Confessions Of An Amiibo Zealot
When Nintendo first announced Amiibos, I was apathetic. I love figures as much as the next person, but these didn't seem particularly enticing. They looked a bit flimsy, and the way they functioned in games wasn't exactly mind-blowing. Being able to level up an A.I. character in Super Smash Bros. wasn't exactly a hard sell, either. I told myself not to bother with them, but I broke that intention when some of my favorite characters debuted. It's been downhill ever since.
I thought buying one or two couldn't hurt. I picked up Kirby and Princess Peach just to have for show, but I was eyeing Fire Emblem's Marth the most. As a Fire Emblem fan, finding any memorabilia representing it is rare, and it was exciting to get my hands on a collectable to celebrate my love for the series. Little did I know that Marth would turn out to be one of the harder Amiibos to find, and my pursuit for him would also serve as the gateway to my obsession.
It was the hunt the lured me in. The minute there's a chance I can't have something, I want it even more. After having trouble tracking down Marth, I vowed I wouldn't let myself miss out on any other opportunities to get one that I desired. From this point on, I've been on top of release dates for the figures I have interest in. Every day I'm looking to see if a preorder opportunity arises, so I can secure a figure without having to go to the store. If that doesn't work, I send multiple people out to hunt for me, including my co-worker Andrew Reiner, who searches daily for them. We've exchanged which ones we're after, helping each other locate the ones we're missing. I've also used sites that track Amiibo availability. Heck, I've even spent extra cash to import an Amiibo from Japan, thanks to them being region-free. And every time Nintendo announces another wave, I'm even more pumped and already plotting securing my pre-order (That Ness Amiibo will be mine!).
I'm at the point where I'm thinking about Amiibos every day. What is it about a little plastic figure that brings me such joy and creates such a fixation? I've been trying to figure that out myself. As I previously mentioned, I love the hunt. I enjoy the excitement of never knowing if the Amiibo I want is going to be on the store shelf, or if a rare one will unexpectedly turn up somewhere. Any baseball card or video game collector can tell you the thrill of owning something rare, knowing you've tracked down something that not many people have. Right now, I'm on a quest to find King Dedede, and it's driving me nuts that I still haven't been successful. I'm seriously considering going the import route again.
Nintendo claims it's doing its best to keep up with the demand, but whatever amount sent to retailers is flying off shelves, making many Amiibos hard to track down unless you pre-order or stand in line on release day. Even if Nintendo replenishes the supply and rarity abates, it wouldn't make me stop collecting. There's something about being able to stare at my favorite characters on my shelf that makes me smile. After all, these characters are from games I love, and they bring back fond memories. What's so wrong about having a remnant of something that's special to you? Maybe hopping on the Amiibo train is silly. I never expected to do it, but am I having fun? Yes. And that's all that matters. Not much can top how I feel when I'm unwrapping a new one to add on my shelf.
Some people, like my colleague Kyle Hilliard, have resisted the urge to collect Amiibos. If you share his sentiments, be sure to check out his recent editorial.