Considering they’re plastic toys
As part of its end of fiscal year report, Nintendo touched on the sales of several of their departments, including amiibo. Nintendo president notes that will last fiscal year (first through third quarter of 2016) “we sold many amiibo, particularly in the Super Smash Bros.series, reaching total sell-in of approximately 20.5 million units,” it didn’t go so well in the next period. Evidently, sell-in for the first through the third quarter of 2016 was “approximately 6.5 million units.”
As an amiibo collector who saw nearly everyone else drop off, there’s a lot of reasons for this. One, the toys to life market reached peak saturation, leading to the demise of Disney Infinity, and as rumored, possibly Skylandersas an annual franchise at the very least. Nintendo also failed its customers in many ways, with greedy retailer exclusive deals (that basically don’t exist anymore, as retailers can’t even sell most of their Animal Crossing stock), among other bungled distribution issues.
Then there’s the issue of the Smashline. It was clearly the flagship, with many iconic characters in tow, but the operative phrase here is “Smash.” Over time interest in the game waned, and people aren’t as interested in using the figures for what they were actually designed for. Then you have the matter of Bayonetta, Corrin, and Cloud still not seeing a release in over a year, leading to an incomplete Smashline.
Nintendo’s strategy for amiibo was all over the place, and although it’s still selling enough, they likely could have sold more if all of these unfortunate series of events didn’t take place.
Corporate Management Policy Briefing [Nintendo]