Is the 2018 Nintendo Figure Release Schedule the New Normal?

For the first two years of running this site, I cranked out two articles a week almost every week.  There was a constant stream of figure release news, figures to review, and custom Amiibo art everywhere.  In 2018, things have changed.  I write one article a week on the site and the figure releases have really dwindled.  What’s happened to cause the supply of Nintendo figures to slow down so much?

Sad Mario Nintendo

Well I can only speculate but World of Nintendo faces two threats right now.  Inconsistent stocking led to too many figures of the same kind flooding stores.  Jakks Pacific has been working to sort this out and progress has been slow.  Toys R Us going out of business is potentially dire news too.  World of Nintendo had a strong presence there and was arguably one of the best places to buy figures (obviously this varies by area but where I live in Ohio, that was pretty much always the case).  The future of the line is uncertain even with a decent number of new figure announcements that should hit stores soon.

World of Nintendo at Toys R Us
Image courtesy of: http://nintendofunclubpodcast.com/

Amiibo is much more puzzling.  I would argue Amiibo won the Toys to Life market and has certainly lasted longer than its competitors.  However, in 2018 there are some troubling signs.  Toys R Us going out does not help Amiibo but even with that, lots of Amiibo are being clearanced across the US.  Some stores like Target have significantly downsized their Amiibo displays.  More importantly, Nintendo just hasn’t released very many Amiibo thus far in 2018.  With such a big money maker, it is puzzling as to why Amiibo releases have been reduced so much.

Nintendo New York Amiibo Display

I have tried to be positive but also realistic with all of this news so far this year.  I do believe that both of these figure lines will survive in some form or another because Nintendo fans are loyal and we like to buy Nintendo stuff.  However, I’m starting to wonder if 2018 and the much less busy figure release schedule is going to be the new normal for us.  Obviously, it is great for those of us on a budget but it also makes the hobby less exciting and the number of people who collect will surely decrease because new figures aren’t there to hold their interest.  I find myself a little less interested in Nintendo figures in 2018 because of the lack of releases myself.  I have not considered giving up on collecting or shutting down this site but it has definitely made me wonder about the long term health of collecting Nintendo figures.  I have really enjoyed writing and running this site and am amazed by the amount of viewership it gets.  2018 has been a great year for viewership in the site so it doesn’t look like any of you readers are going anywhere and I appreciate that!  For these reasons, I sincerely hope that the first half of 2018 is just a weird blip and things get better from here on out.

For World of Nintendo, the big issue is getting new figures out on shelves.  There has been a trickle of new figures in 2018 and hopefully Jakks can find new places beyond Toys R Us who will happily sell their figures.  If they can do that, I think World of Nintendo will get back to where it was and can continue to flourish.

Nintendo has a great opportunity coming up to get us all excited about Amiibo again (if we weren’t already).  E3 has always been a big source of news for Amiibo releases and I really hope that this year will be that way too.  Nintendo, please show all of us that there are still reasons to be excited about Amiibo and that they will be a core part of Nintendo releases going forward.  Amiibo will sell well, Nintendo just needs to keep making ones that fans want.  They could even do a fan poll every so often to determine what people really want to see made next.  Keep the Amiibo coming and we will buy them.  Don’t let failures like the Animal Crossing line deter you too much, Nintendo.

It may seem a bit gloomy right now or your attention may be wandering a bit but hopefully Nintendo figures are going to pick up in 2018 and this hobby that we love will stay strong for many years to come!  What are your thoughts on the slow release calendar?  Are you still enjoying this hobby?  Let us know in the comments below!

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