Watch us turn the Samus amiibo into Fusion Suit Samus!
Nintendo, we love you, but you’ve given us plenty of stress this holiday season. First it was a lack of GameCube controller adapters for Super Smash Bros. Wii U, and now it’s amiibo. You see, we didn’t know the holy trinity – Marth, Villager and Wii Fit Trainer – would be so difficult to find; in fact, we’ve never seen Marth in stores. Now wave 2a just released, and we spent countless hours driving to Targets and Toys R Us stores in search of Diddy Kong and Little Mac. Quite frankly, the anticipation for wave 2b (Luigi, Pit and Captain Falcon) is so incredibly high we can barely stand it, and forget about store exclusives Shulk (GameStop), Lucario (Toys R Us) and Rosalina (Target). Our bodies are not ready.
There’s a good chance you, the reader, feel our pain. Sure, you could pick up Marth, Villager and Wii Fit Trainer on eBay, but who wants to spend $150 for three figures? If you raised your hand, proceed. It’s cool. No judgment.
If you’ve lost all hope, there’s a decent chance you’ll be able to complete your amiibo collection by following these tips. We can’t guarantee anything, but at the end of the day, it’s all about having the best shot possible without wasting resources, and who knows? After the holidays, Nintendo may restock all of the amiibo. Well, at least until wave 3 comes along.
First tip, visit Nintendo World in New York City. Nintendo’s flagship store, located at 10 Rockefeller Plaza, benefits from a different set of rules that don’t apply to Toys R Us and Walmart. In fact, Marth and Villager were in stock as early as December 5, and Little Mac, Zelda and Diddy Kong are available now.
It’s OK to randomly stop by, but your best bet is to call the store (646-459-0800) to check on release dates and current inventory. Employees also do a great job updating the store’s Twitter feed. Check it on a daily basis to find out when characters release. Keep in mind that due to NYC being the tourist mecca of the universe, you’ll have plenty of Nintendo fans on the hunt.
Of course, not everyone has easy access to the Big Apple, and this information doesn’t help if you live in Kansas. To be fair, this limits your chances somewhat, but we found the amiibo subreddit (r/amiibo) to be a great online resource. The amiibo community constantly posts information on release dates (these vary per store) and someone created a helpful spreadsheet that lists all of the current amiibo and their scarcity; the creator seems to update it regularly. You’ll even discover AMAs (Ask Me Anythings) with Target and Toys R Us employees, who will clue you into shipment arrivals and sell dates.
You can also call stores in your area, but considering many retailers hire part time help for the holidays, the person on the other end of the phone may not know what an amiibo is. Besides, driving to stores and making exciting discoveries is part of the fun… and also a surefire way to experience heartbreaking disappointment. Such is life for frenzied toy collectors.
If that doesn’t work, consider buying amiibo overseas. Amazon Germany and import video game site Play-Asia have hard-to-find amiibo in stock. You will pay more (Captain Falcon costs $19.99 through Play-Asia, minus shipping costs), but it’s cheaper than eBay, and you can make the purchase from home instead of dealing with holiday crowds. Personally, we love the Japanese writing on the package.
That said, a word of warning. When it comes to ordering via Amazon outside the U.S., you won’t have access to Prime. Furthermore, you roll the virtual dice buying amiibo online when it comes to mint condition. There’s always the possibility of receiving boxes with bent corners, and considering some of the packaging issues seen in stores (characters upside down, average paint jobs), there’s no telling what you’ll find inside the shipping box.
Finally, look for Nintendo fans interested in swapping amiibo. Popular online message board NeoGaf is full of avid amiibo collectors hoping to trade a Wii Fit Trainer for a Villager, or a Captain Falcon for a Pit; the last two are already available in different countries. That’s where having an extra Little Mac may come in handy.
Let us know which amiibo is your favorite, and don’t stress out too much. There are plenty of Nintendo fans (us included) who are just as eager to get their hands on the rarest characters.
Our advice? If you see an amiibo you want, buy or reserve it. You never know when figures like Fox and Samus will disappear, and Amazon U.S. stil accepts pre-orders for select Wave 3 figures.
Return to Prima’s amiibo Buying Guide.