Nintendo‘s new amiibo line of smart toys is red hot right now, but their handling of it has been less than stellar.
It’s nice to see Nintendo having great sales for a change, but how much money are they losing out on by lack of supply? Many places are running out of stock for certain characters before they can even fill all of their pre-orders. I’ve witnessed pre-orders being rescinded first hand, and store shelves that were empty and never restocked outside of Mario, Pikachu and Kirby.
Nintendo has floundered and failed to be clear on what exactly they plan to do going forward, and has also left a resounding frustration amongst fans. With Nintendo seemingly discontinuing figures that aren’t main characters in extremely prominent, flagship franchises, scalpers have turned out in force to ruin the amiibo experience for everyone. I can understand if the shortage was because retailers were hesitant to carry large amounts of Nintendo merchandise after the Wii U‘s disappointing sales, but Nintendo has its own online distribution platform. Many fans are trying to give Nintendo their money only to be told that they can’t, and possibly never will.
If you were looking forward to any of the more exotic amiibo toys, like Rosalina and Luma or Little Mac, and you haven’t pre-ordered them, then odds are you won’t be getting them unless it’s on ebay from a scalper. You may not even get them if you have a pre-order, It’s not enough to pre-order certain amiibo, you have to pre-order them early as well. I myself have felt this sting as my own pre-order was canceled.
God forbid you want a Shulk amiibo. Rosalina and Luma sold out in less than 35 minutes after pre-orders began and she’s a new face in the Mario franchise. Mario characters are kind of a big deal at Nintendo. If you didn’t strike within the first minute of release to claim one of all two Shulk amiibo Nintendo has made, your pre-order may not be honored due to low supply. I know that’s hyperbolic to an extreme, but most of you reading this don’t even know who Shulk is or what game he’s from. If Nintendo is only producing amiibo on name recognition, then Xenoblade Chronicles‘ hero is likely to be one of the rarest amiibo produced.
This is even worse than the GameCube adapter fiasco. At least the adapter only affected fans of Super Smash Bros for Wii U. An amiibo shortage affects Smash fans, collectors and anyone that wants their favorite character as their amiibo for compatible games going forward. Does Nintendo just hate money? They’ve taken money from their own pockets by not providing an ample supply and discontinuing in-demand figures, while angering fans in the process.
They finally bottle lightning again and ruin it by dropping the ball on the one yard line.