This is the debut of another new style of article on Nintendo Figures. Unopened Box Reviews are Amiibos you might consider not opening. As with Opened Box Reviews, the opinions are simply the author’s own and you should collect (and open) Amiibos however you want. There is no one right way with this hobby which is one of the reasons that make it great.
Background – Villager was one of the first Amiibos released by Nintendo and comes from one of their most popular franchises, Animal Crossing. Considering these two factors, you might expect Village to be somewhat common, but that has not proved to be the case. Villager was quickly sold out upon release and earned a place in the “Holy Trinity” of Amiibos that everyone wanted and could not find.
Rarity – Unsurprisingly, Villager has frustrated Amiibo collectors for quite a while. Unlike Marth, who skyrocketed in value almost immediately, Villager was a little cheaper than Marth and more expensive than Wii Fit Trainer for quite a while. Over time however, Villager’s value kept rising. This is mostly likely due to the popularity of the Animal Crossing franchise and a lack of supply of his Amiibo. At one point a few months ago, Villager hit the $100 mark and was the most expensive Amiibo.
He has since gotten a relatively small reprint. Villager caused surprise and debate among Amiibo collectors because the reprinted Villager had smaller eyes that are closer together and a considerably higher hairline than the 1st printing. While the new Amiibo looks closer to the Animal Crossing character, many collectors, including myself, believe the 1st printing looks best. The desirability of the original is obvious when you compare the price of the 1st printing and the reprint. It is not uncommon to see Villager go for over $100 and approach $150 on Ebay where the reprint goes for around $40. Unless Nintendo reprints this Amiibo with the original design, it will continue to be one of the most sought after and expensive Amiibos.
Worst Details on Amiibo – The Villager character has always been a simple character so that it could be customized in Animal Crossing and the Amiibo is pretty basic as well. The only part of the Amiibo that could probably be more detailed are his shoelaces which could use a line down the middle to show that they are two separate parts of the laces. The 1st print Villager tends to have his smile too high up under his nose which is actually fixed in the reprint.
Best Details on Amiibo – The hair has a nice texture and without a doubt, the pointy nose and eyes of the Villager look great no matter which version you own. They really capture why Villager is such a charming character.
Flaws/Problems to Look For – Like many of the early Amiibos, the quality control on Villager was spotty at best. Some of the 1st print Villagers had eyes too far apart or placed too close together. There are also at least a few Villager Amiibos that had the arms applied incorrectly on the opposite side of where they should be. This type of defect is thankfully rare. The most important thing to look for is that you’re actually getting a first print Villager if you’re paying $100+ dollars.
Reasons to Open Villager – The Villager Amiibo can be used in a number of games including Captain Toad, Hyrule Warriors, and Mario Party 10. Of course, he is also usable in Smash Brothers. With two Animal Crossing games coming out, he is likely to gain more functionality in those too. Villager is a smaller Amiibo and looks less impressive in the box than other Amiibos. If you have a reprint Villager, he is generally much cheaper to buy and so you have much less to lose by opening him.
Reasons to Keep Villager Unopened – Protecting his value is certainly one reason many collectors have kept Villager sealed. Villager also really doesn’t have almost any exclusive functionality making it easy to want to keep him in the box. In addition, other than the same number one that is on the front, there are no interesting details on the back which are hidden by keeping him in the box.
Final Thoughts – Even months after his release, it is hard to believe that Villager is one of the rarest Amiibos. In many ways it doesn’t make sense with how popular both he and Animal Crossing are and I can understand why many Nintendo fans wish he were even easier to get. If you have a sealed 1st print Villager, I can’t see any reason to open him and significantly lower his value. Any other edition of the Amiibo can be opened without feeling guilty. If you don’t have a Villager and can live without a 1st print, Japan and Europe seem to have better stock than here in the United States and are also the most affordable option.