After our recent look at Amiibo, I wanted to do the same thing for World of Nintendo. This year has been an interesting one for World of Nintendo and could perhaps be described as uneven. We’ve had some great releases but there have also been some major gaps in releases and nobody is sure of the strength of this figure line at the time of writing too. With that said, let’s take a look back at 2017 and what Jakks Pacific did well and where they might improve.
Hits in 2017
Great Mario figures – If you follow this site at all, then you know I love the Mario figures in World of Nintendo and in 2017, we got a lot of them. While I have not purchased it myself, the Princess Peach’s Castle Playset has been a bit hit this year. Open Hands Mario is one of my favorite World of Nintendo figures despite having a “vanilla” Mario design. It is just so much fun to pose and display! Star Mario has a really neat paint job and is one of the better variations on Mario we’ve seen. Then of course, the recent Super Mario Maker figure is a great addition to this line. There have been more great Mario figures released but I’m sure you can already see just how great of a year it has been.
Plenty of 2.5″ Inch Releases – While I don’t collect the 2.5″ inch figures as much as 4″ inch, I felt like no matter where I went to hunt for World of Nintendo, there were tons of 2.5″ figures available. The range of figures and characters was really nice to see and there are definitely a couple figures in each wave that is harder to find at retail than others so it makes it fun (for the most part) to chase them down. The Mario and Princess Peach 2 Pack was also a really cool and innovative display piece from Jakks Pacific as well. For whatever reason, 2.5″ inch figures seemed to get the most figure support in 2017 and it was a good year to be a collector of them.
Early Year Push/Toys R Us Restock – At the beginning of this year, World of Nintendo was seemingly everywhere! Target really pushed figures in their stores like they never had before. Toys R Us created large displays in the front of their stores and restocked many old figures that collectors had assumed were out of print. It was great to see World of Nintendo being treated like a major toy line which I think it is. I don’t know how much extra sales this led to but it was a welcome sight and gives me hope that this line will be around for a long time.
Misses in 2017
World of Nintendo Confusing/Lack of Marketing – This is not a new problem for World of Nintendo or Jakks Pacific, but it seems to have really reared its head in the second half of 2017. Nobody knows what is coming in World of Nintendo exactly right now. New figures have been teased but we have no idea when they’re coming out. There has been a several month long gap in the release schedule and then the most recent wave appeared in stores (more on that soon). The newest wave was the smallest we’ve seen yet and nobody knows exactly why. Jakks Pacific have a strong and popular product and for some reason, they are unable to promote it as much as it deserves. Right now, it is unclear what the future of World of Nintendo holds. I don’t think it is going anywhere but nobody can really say for sure because we don’t know when the next release will be.
Retailers Pulling Back on World of Nintendo – While I talked about the early year push for World of Nintendo, in recent months, there have been rumors on the World of Nintendo Reddit that Target and WalMart are actually pulling back heavily on World of Nintendo and may not be stocking it in the future. Target has done this before and then later went on to heavily market the figures so it is possible that they just phase World of Nintendo in and out over a period of time but even with that, it doesn’t sound good when you hear of any major retailer potentially dropping the product. This is another area where we really don’t know what is going on behind the scenes at retailers or with Jakks Pacific so I don’t to read too heavily into it. It just doesn’t sound/look good to hear this kind of news, especially if it isn’t being balanced with any positive news.
The Small Wave – Within the last month or so, a new wave of World of Nintendo hit retailers after what felt like a long wait. Several figures had been teased by Jakks Pacific, including Iggy Koopa (pictured above) and yet, a wave of three figures came out instead. Only three! This has never been done in the 4″ inch line and it makes me wonder why Jakks released so few figures. Did they run out of time and need to get something in retailers before Christmas? Nobody really knows. While Super Mario Maker got good reviews here on the site but Open Hands Luigi less so, I cannot justify buying the Link because the design of the figure is just not as good as it should be. So the quality of figures is not enormously high in this wave either. It does raise a lot of questions and there are few answers right now with World of Nintendo sadly.
What I want from World of Nintendo in 2018
As with the Amiibo article, I’m going to ask for things that I think are realistic from the World of Nintendo line. The first thing I would ask for is more consistent releases throughout the year. World of Nintendo had some stocking issues this year where some common figures clogged the store shelves and I think it made it harder for Jakks Pacific to release new ones later on in 2017. Hopefully they can solve that in 2018 and get back to a steady release schedule.
The second thing I would like to see is keep doing what Nintendon’t, to steal from old Sega advertisements. World of Nintendo offers figures and characters that you can’t get in Amiibo and they need to continue to do that. Retro-themed characters like Samus who have not been released as 8 or 16-bit figures would be a huge hit and something only World of Nintendo has. A Captain Toad is another character that Nintendo has not made a figure for and Nintendo fans would eat up. These are just a couple of ideas or examples and there are tons of other possibilities out there.
Finally, Jakks Pacific has created a hit with the Princess Peach Castle Playset and coming up with some other playsets is a great idea. What about a Bowser Castle? Maybe recreate a little bit of a Mario level since they’ve made so many Mario figures already. There are quite a few possibilities and Nintendo fans would definitely eat something like this up. There aren’t a ton of ways to display your World of Nintendo figures and give us a way to do that (and giving kids a potential toy at the same time) is a smart strategy.
Nobody needs a solid year more than World of Nintendo in 2018 and hopefully, we’ll see them bounce back and get back to the consistent releases we know and love. That concludes my thoughts on World of Nintendo this year, what do you think of their year? What would you like to see from World of Nintendo in 2018? Let us know in the comments below!