I’ll believe it when I see it
Stop me if you’ve heard this before — Nintendo acknowledges that amiibo are “selling better than expected,” and then vows for restocks. It advertised a restock of Marth in April, who has seemingly been shadow-delayed until May, and the actual effects of that restock have yet to be seen. Is it reprinting the same low amount of figures it launched with, leading to them being snatched up instantly by collectors and scalpers? I’d put money on it.
Beyond all this craziness,James Honeywell,Nintendo UK head of consumer marketing, doesn’t seem to be worried. Speaking to MCV, he’s re-iterated that Nintendo is going to restock select amiibo. He said “Right from the outset we hoped that amiibo would be strong, but even our expectations have been smashed. With a unique line-up of iconic characters that are loved by so many people, it really has been unprecedented. We hope to do a better job of satisfying these needs in the future with more stock, and, while there are always going to be some times when we can’t on certain characters, I suspect that is also part of the appeal. What we hadn’t anticipated was the number of collectors wanting to get them all – this has seen demand exceed supply in some areas. Although, if you search around, you can still find some of the more hard-to-find amiibo sitting on shelves.”
Here’s a solution for you Nintendo. Instead of dancing around certain figures to reproduce at certain times with long windows of production — just put the damn low-cost, high-margin AR cards out already while you work on stocking the figures. Take every figure, not just specific ones, make cards for them, and put them into mass production. Hell, even sell them on your own website officially, cutting out the middle-man so they can’t bungle pre-orders or put them up at 3AM for a few minutes to be scalped.
Nintendo probably won’t do that though, instead taking big-money exclusivity deals (jokingly referred to by one of Nintendo’s own reps in a Reddit AMA months back) on big-ticket toy-to-life items with retailers. And so the cycle of scalpers and dedicated adults picking up all of the rare figures before kids will continue. Shame.