Earlier this year, Nintendo unveiled their Disney Infinity and Skylanders competitor called Amiibo. The figures, designed to represent some of Nintendo's flagship characters, were meant to work across a variety of games, carrying story progress and leveling up as players go.
However, while enthusiasm for Amiibos has continued to build many have begun to notice a scarcity with specific figures. Link and Mario, for example, are still readily available, wile characters like the Animal Crossing villager and the Wii Fit trainer have been almost impossible to find. Turns out, that's for good reason.
According to Canadian retailer Video Games Plus, Nintendo has discontinued the Marth, Wii Fit Trailer, and Villager Amiibos after only about a month on the market. And that discontinuation doesn't appear to be segregated to just one retailer, either; nearly every major store has seemingly sold out of the Amiibos without any hope of receiving more.
For a while most assumed that the Amiibo scarcity was just a demand thing, but Nintendo has since confirmed it's not. As they explained in an official message, some Amiibo characters were always envisioned as one-time offerings, while others, like Link and Zelda, will see their stock regularly refilled.
Nintendo cites limited shelf space as a major reason for the Amiibo scarcity, which makes sense. We also wouldn't be surprised if the fact that the limited Amiibo figures come from smaller franchise also played a part in the decision. Where the Mario figure will apparently be usable with titles beyond Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart 8, we doubt there will be yearly Fire Emblem games for Marth to factor into.
On its face, the idea of keeping certain Amiibos limited is all well and good, but the lack of transparency on Nintendo's part is what has disappointed fans. Had they known that specific Amiibos would be, in essence, discontinued then these fans would have gone after those first.
Instead, they are now forced to search high and low for the last remaining figures, or pay upwards of $50 on eBay. We understand paying that much for a rare production error Amiibo but for something that typically goes for $13 is insane. Hopefully, the Disney Infinity and Skylanders developers don't take a page from Nintendo's book.
Update: Nintendo provided this official statement regarding the availability of Amiibo figures:
Some amiibo were very popular at launch, and it is possible that some amiibo in the United States, Canada and Latin America may not be available right now due to high demand and our efforts to manage shelf space during the launch period. Certain sold-out amiibo may return to these markets at a later stage. We are continually aiming to always have a regular supply of amiibo in the marketplace and there are many waves of amiibo to come.
How many Amiibos are in your collection? Do you like the idea of making certain Amiibos harder to acquire than others?
Source: Video Games Plus