Nintendo may have had a bleak time during the current console cycle, but the publisher’s Amiibo range has been a resounding success. The peripheral, which gives players additional content for games through the use of a nifty character figurine, has become well loved by Nintendo fans since launch, with even production errors being seen as a light-hearted novelty. Indeed, the series has proved so successful that the Amiibo range managed to match Disney Infinity and beat Skylanders in sales over the holiday period.
Unfortunately, the figurines have proved too popular for some collectors, as certain models in the Amiibo range have faced severe shortages. One example is from earlier this year, when the highly anticipated Gold Mario Amiibo was released. The figurine sold out instantly from online retailer Walmart, with a second batch of stock also disappearing within minutes. Copies of the rare Amiibo were added to eBay, commanding hefty price tags far beyond Gold Mario’s initial $12.96 value.
It looks as though Nintendo is now looking to acknowledge the problem of low stock for its highly popular gaming peripheral. The video game giant addressed the Amiibo shortage issue head-on in a statement today, admitting that the popularity the figurine range has faced has greatly exceeded expectations. Nintendo also admitted that it understood the “frustration” felt by those customers hunting to find a specific model.
“Sales for the product have exceeded our expectations,” read the statement. “We understand how frustrating it can be at times if consumers are unable to find certain figures.” Nintendo also said that it “appreciated” the continued enthusiasm that fans of the series have felt for Amiibo in general, and that it apologizes for the shortages of certain figurines in the range.
The publisher also made some commitments to better the availability of the most sought-after Amiibo models. Nintendo is looking to increase the number of Amiibo figures that are manufactured and shipped to retailers, and will be more communicative about when new Amiibo models are on the way. The publisher is also planning to reissue certain Amiibo figurines that are currently out of stock, as was rumored in February, and promises to go back to previous ranges as it adds more figurines to the roster.
It remains to be seen just how much Nintendo’s Amiibo strategy will change. The success of the Amiibo range is bound to have been a surprise to the publisher, particularly given that sales over the Christmas period matched those of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, but the shortage of certain models has still been astounding. The publisher is continuing to push new figurines, and the addition of external characters such as Pac Man suggests Amiibo may expand, rather than build on what has already been created. Nevertheless, this statement certainly shows that Nintendo understands there is room for improvement – let’s see whether the publisher does take further action on the issue.