, one for the kid, one for me.

Just thought I should maybe clarify that.

Kyle MacGregor

Addendum to Bill’saddendum: It’s okay to admit you have a problem.

Bill Platt

Ha, I’ve always been the first to admit that I have a problem with collecting, no doubt about that. Truthfully though, once you have kids, if you ever do, and they take up your hobby, shit gets expensive. Double this, triple that….it adds up.

Jonathan Holmes

I’m excited and afraid for that day Bill. I’ve kept almost every game and toy I’ve ever owned.Part of that is because I want my hopefully-future kids to have every toy I ever owned. Maybe they wont even want new toys, being too deeply buried in a pile of Mighty Muggs, ’80s era Transformers, and now amiibo to even move.

As for me, I’m Jonathan Holmes, 38 years old, and I have 10 amiibo: Little Mac, Captain Falcon, Villager, Wii Fit Trainer, Link, Luigi, Samus, Zelda, Fox, and Kirby. Like Bill, I enjoy searching foramiibomore than actually owning them. Shopping for them feels like a Pokemon ARG. You search various department stores like they were tall grass. Instead of walking down different routes, you drive down different highways. Real life or in-game, the feeling is the same. Maybe I’m going to stumble upon a rare, awesome piece of art that is both mass produced and one-of a kind at the same time. Maybe I’ll capture it, bring it home, make some use of it for a few days, then store it in a box, likely to be forgotten forever. Maybe this process is the absolutely best way for me to spend my entire weekend.

Maybe definitely, it is.

Like Kyle, I get super intense when I know I may miss out on a rareamiibo. This is actually making the shopping process less fun for me. When you have to preorder an amiibo or get it online, it feels more like sending money in the mail to keep a child I never met from dying than it does Pokémon collecting. But I’ll get to that later.

The most fun I had grabbing an amiibo was probably Captain Falcon, which I talked about here. The most touching amiibo I own came from@Shawn_on_games, who sent me a Villager for no reason. He’s just super nice. We’ve never met in real life, only talked on Twitter for the past few years. He spotted theamiibo, thought of me, bought it and paid for shipping out of his own pocket. I sent him a Mighty Mugg and a t-shirt in return, but it didn’t feel like enough. The fact that he wanted me to have a thing just for the sake of it was pretty darn moving. Appropriately enough, that kind of thing usually only happens in games like Animal Crossing, where NPCs are designed to be good to you. Shawn isn’t an NPC though, and he wasn’t “designed” to be a nice person. He has chosen to be one, and that’s why I’m lucky to know him.

Compare the depth of emotion attached to those twoamiibostories to how I felt when my Little Macamiiboarrived in the mail today, and it’s far less profound. There was no thrill of the hunt. There was no chance encounter leading to unexpected victory. There was no kindness of strangers changing your outlook on life. There was just a slightly cross-eyed boxer in small plastic case, staring at me sadly, as if to say “Is this really what you want in life?”

I couldn’t help but be a little resentful towards Little Mac for offering me so little gratification. It’s not his fault though. It’s my fault for buying something I don’t really want out of an irrational, wallet draining fear of missing out. Still, I wouldn’t part with him for anything, because then I’d never see him again, and I never want him or any of my toys, or anyone ever, to ever die,ever.

They say most collector’s have a fear of death and loss driving them forward, and if they’re right, then I’m sure I’d fit the profile.That’s why I already preordered King Dedede, Mega Man, and Toon Link. I don’t want lose the opportunity to wear a Dedede mask in Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, left wondering what could have been. I don’t want MegaMan to ever disappear from my life. I want Toon Link to stay young and fun forever.

My wife turned to me the other day and asked “So when is this wholeamiibo thing going to stop?” and I said “Maybe when I’m dead? Hopefully not though. Maybe the Toon Link amiibo will work with the Nintendo games are kids will be playing, like how the GameCube controller works with the Wii U! Wouldn’t that be amazing?!?!”And with that, my wife went back to looking at myamiibo collection the way that the Mom looked at the leg lamp in A Christmas Story.

I talk aboutamiiboas potential immortals, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find all of mine in pieces by the end of the week, with my wife’s fingerprints on the broken bodies and the dog put to blame, as I shed real adult tears over my dead Kirby.If that happens, I guess I’ll just buy him again. Money can’t buy you love, but it can get you moreamiibo, so close enough.