For those who are old enough, Duck Hunt and R.O.B. bring back some fond memories and nostalgia. While Nintendo was very successful with the Wii and DS, their most successful period was with the NES where they more or less saved video games from falling into obscurity. Nintendo has always been great at celebrating their past and keeping old characters alive and by putting these three characters in Smash Brothers, they have done that once again. For older Nintendo fans, the opportunity to own figures of obscure characters like R.O.B. is pretty exciting and this release highlights the potential of Amiibo to bring in different types of Nintendo fans into the hobby of figure collecting. In this review, we’ll take a look at all three figures and see if the Amiibos are worth buying.
Rarity – The Retro 3-Pack, as many collectors call it, came out at an interesting time. This was right around when Amiibos started to become much easier to find and buy in stores. In fact, it was easy to pre-order these Amiibo at Game Stop and when I picked mine up, I could see they had tons of them still left to be purchased. While I haven’t seen this Amiibo in stores for a while, it is certainly one of the more common releases and I think it signaled a change in how Amiibos would be stocked even if many collectors didn’t fully realize it at the time.
R.O.B. – Since there are three Amiibos to review, we will take a look at each one individually this time. First up is R.O.B. which was a device that could be hooked up to the NES and could do a couple different things in two games. R.O.B. is hard to find now and expensive so if you’re old enough to remember him, the Amiibo is perhaps the easiest way to appreciate this unique toy that helped sell Americans on the idea of owning an NES.
I’m happy to say the Amiibo has great details to it like a switch on the back and a decal along the base which says R.O.B. The Amiibo not only captures the plastic look of the original toy, but also has some nice metallic paint on the arms to help the Amiibo match the real thing. R.O.B. looks great from the front and the side, but there are nice details to look at from all sides of this Amiibo. While I played NES and never used or even saw a R.O.B. back in its heyday, but I really like this Amiibo and think it is a great tribute to one of Nintendo’s early creative ideas. I should also mention that Nintendo has released an alternate Amiibo version of R.O.B. to match the Famicom one released in Japan which has a slightly different paint job. This figure can imported from Japan for those who are interested in the alternate design or want to own all variations of Amiibo.
Duck Hunt – One early Nintendo game that I have played and have a lot of fondness for is Duck Hunt. It was an early light gun game and while very simple, it was a lot of fun. Of course, the laughing dog was something anybody who has played the game can never forget too. The Smash Brothers design of Duck Hunt is very simple and clean. There aren’t a lot of details on the figure with the exception of the eyes, the dog’s snout, and on his paws, but what is there looks good. The best part of this figure is how dynamic it is. There is action and movement and something very charming about the companionship between the duck and dog. While this Amiibo only looks good from the front and the side, because of the large stand on the back, I think it is a really well done Amiibo and probably my favorite of the three. I never would have guessed I’d be able to own a figure from Duck Hunt, but I do and I’m happy to say it is something Nintendo fans will enjoy.
Mr. Game and Watch – As well-done as the other two Amiibo are, Mr. Game and Watch is also exciting because he has a first for Amiibo. He has multiple display options that capture different moves in Super Smash Brothers and you get to choose which one to display and attach it to his base. The only potential downside to this is that there is a seam line with each of the different display options, but I think the flexibility is exciting and it takes a plain and simple character and makes Mr. Game and Watch a fun Amiibo.
Mr. Game and Watch comes in four different poses: running, swinging his hammer, using his parachute and ringing his bell. Each one looks great and the silver lining looks as good in person as it does in the pictures. It would have been awesome if Nintendo let us buy three extra bases so we could display all of the Mr. Game and Watch pieces at once. However, having to find a way to store the extra Mr. Game and Watch pieces is not a huge issue. I’ve always been a fan of Mr. Game and Watch in Smash Brothers and I have to say that Nintendo exceeded my expectations for this Amiibo. They didn’t have to give us four different display options, but they did and it makes the Retro 3-Pack feel like a great value to collectors.
Fuctionality – Since all three Amiibo are characters from old games, it is perhaps not a surprise that they don’t have tons of functionality. Since they are from the Smash Brothers line, they do work with it as you would expect. The amiibos also work in Super Mario Maker, and Yoshi’s Woolly World to unlock skins based on each character. Like most Amiibo, they also have generic uses in Captain Toad Treasure Tracker and Hyrule Warriors. Overall, the functionality is a little lower than the average Amiibo and I would recommend buying these Amiibo more because you like the figure than to use them in a lot of Wii U and 3DS games.
Closing Thoughts – I think all three of these Amiibo are very high quality and worth owning for any older Nintendo fans. If you’re a fan of these characters in Smash Brothers, then that is also a great reason to pick them up. You do have to get all in one pack unless you buy one secondhand, but for the money and how many variations of Mr. Game and Watch you get, I think you will find this 3-Pack to be worth the money. I hope that Nintendo will continue to release older/obscure characters like this in the future. That is one thing that has still yet to be tapped as far as Nintendo figures go.