News Article

E3 2014: Getting To Grips With Amiibo, Nintendo's Revolutionary Take On NFC Toys

Posted by Damien McFerran

Make some space on your shelves

We all knew that Nintendo's "figurine platform" would be shown off at E3, but now it has a shiny new name: Amiibo. Taking inspiration from the likes of Skylanders and Disney Infinity, Amiibo is based around character toys blessed with NFC tech which can be read by the Wii U GamePad (and an optional 3DS accessory which is due next year).

Unlike its rivals, Amiibo is going to offer wider possibilities by allowing figures to be used in multiple games from different genres — for example, Nintendo has already confirmed that Smash Bros. Wii U, Mario Party 10 and Mario Kart 8 will all support Amiibo toys, which makes the concept much better value for money than its competitors.

Given the massive popularity of Nintendo's characters — a cast which is arguably as famous as Disney's stable — it's hard to see how Amiibo can be anything less than a massive success. Our friends over at Family Gamer TV have had some hands-on time with the figures at E3 2014, so be sure to check out the video below and let us know what you think.

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User Comments (95)



6ch6ris6 said:

it will be so hard to resist buying some of these.
i wanna hear more about how games will use these figurines.

does anybody know what amiibo is suppose to mean?



0utburst said:

I should only buy Mario chars, DK, Metroid and Zelda chars. I must resist...





Artwark said:

Is it me or has Nintendo forgotten about F-Zero? Seriously now would be a good time to port F-Zero GX on Wii U with these amiibo figures in mind! Not that I love F-Zero and all infact I've never played the series but I know a lot would want that to happen.

But who cares about that when we have Star Fox? eh guys?



FX102A said:

The Zelda, Metroid and Fire Emblem ones are definite buys for me (regardless of the games) whilst I may buy a few Mario, DK & Pokemon ones too.

Depends on price. Of course the fact that they can work across multiple games does make it more appealing as I doubt these figures will come cheap (don't mind as long as the quality is there).



Tsurii said:

The figurines look pretty good actually. Looking forward to seeing the full uhm.."roster". I guess I'll buy just very few figurines, but if the Lucina pic in the announcement trailer was hinting at her being in Smash, I already know of one amiibo, I'll definitely get.



Kaze_Memaryu said:

I like the idea behind Amiibo. As the FGTV guy said, Nintendo doesn't bind actual characters and mandatory game content to the figures, which makes them all fully optional. That's an important step away from Skylanders and Disney Infinity, where you have to own specific figures (some of which are not part of their respective starter kits) to finish the game 100%.
But that also means they have to get seriously creative with their implementations in order to keep us interested.

One thing I hope for, though, is that Nintendo doesn't restrict Amiibo to their own IP's, but allow 3rd party developers to release figures as well.
Just imagine having a Professor Layton, Mighty No. 9, Shantae, Bayonetta, Hover, or Phoenix Wright character as a figure - or whatever game you can think of! While that would bear the risk of figure flooding, it could also become a huge fan offering to have all their playable characters on a shelf!




larry_koopa said:

No, just no. I've grown up with Nintendo, I'm turning 27 at the end of June, and I will never buy into this. I don't care how popular these figures become. I will have no part of this. I'll continue to play my games the way I always have - without the need of additional plastic toys for "bonus content."

Gaming is expensive enough as it is. I know that it can be very tempting, but try to not waste your money on this stuff that you don't really need, folks. Smash Bros. will be just fine without this.



BertoFlyingFox said:

They look nice, I sort of expected Nintendo to reveal a close launch for these figures but it seems they're keeping that a secret. The pricing will decide how many of these I pick up.



Kirk said:

So far, I'm not seeing the actual "revolutionary" part but it looks like a decent set of figures and has some potential at the very least.

Hopefully Nintendo can in fact do something special here and at least as good as both Skylanders and Disney Infinity have managed but that's not a proven thing yet and just having that one extra element where you can transfer data doesn't automatically mean it's going to better what's already there or even be as good at it.

The Wiimote could transfer user data back and forth between systems and what exactly did that revolutionize...

There's potential, some cool little collectible models, a couple of actual revealed examples of how Nintendo is starting to use these figures, that so far have not blown me away in the slightest, and that's all I'm willing to give Nintendo right now.

Also; I'm I the only one that's not really feeling/getting the whole "Amiibo" name?



Emblem said:

@Diddy_kong I think Nintendo understand this that's why this are additional extras for bonus modes and not vital components like Infinity and Skylanders. Nintendo fans are very vocal so i'm so if Nintendo overstep the mark somewhere there will be a poopoodoodoocacapoopledoopledoggiedoopstorm anyway lol.

Personally i'm going to get a few due to the workmanship of the models, i'm not to bothered about in game interaction at this point so i may not even take some out their cases.
Watch the profanity please — TBD



AlexOlney said:

I'm imagining a custom order system through Nintendo to have Miis made into these figures and usable throughout pretty much every game ever.



8bitforever said:

@Artwark You mean the Star Fox with the silly control scheme.... Yeah, no thanks. I want less Wii like controlled games where I don't have to wave my arms and wonder around my living room. As a person who has motion sickness that will make that game unplayable to me. I am hoping for an alternate control setup.



thesilverbrick said:

@Diddy_kong Funny, I grew up with Nintendo as well, I'm turning 28 tomorrow, and I can honestly say I'll be buying every amiibo figure Nintendo releases. To each his own, I guess...



NintyMan said:

I know Sakurai suggested we should only get figures of our favorite characters, but depending on how far they are willing to go with this concept, it will be hard not trying to get them all.



BakaKnight said:

I really don't want to waste extra moneys on such concept, but..but... damn, those figures look too awesome DX

I resisted to skylanders, ignored Disney Infinity, but this time I'm afraid my will won't be strong enough >.<;



Miss_Dark said:

I don't wanna support nintendo by buying this, it's cheap money but... DAMN I REALLY WANT SOME OF THOSE!!!



Raptor78 said:

Seeing how it works within Smash Bros I thnk I know how this could work in Mario Kart. Obviously I dont think it would add extra characters as sad as this may seem, but the vehicle parts seem the most obvious. For example, Steel Driver is a Sub chassis based on the game Steel Diver... so I could really see the wiifit woman, Zelda etc featured in such a similar way, that way nobody gets a distinct advantage of having characters that others may not but still manage to get the favourite toy / game into MK8. I really like the Fire Emblem figure, love to see how it will be used in the other games.



SpookyMeths said:

Yeah, I can definitely see myself buying quite a few of these. Pikachu, Link, Samus, Sheik, Pit, Fox...



2Sang said:

I was hoping for little mac or Olimar,but if there's only those 10, I'll probably start out with just pit or link



TheWPCTraveler said:

When they do make a Luigi figurine, it better be giving the Death Stare.

Is it wrong that I'm getting at least one amiibo before I get a Wii U?



Frank90 said:

I hope for a fair price. But I'll buy everysingle Amiibo (of the Smash roaster at least)



Link506 said:

@6ch6ris6 I don't know what it means, but I did notice that the word "Mii" is in Amiibo. I don't know if that was planned though.



shigulicious said:

The Villager is just too adorable. How are these going to be implemented in MK8? We shall see.



shigulicious said:

@Link506 without knowing for sure, I assume it was intentional. It's like "amigo" with the extra "I" for "Mii", a slight play on words for friend.



Clara said:

I want these and I don't have a wii u, i guess ill pick some up second hand like i do with the skylanders, I can always pick up some compatible games and a portal for the 3ds

I want Pikachu, Link, Samus and the vilager, possibly the rest too lol
it would be nice if they could do sonic as well since he's now permanently part of the smash roster but that seems unlikely unless ninty buy out sega



Haywired said:

It's funny, I've noticed NL keep sneaking in words like "innovative" and "revolutionary" when writing about the amiibos. I'm guessing it's phase one of the operation, with phase two being the eventual re-writing of history that amiibos came before Skylanders and everyone totally ripped off Nintendo's innovation yet again...



FrozenLink said:

I feel the villager would be cool for Animal Crossing WiiU (Assuming it exists) I mean you could bring it to a friends and visit their town without using Wifi, one player using the gamepad screen, the other using the tv!



zool said:

What is the point?
To make Nintendo money, ok fair enough. Some thing for the kids to waste (I mean spend) their pocket money on. A plastic figurines that you could have gotten free with a kids meal in Mac Donald's last month. Ok it will have a code in it which connects to the Wii u. And this code could have been included in the game anyway, and not bother about the figurine. It is just an expensive way to collect kids toys.

Ok have a few games for the figurines to be able to react with, and gamers who are not kids can get on with the proper Nintendo games. But if Nintendo start trying to have all these toys interacting in all their games they will have shot themselves in the other foot. The gamepad being the first one.



RickyWill said:

Keep in mind: Sakurai stated that for Super Smash Brothers, the figures were designed in a way so that you DON'T have to buy them. The "Figure Player" feature is 100% optional, and does not do ANYTHING for the main game

Yes, I'm talking to you, @zool.



unrandomsam said:

Something for the parents to buy. It is not innovative.

All or nothing that is what I do. I want the entire game or none of it always.

@Fireninjastar The full game includes them simple as that I only get full games. (With all DLC if it exists). Or not at all. If it is only the Wii U version I won't get that one unless I think it is a £200 game which I doubt.



MrWalkieTalkie said:

I hear Captain Toad Treasure Tracker will also make us of this.

PLEASE let there be a Captain Toad figure!

P.S. To everyone, Please stop belittling toys as nothing more than heaps of plastic wasting money. Toys are not just for children, there are many who enjoy collect high quality figurines and toys (such as myself). So stop acting so high and mighty by stating what age you are and how you're "smarter" than others by not buying optional figures. No one cares about your insecurities with your masculinity, thinking you're so grown up by not caring about toys.



eaglebob345 said:

@Kirk @Haywired I think the innovative and revolutionary come from them being abl to be use in a wide variety of games (or at least more than one) and featuring NFC technology, needing no added cost of portal, and (the part that intrigues me the most) other developers might have access to those figurines.



Plutonian said:

@MrWalkie @eagle good posts, I agree.
I don't consider myself a collector. I have some video game figures and kidrobot stuff but that's it. These do seem interesting though, and I'm looking forward to seeing the entire line and learning more about their abilities.



dazzleshell said:

im 35 later this year and i will be getting them. I do collect a lot of stuff anyway... so will look good with my other figures.



sinalefa said:

To be honest, the game enhancing features are secondary to me. These figures are big, beautiful and detailed, so I hope they are not very expensive.

I am 35 too and I am not "ashamed" of buying these toys, as I am not ashamed of buying kiddie games

Happy birthday at @thesilverbrick



unrandomsam said:

@MrWalkieTalkie You make many assumptions all which are totally incorrect at least for me. The reason I don't want plastic junk around is I am naturally messy and the more mess I make the more hassle it is to keep the place clean. Also it is the same as on disk DLC it is part of the game arbitrarily locked.



unrandomsam said:

I suppose whether it works hinges on whether people like you paying £200 offset people who won't touch the figures with a barge pole like me.



unrandomsam said:

@sinalefa The value is supposed to come from the multiple game support. So I suspect them to be the price of the most expensive Skylanders. (That fits in with the Nintendo philosophy).



zool said:

@Fireninjastar OK. But that is like asking if a bottle is half full or half empty.

Games with extra content? The extra content was always free anyway, mini games etc. So now the games extra content needs a plastic figure to access it?



bouncer0304 said:

@MrWalkieTalkie it has been confirmed that they will work with Captain Toad. Someone said it on twitter earlier (can't remember who) but they'll work which is nice. I'm 27 and i too can't wait to buy them! I'm starting to save money now ready for Christmas. Jesus, between these, Bayonetta, Smash bros 3ds, fantasy life plus a few others, i'm gonna be broke. Then again, i could always ask my family to buy some for me for Christmas.
What i like most is that you can use them in other games aswell. I'd like to play with Infinity and Skylanders but you need the figures to complete the games which is wrong. What i like with these is that they're add ons so that any game which uses them is complete already. If you want them great, if not, no worries, your play experience won't be affected. It seems to me Nintendo actually got the idea of those chips and evolved it into this. I wonder if Nintendo will release another game similar to the toybox mode (is that what it's called?) in infinity? Only time will tell but if they are sensible with these figures, they could go very far!

EDIT: Just watched the amiibo video on the eshop and it says on there. They'll also be used in Mario Party 10 and Yoshi's wolly world.



uneek said:

I think it wii be awesome if splatoon is one the game that is compatible with amiibo. Imagine all nintendo characters shooting paint at each other. That will be very awesome. I think it can happen 'coz if you looked at the characters in splatoon they all look the same.



TheAdza said:

Yeah I will be buying as many as I can. I hope they aren't going to be very limited time only type deals. I'm 34. Don't even care. I'm buying the lot.



Peach64 said:

I'm still not clear how they work. If I buy Peach, then I get a personalised Peach character in Smash? Or can you store any character in any figure? I mean, they said they'd work for Mario Kart but most of those characters aren't in MK.

I'll probably get the Peach one just because I think it looks nice, but I really hate clutter, so I've always resisted buying action figures and statues of stuff, and I'm not gonna be buying a ton of these.



Xaessya said:

I'm probably going to get Palutena, Wii Fit Trainer, Fox, Mii, and Villager when they come out




The article assumes that the Amiibo we've seen will be compatible with games like Mario Kart 8 etc. That's not been explicitly stated. The Amiibo we've seen so far are Super Smash Bros. themed, you can tell by the stand they're on which has the Smash Bros. logo. Bill just said that Amiibo will work with Mario Kart 8, etc. Amiibo is the umbrella term for this product so for all we know, and if they had any sense, they'll release Mario Kart 8 themed Amiibo and Yoshi's Woolly World themed Amiibo. Of course, they could make them compatible with each other's games, but I don't think it's clear that they will.



Paintfrog said:

I'll purchase a few of my favorite characters if they aren't too expensive. I really like this idea.



Inkling said:

@ROBLOGNICK During the Nintendo Minute (I think) they announced that the figures would work with Mario Party 10, Mario Kart 8 and Smash Bros.





@babyguess Can you point to where exactly it says the Super Smash Bros figures will work with the other games? Don't point me to where it says Amiibo figures, those are not necessarily the same thing.



HumaneBlaze said:

I like that nintendo is doing something like this. I wanted to get Into skylanders but none of the charters catch my interest. Disney infinity looks cool but didnt like it to much when i played it...and again same as skylanders there arent to many charters that really interest me (excited for infinity 2.0 though)...nintendo on the other hand has all these iconic characters that I grew up with and went on countless adventures with so I would love to collect them all I just seriously hope the price is right



Luna-Harmony said:

They look amazing quality i recon they will cost £19.99 for one figure so 10 coming out that's 200 for all 10.
Has anyone else noticed the nice packing ? how will we get the figure out without damaging that box ?
Everyone will be scanning them though the box lol unless they make a easy flap to get the figure in & out.



Sceptic said:

Just as backward as expected. First-gen Skylanders like. And that Link firgurine in the video looked like it would break off any minute.



tj3dsXL said:

Im so glad for this kids and tweeds thats will buy and enjoy this stuff !!!



antipop621 said:

The figs are really nice, packaging is sleek I don't think I would even open them up.



roryscott said:

I will probably just buy my favourite one so out of the ones revealed that would be Link or Pit



Neko_Ichigofan said:

I hope this will only be used for non-core elements. Also these better not be used for dlc because if they are it means that the dlc will be on-disc which will be very disheartening seeing this behavior from a company which is normally very honorable.



Will-75 said:

So far the Pit , Mario , Donkey Kong, Link , Samus, Fox, Kirby, OK I can't decide which one is my favorite Will buy them all .! I think it's a great idea from Nintendo and I honestly think they have a great approach to it I can't see any true Nintendo FAN complaining about this I hope they do a Meta Knight and a Diddy Kong .



Tornado said:

@Diddy_kong I agree. I'm 35 and really don't have a need for a bunch of toys with my games. Of course, I don't think I'm Nintendo's target demographic at the moment. This will probably be successful... but my part, after riding the Nintendo train for about 30 years, I think it's time to disembark.



AJSjedi said:

Can you imagine how much money Kleenex could make advertising on this website with all the constant crying and moaning going on here each day?

Does Nintendo have a gun to your head forcing you to buy these? No? Then shut up already. It's different than regular DLC which I hate as you get something tangible that's physical.

I'm 38 my wife is 42 and I'll need a bigger box to store these along with skylanders and infinity figures we already own plus the new trap team ones, marvel infinity, and these...

Better start saving now...gonna be an expensive holiday! Between all those, watch dogs (still shocked it wasn't cancelled) MAYBE call of duty advanced warfare, captain toad, and smash bros..not looking forward to credit card bills come January



LtAldoRaine said:

The price of stuff here in Brazil is ridiculously inflated, so I might not get many of these. Sucks.



Th3PlaidHatter said:

Really looking forward to getting some of these. I've been extremely impressed with the quality of the Disney Infinity characters, hop these are just as good, or even better!



JaxonH said:


That's what's up. Just turned 30, grew up on Nintendo, and you can believe I'm buying every last figure they release. Got the full set of Pokemon NFC figures, and I'ma get the full set of these too.

Theres a ton of Nintendo fans like us who like collecting all things Nintendo. People who grew up in the 8-bit era. How could you grow up with Nintendo and NOT want figures of all your favorite characters?



3dbrains said:

if i get metroid amiibo... will it work in mario kart 8? as metroid is not in mariokart... would it be useless?



Crimzonlogic said:

That Pit figure looks excellent! I have been wanting to buy one of those Figma Pit action figures ever since I first saw them, but they are so expensive! I won't spend that much money on a toy that will just sit on my shelf. This little Amiibo thing looks like it will be a better deal. I hope they make a good Palutena figure as well. I don't usually collect things like that, but I want more Kid Icarus stuff.
I probably won't buy any of the other figures...Well, maybe I'll buy the Samus because that one looks awesome, all gold and shiny!
I wonder if I will even like to use these. Hopefully I don't get so into them that I'll want more.



Artwark said:

@8bitforever Atleast they are trying something different. Also how can you know that the controls are silly? It actually makes sense.



8bitforever said:

@Artwark I just want a normal control scheme that will allow people like me who physically cannot move around like that to be able to play their game. I cannot help that my physical disability prevents me from moving around like that and I love Star Fox so I would like an opportunity to play it.



Artwark said:

@8bitforever You're not moving your whole body like how Lost world on 3DS did!?!?!? Your just moving the controller slightly away just like how they did for star fox 64 3d.



8bitforever said:

@Artwark No it's about moving your head back and forth and trying to view two separate screens. This is what someone with severe motion sickness cannot do.



cfgk24 said:

What? Wait! We always want Nintendo to release new stuff so we can buy it! Well, here it is! No longer do we have long waits before new stuff arrives because they can always release a new amiibo every week! Yay!

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