…Or are They? amiibo Confusion Persists

The chaos continues.

Yesterday brought forth much confusion, disappointment, and anguish as Nintendo released a PR statement to sites such as Kotaku and Wired confirming that certain amiibo figures were done for only a matter of a few short weeks after being released to stores. This corroborated claims from Toronto retailer Video Games Plus that Marth from Fire Emblem, Villager from Animal Crossing, and Wii Fit Trainer from, well, Wii Fit would no longer be available in stores once the initial shipment had been sold.

Granted, Nintendo had long since made it known that certain amiibo would be available longer than others, but nothing was ever said about the first shipment also being the last– leading right into the holiday season, no less.

Matters would only be confused further by the emergence of the following screencap of an e-mail from one David Young, a PR representative from Nintendo of America, by way of the Twitter account of tournament organizers The Mushroom Kingdom Gaming League:

davidyoungemail

This contradicts what was said before, but between the rather unorthodox method of getting the news out, it emerging a day earlier (on a Sunday, no less) than the latter statement, and coming from an unusual source, I didn’t run with it in my initial report. NeoGAF and The Escapist seem to corroborate the legitimacy of the message, however, with the latter adding in a further subsequent update that “Nintendo has confirmed to us via email that no amiibos have been discontinued at this time, and the sold out figures will be restocked as soon as new stock is available. Marth, Villager, and Wii Fit Trainer fans rejoice!”

And rejoice is what we’d love to do, except that they then follow up with a report from GameSpot which echos the same PR statement we led off with yesterday, noting that this only furthers confusion as they await further comment from their Nintendo representative.

The bottom line is that Nintendo needs to address this, and pronto. Not in a PR statement to some websites, but something on their website, something that presents a final, definitive word that answers questions that they’ve been far too vague about with regards to this entire ordeal.

For starters, letting people know if certain figures are going to be pulled as much sooner than later as the first shipment. And if so, which ones? As it stands, it’s all guesswork now.

Some seem more likely to get the axe than others, but say… Captain Falcon? He’s practically as iconic to Super Smash Bros. as he is F-Zero for some people; where does he fare between the likes of a Mario and a Wii Fit Trainer?

Shulk from Xenoblade Chronicles is a store exclusive, but is he one and done as well? The same for Meta Knight– he’s a store exclusive, but he’s also tied to Kirby, who as far as we know is safe. As a result of that, is he granted greater weight than Shulk? Will Toon Link have the same staying power and numbers as regular Link?

Mega Man and Sonic were uncertain but most welcome additions, seeing as they’re third party characters. However, would whatever lengths Nintendo went to in order to license them ensure their longevity, or rush them towards the chopping block all the sooner?

Another concern that would be nice to have addressed, though I personally feel it is less necessary, is how forward-looking amiibo compatibility is. Villager, for instance– is he going to be compatible with whatever Nintendo is planning for Animal Crossing? Is that going to become some sort of elite club that only those who thought to grab Villager instead of Mario, Link, or Samus will be allowed into? The same question could go for any Fire Emblem character and whatever the company has planned for Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem?

There are simply too many questions and not nearly enough answers right now, and it smacks of trying to scare up further demand for the already popular figures– a game only scalpers are likely to win. If Nintendo really wants our money and to do well by us as consumers, I believe we should be allowed a greater amount of information than what they’ve given us so far. Hopefully we’ll see something a little more solid from them in the days to come.

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David Oxford

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you're interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.

  • MattG

    I’m not planning on buying many amiibo, but I did preorder a Mega Man figurine yesterday. I’m not letting that one get away.