Marth Amiibo Returns To Retail: End Of The Scalper?

Marth Amiibo Returns To Retail: End Of The Scalper?

The Amiibo line has been something I’ve been interested in from day one. I collect video games, and video game merchandise, so the Amiibo was right up my street. £10 for a decent little figure of the Smash Bros roster? Hell yeah, I was more than down for that. But little did I, or many others, know how crazy Amiibos would become.

Those little pieces of plastic have gone from a Nintendo curiosity, to serious business. In late January of this year, Iwata said Nintendo have sold about 5.7 million Amiibo figures. 5.7 MILLION, they’ve barely been out for a full year, and have already became a huge success. The problem is, it’s not only Nintendo making a healthy sum of money from Amiibos, far from it.

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The e-bay scalper has been around for years, and the humble Amiibo is perfect opportunity. Buying in a number of figures, hiking up the prices of the rare ones, and watching the profit roll in. It started with Marth, Wii Fit Trainer and The villager, all going for around £10-15 more than retail price. Things get worse, much worse. As the fan base for Amiibos grew, so did the investment of the scalper. At the moment, a Meta Knight Amiibo is going for £50 plus on E-bay. That’s three times the price of launch day Amiibos, and people are paying.

While it is a great showcase of killer instinct in a business like setting, scalpers are becoming more of a issue. Amiibos are becoming more and more of a stress to collect, as random ones sell out pretty much everywhere. Stores have placed 1 per customer caps on orders, but this has done little. Scalpers will pre-order from multiple stores, some even selling the pre-order slip. It’s now become a element of each release. The worst part of it all, is retailers have taken notice of the scalpers profits, and they wanted in.

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UK retailer GAME tend to pull some questionable moves. Their treatment of Nintendo products has always been a bit shady. Past events include pulling copies of games from the shelves, only to put them back up at a hiked price. GAME saw the profits scalpers were earning via Amiibos, so they decide to get a piece of the action. In-store Amibo prices started at £10.99, they quickly changed to £14.99, with no real reason given.

The worst part of GAME’s actions around Amiibos, is how they handle each new wave. After personally pre-ordering three full waves of Amiibos, I’ve only ever received one. Why is this odd? Well after doing some research, it would appear the majority of people never receive their online orders. The reason this is all a bit off boils down to the reasons orders are cancelled. ‘Stock issues’ is GAME’s official reason. The issue with this reason is their stores often stock Amiibos a few days (or even weeks) early, at a cost of £14.99. The online price is £10.99…it’s not hard to see what they are up to.

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This price scalping could soon be at a end however. Marth, a wave one rarity, is coming back to retail. Nintendo announced that Marth will be reappear on store shelves in late April. The reason for this isn’t to counter the scalper culture around the product, but to support Code Name: STEAM. As a result of this news, Marth’s rarity and stock has fallen quite considerably. He’s no longer a scalpers hot product, as collectors will now have to merely wait to acquire him.

Nintendo seem keen to restock Amiibo figures based on what game they support. Marth is usable with Code Name: STEAM, thus he is being restocked. The same could happen to any of the ‘rare’ Amiibo figures, spelling out the end of the Amiibo scalpers…hopefully.

 

Sean Halliday


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