I've reached a breaking point, guys. I waited with a smirk when they were first announced, eagerly awaiting the "I told you sos" of the net when Nintendo's latest peripheral Amiibos would fail. Now in their 4th wave I have to speak out. I feel it's my responsibility to deal some very harsh truths to fellow Nintendo fans and alert the seemingly unaware to the evil that has befallen our gaming community. Make no mistake, I believe Amiibos are the devil, and while I await your passionate responses as to why they are not, please hear me out.
They Have Very Little Gameplay Value
I was tricked into buying an Amiibo by what I believe to be a series of mistruths and a lack of information. The hype for Amiibos upon release was at a fever pitch. The first batch hit stores and immediately sold out, and I'm like WTF. Geek friends and family are encouraging and prodding me to purchase one in addition to my new copy of Super Smash Bros for the Wii U. I'm not one for collectibles, so at first I declined, but then I heard the "but it adds to the game" argument, so I take to the web. I find Nintendo's link telling me how I can train and fight alongside my Amiibo and watch it grow stronger. "Pretty awesome," I thought and imagined what it would be like to battle with a customized character in Super Smash Brothers.
So imagine my surprise when I come home with my newly purchased Link Amiibo and discover that I cannot, in fact, play as him but rather quite literally train him. I felt duped and went back to Nintendo's description of the Amiibo. NOT ONCE was it stated I could not play as my Amiibo, which I would assume is why most people would want to buy such a thing. So now I have this useless toy sitting on my TV.
Skylanders are evil. They are a toy marketed to kids for a game that requires several different types to complete, and the characters are forced to rest when they die in level, meaning you either restart the level or buy more characters to win. Let's not forget that only some parts of the game can be completed with certain characters! Imagine how much money you would've dipped into Pokemon back in the day with this kind of pay model, and you can see the pain of parents today.
Skylanders may be evil but Amiibos are the f****** antichrist. Their actual gameplay usefulness is the absolute minimum required for you to mentally tell yourself, "This is justified," and empty your wallet for a Kirby with a Mega Man helmet. You aren't a child, you know you are being scammed, but you keep going. You use grown up justification, citing recent market value for rare amiibos selling well over market price. Guess what?
They Won't Increase In Value Over Time
Guys, we lived through the TY Beanie Baby craze of the '90s. People ran out spending their nest eggs on small stuffed animals because reports were coming out SWEARING these would be worth millions years down the road. Beanie babies flew off the shelves and just when it seemed things would die down, a report would pop up showing how much a Beanie Baby was sold for and people would go ballistic all over again.
Yesterday Gamestop's servers crashed in anticipation of the preorder of newly announced Amiibo character Ness. Greninja's Toys R Us exclusive Amiibo sold out in less than an hour. People are already raging on the web because an exact release date was not given on the Yoshi's Wooly World Amiibo, AND THE GAME HASN'T EVEN RELEASED YET. Finally, a villager Amiibo sold on eBay for over 100 dollars.
This is just a glimpse at the headlines when I type Amiibo into my search engine. If you are a collector who collects Amiibos to collect Nintendo stuff, you're like, "so what," but please see the light if you are someone collecting thinking the market value on these will increase. This spark in interest and off the charts buying is driven by many others like you who think they're going to hit the jackpot ten years down the road. If you're looking to make money on Amiibos, sell them now. If you don't, three years down the line you'll be yelling in a pawn shop about how much more you could get for your limited edition purple hat Diddy Kong than the three dollars he is offering you for it.
I can buy a Holographic Charizard Pokemon Card on eBay right now for the seller's asking price of 1600 dollars. Conversely, I could also purchase a different seller's holographic Charizard, an original copy of Earthbound, and every Nintendo console from Nintendo to Wii for less than that. Yes, sometimes people get lucky and sell collectors items for a lot of money. More often than not, you will not make your money back on your investment. Look at the millions of examples before you seek out the one.
Going back to the 1k Charizard card I mentioned earlier, because there are people in the geek community who will shell out big bucks for trading card games. This is due to their continued usefulness in their respective game communities and the fact that these games are still relevant and continue to be useful into the overall games future.
Amiibos Are Not The Future Of Gaming
If it looks like a fad, is collected like a fad, and is shamelessly shoveled out in mass like the company is eagerly trying to grab all the cash they can before the fad dies....it's probably something that's here to stay, right? Make no mistake, Nintendo knows there's a time limit on how long its fan base will buy these Amiibos, and they are cashing in as fast as they can design the next wave of figures. I can't blame them, as this is new territory for Nintendo. They've yet to fully experience the joy of DLC. WAIT, NINTENDO DOESN'T DLC! They're an honorable company they always give us what we asked for and more! Say what you will...
Amiibos Are Nintendo's DLC
And I'm not talking about the good DLC, like when they gave us New Super Luigi Brothers. Nintendo's first endeavors into paid downloadable content were quite good and very Nintendo. You got what you paid for, and it always felt like money well spent. Amiibos are not good DLC. You paid $12.99 to get an additional costume for an individual character. You paid $12.99 to get a new cart in Mario Kart. Yeah, it will be cool to see Link in Mario Kart, but for $12.99? That's far more diabolical than a 7 dollar season pass for a game with only one update. That being said...
That's All Fine If You're In It Just To Have Figures
If you don't give a shit about what they add to games, that the vast majority of them will not increase in value over time, and that you'll eventually have to put them in the garage when someone tells you "it's time," then by all means, blow a check on these bad boys. You don't have to justify it in any other way than saying "I like these, go f*** yourself." Don't delude yourself however, because this is a far too expensive hobby to get into for any other reason than liking how they look on your mantle.