Looking Back at Amiibo in 2017 and to the Future

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

Guardian Zelda Breath of the Wild Amiibo Versus Link

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.

Urbosa Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild Amiibo Front

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 Princess Peach Bowser Super Mario Odyssey Amiibo Display Nintendo

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.

yarn poochy amiibo licking yarn yoshi

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

Guardian Zelda Breath of the Wild Amiibo Box

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.

Mario Sports Amiibo Cards

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.

paper mario custom amiibo
Image courtesy of: http://nbros.deviantart.com/art/Amiibo-Custom-Paper-Mario-and-Paper-Luigi-512622994

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.

Metroid Amiibo Samus Returns Squishy Plastic

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!

 

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12 comments

  1. Reblogged this on Miketendo64! The Place To Go For Anything Nintendo and commented:

    With Amiibo releases in 2017 winding down, Kuribo takes a look at the major events in Amiibo collecting this year. What was good and what was bad? What would he like to see in 2018. This article’s got a little something for everyone! Read the article and then drop by and let us know what you think of Amiibo in 2017 in the comments section.

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  2. Another great post as always. Your site has always been a great source of information and very entertaining to read. I do appreciate Nintendo bringing out new and less obscure characters and would like to see maybe an excite bike amiibo or even a castlevania amiibo. Though the latter is more a case of Konami but castlevania has been a staple on Nintendo console since the NES and a Simon Belmont amiibo you know would just look amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Mike and I really appreciate you letting me post my article on your site 🙂 I think going for some obscure characters would be awesome and going back to some retro characters like Simon Belmont would be amazing. Nintendo really should have considered releasing a Simon Belmont alongside the NES Classic. That would have been a great marketing strategy and gotten some new people into Amiibo too!

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    • Thank you Ellen! 🙂 My Amiibo addiction hasn’t slowed down either. I have way more than I can display and yet, I’m always happy to buy more since they are pretty affordable 😀 I’d love to see Nintendo work with a company like Square Enix to make Amiibo for Switch. That would be a huge hit!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Fantastic read Kuribo! I think this year has been good considering we’re past the Smash phase of amiibo. There was a surprising amount of new amiibo, and my favorites have been the unique ones: squishy Metroid and the Super Mario cereal. But the Zelda series has also been fantastic. I don’t expect much from next year, and I kind of feel like amiibo will slowly be taken off shelves as all toys to life figurines have been experiencing. I personally would love amiibo to continue, but I’m not sure what else they can do beyond rereleasing the same Kirby, Yoshi, Mario, and Zelda characters over and over again. If the next big Switch game is indeed Animal Crossing, I just can’t see Nintendo committing to more of its amiibo after what happened with the first series. Anyway, as long as it survives, I’ll be a happy buyer!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you and I am leaning the same way as you on the prediction of a quieter year Amiibo wise. It does seem like Amiibo are the only Toys to Life figures that are doing well now and I wonder what Nintendo can do to keep things fresh now. The biggest issue is that lack of big name games that would tie into Amiibo well in 2018. Nintendo can still tap into those franchises but they rarely do without a game release so 2018 should be an interesting year indeed! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I’ll be there buying Amiibo for as long as Nintendo keeps making them!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think they missed the boat with ARMS, unfortunately. They just released the final DLC, and the game just came and went. It’s a shame. I liked the game a lot, but it’s hard to compete against all the other games on the Switch. Maybe if they added ARMS fighters to a Smash Bros. on Switch, they might get the love they deserve!

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    • That would be fantastic! I think Nintendo should consider embracing a bit more retro nostalgia with Amiibo. If people want an NES and SNES classic, then surely they’d like Amiibo of some of their favorite characters from those games! 🙂

      Like

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