This week, against all odds, I broke down and paid about as much as I would ever want to pay for an Amiibo ($25 with free shipping) so that I could get an NFC figure of my favorite and main Smash Bros. character, King Dedede.
A small note on collecting Amiibo's (a defense and a warning):
To those of you that might not get what all the hubbub is about around these pieces of Nintendo plastic, I would start by defending collecting figures and figurines, in general, by pointing out that, one way or another, a lot of us wind up spending money on small pieces of plastic.
Whether or not a piece of plastic has value is pretty much dependent on one's personal taste. It might be odd to clutter up my room with figures, to some, but value in an item can, to paraphrase "tidying consultant" Marie Kondo from her book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing", when de-cluttering one's house simply pick up an item and ask yourself, "Does this item spark joy?" If they do, keep it. If not, ditch it.
I'll be keeping this in mind if I ever need to tidy up my space but at the moment, I can assure you, that holding Dedede in my hand inspires joy. Why?
Ever since I saw the introductory cut scene of Super Smash Bros. Melee, in which a Mario figurine comes to life, and, enjoying the collection of figurine trophies in the game series, I have always wanted to own real Nintendo character figures. There have never been products of the quality widely advertised by Nintendo and, with the added benefit of being compatible with several games by unlocking DLC and other bonus features, these figures caught my interest. Ever since I saw that Skylanders and Disney Infinity were clearly a big success and here to stay, I knew Nintendo should take a risk and try it themselves. And, with the toys seeing such high demands from Nintendo fans, old and new, it is clear that the product was something many of us had been waiting to buy.
But, like anything with high demand and low numbers (the latter is something I blame Nintendo for not doing a better job at), scalpers have made collecting Amiibos a lot less fun. At first, it was just very difficult to acquire some of the early Amiibos but you could find them with some diligence. But, by the third wave of figures, the less common figures sold out within minutes online and store exclusives made it even harder to collect them all. Scalpers, by buying up large numbers of the figures to sell later for a profit (that I'll point out Nintendo is missing out on and that I know stores let them buy in bulk because they often have retail boxes in their ebay photos), are driving demand even higher but the number are still low. Some of the rarest figures sell for over $50 and so, if you wanna collect them all, it goes from a casual collector's hobby to something really only reserved for the hardcore and, while I would love to have all the Amiibos, I'm not paying $50 for a immobile figure when I could pay the same for a Nendoroid.
In conclusion (ooh, way to get high school essay on us), if you want to collect Amiibos, have at it, but I wouldn't recommend trying to collect them all until Nintendo does something about their low supply.
And that's all in this week's collector's rant.