Amiibo Fever: How Will They Be Remembered?
It doesn’t seem that long ago when Amiibo fever swept the world. Those little pieces of plastic, they had their way with Nintendo fans. I can still remember the sheer amount of fanfare that spawned across Twitter. Support accounts to help people find certain Amiibo, trader accounts and customs. Amiibo created its own little culture.
For small models, they made a large impact. A large amount of video media covered Amiibo for various reasons. The rise of the e-bay scalper gained traction. Stores hiking up prices while withholding stock. Nintendo admitting to low production numbers. Amiibo even became a target of large scale robbery in the UK.
Hunting Amiibo became a hobby for some. Each territory held their own pros and cons. American collectors had access to special edition Amiibos. European fans weren’t constrained to retailer exclusives, but did miss out on Gold and Silver Marios. Imports became a factor, with PlayAsia.com profiting the most. All this effort, all this madness, for plastic little modes. I love them.
My wall is currently covered in every Smash Bros Amiibo released. I bought into the fever, it was impossible to resist. Finding decent Nintendo collectibles in England is tricky. The only options were importing or oversized plushies. Amiibo looked good, weren’t expensive and were widely available. In fairness, each wave had a ‘rare’ model which always caused a rush. Witnessing the prices of Marth and Villager go from £9.99 to £59.99 on E-bay was madness. Insanity soon followed when people began to pay the asking price.
E-mails, tweets and facebook messages came my way. ‘Would you be willing to sell?’ was always the question, no was the answer. Amiibo had went from a fun little collectible to its own market. I can recall a few people fighting over social media about what certain models were worth. Madness
Price gouging (both private and retail) and bitterness across social media detract from Amiibo. It’s hard to talk about them when someone normally has a bad story to share. The fever had taken hold of many communities. Nintendo finally recertified the situation by reproducing older models. Prices stabilized and all was good once again.
The Smash Bros Amiibo line will (probably) be coming to a end this year. My interest in Amiibo will end with it. Those little pieces of plastic sure did have a huge impact. It’s a product that appeals to everyone with connections to Nintendo. People who grew up with NES, SNES, N64 and even Gamecubes. Nintendo even managed to cover their Game and Watch days. People decorate their desks and shelves with little pieces of Nostalgia.
When all is said and done, Amiibo boils down to Nostalgia. I can pretend that I used them for ‘enhancing’ my Smash Bros experience. I could tell you I used them to unlock Splatoon content. Honestly, they’re just pieces of plastic that represent fond memories. Romanticizing Nintendo products is something their fans are know for. I unashamedly admit to this.
Only time will tell how Amiibo will be remembered. Nintendo can’t seem to decide what they want to do with it. Initial a optional addition to games has grown into a core game element. If Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival sets a trend, things may turn sour.