Whenever New Year’s Day approaches, many people like to take time and reflect on what has happened and this year, NintendoFigures.com is no different. It has been a busy and fun year for Amiibo with a lot of interesting releases. In this article, we’ll talk about the year that was (what was a hit, what was a miss) and what Nintendo should consider bringing us in 2018. So without further ado, let’s look at some of the key moments and trends in 2017!
Big in 2017
Zelda Amiibo – In my opinion, there are two lines in Amiibo that have been a huge success. The first was the Smash Brothers line which so many people collected and it ran for a number of years very successfully. The second is the Zelda: Breath of the Wild Amiibo. It can’t hurt that Breath of the Wild has been a huge hit and people love it but these Amiibo have been hard to get in stores because they have sold well and been sought after by Nintendo fans.
And it is easy to see why with incredible designs and a level of detail rarely seen in Amiibo. I’ve enjoyed reviewing all of the figures (except for maybe Bokoblin who is the stinker of the bunch) and really recommend just about all of them. Bravo to Nintendo for supporting Zelda so well and giving all of us fans the figures we have been looking for!
Mario Odyssey Amiibo – The second best release this year has been the Mario Odyssey Amiibo. Once again, Nintendo delivered excellent Amiibo to support a hot new game. Both Mario and Zelda seem to be popular for their use in-game as much as the figure which means they’ve providing good value for money to fans too. The figures themselves are really cute and have some nice details (even if they are outclassed by Zelda a little bit in this regard). Best of all, the outfits that everyone is wearing is so different than anything else we’ve ever seen that it is hard not to want to add these Amiibo to your collection. For these reasons, the Mario Odyssey Amiibo are highly recommended if you like Mario at all.
Wide Range of Amiibo – The other big winner this year was any Nintendo fan who likes a lot of different Nintendo games because chances are good some of your favorite franchises got new Amiibo this year. Zelda and Mario have already been mentioned but Metroid, Pikmin, Fire Emblem, Splatoon, Yoshi’s Woolly World, and Smash Brothers also got new Amiibo. That is an incredible amount of variety and it doesn’t leave many Nintendo fans out either which is really nice. Bravo to Nintendo for spreading around their subject matter and hopefully they can continue this in 2018!
Misses in 2018
Zelda Amiibo Supply – Low stock and slow resupplying reared its ugly head again this year with Zelda: Breath of the Wild and unfortunately, we the consumers suffered most. With the Zelda Amiibo selling out quickly on the day of release, it took a long time for a restock to occur and even with that, it can still be hard to track down certain Amiibo. The prices on sites like Ebay also reflect the lack of supply and many people paid double the retail price or more to get the figures they wanted. Nintendo probably underestimated demand after some Amiibo releases not selling so well but it was still a bummer to see this happening again and for Nintendo to not respond with a restock sooner when fans were clearing clamoring for more Zelda figures.
Odd Release Choices – There were a couple real whiffs on Nintendo’s part this year as well. The Mario Sports Superstars Amiibo cards did not get almost any attention and many people skipped buying them altogether. I forgot to hunt down these cards when they came out and have barely heard anybody mention them since then. Part of this probably comes from the fact that Mario Sports Superstars did not review well but even with that, Amiibo collectors should have been more excited about this release than they were. The Goomba and Koopa Troopa Amiibo reviewed fairly well here on the site (they’re solid if possibly unexciting) but tying them into a digital game which was a rerelease of a classic game was very unusual by Nintendo and probably prevented the Amiibo from getting more attention than they could have received. While I will never complain about getting new things from Nintendo, both of these releases probably could have been better marketed or sold more if Nintendo had done them differently so hopefully the Big N learns from these releases and improves on them in 2018.
What I Want From Nintendo
I want to preface this section by saying that I’m trying to be realistic in what I request here. There are so many things that would be great like turning Amiibo into action figures that just are not likely to happen so I’ll skip these type of ideas in favor of stuff that might actually happen.
Nintendo has done so well supporting their big new games and even many of the lesser known franchises in 2017 that I would just like to ask for more of the same. I haven’t purchased every Amiibo that came out but even with that, I rarely felt like there were any real lulls because the release schedule was well spaced out. Nintendo has focused a lot on the main characters at times and I appreciate when other characters get made into figures as well. I would like to see main characters like Mario get released with new outfits and power-ups that diehard Nintendo fans know and love but that is just one other idea that they could pursue in 2018. Honestly, pulling off these two things in 2018 alone will guarantee that Amiibo will be successful and enjoyed by fans for another year.
My other request is to keep finding ways to keep the hardcore gamers and collectors happy. Nintendo did that pretty well this year with their releases of Metroid and the Champions from Breath of the Wild. These releases were for more “hardcore” gamers and were greatly appreciated. Having a new feature like the squishy plastic on Metroid was also a great idea and a welcome twist on the familiar Amiibo formula. Keeping things fresh is important as many of us now have large collections of Amiibo and we’re looking for something new and fresh to be excited about. Hopefully, Nintendo can continue to deliver in this regard.
While it didn’t quite warrant being labled a miss from Nintendo, one thing I would like to see is Amiibo hold their $13 price point and not go up to $16. It isn’t that they aren’t worth $16, it just becomes harder to buy them all when four or more come out. At that point they start to cost as much as a brand new game (and a new game often launches alongside Amiibo which can stretch a budget even further). There is such thing as too much of a good thing and Nintendo needs to try not stretch collectors wallets too tight or they may risk losing some people along the way.
So there are my thoughts on Amiibo in 2017 and now it is your turn to weigh in! What have you liked and not liked about them this year? Is there anything you want to see from Nintendo going forward? Let us know in the comments below!