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Parent Trap: Amiibo Charts A Fresh Course In The Toys To Life Sector

Posted by Andy Robertson

Wallets are going to suffer this Christmas

Seen one toy-video-game craze and you’ve seen them all, right? Counter to first impressions Skylanders, Disney Infinity and Angry Birds Telepods each offer a distinct experience. Nintendo’s amiibo characters offer another new way to combine toys and video-games, but how different is it to these other products?

Firstly the similarities are fairly obvious. You use the plastic toy figurines to access particular characters in the game. As you play progress is automatically saved back to the toy figure ready for the next time you use them.

This is where we first encounter differences. Rather than bringing playable characters in like Skylanders and Disney Infinity, amiibo figures grant access to companion or competitor characters. This is a substantial difference but one that makes sense. It would be hard to imagine Nintendo selling Super Smash Bros. and then not allowing players to use Mario unless they purchased the toy figure – locking on disc content away like Activision and Disney.

In the Super Smash Bros. example, the amiibo version of Mario would be used to fight against, team up with or battle other in-game characters. Using the character in this way would increase its attack and defence stats and let it learn new fighting tactics, all of which are then saved automatically back to the figure.

This data is then transferred via the Wii U GamePad, another big difference about the amiibo ecosystem. Unlike Skylanders that sells players a new Portal each iteration, or Disney Infinity that requires its equivalent Infinity Base, amiibo figures use the technology you already have in your Wii U. This will be extended to the 3DS in 2015 with a peripheral that enables Nintendo’s handheld games to access and update information on the amiibo figures.

This should certainly keep the costs down for collectors, but also changes the interaction somewhat. Because the figures can’t sit on the GamePad the whole time during play, data will only be transferred when they are temporarily placed on or near the NFC zone. In some ways the amiibo figures don’t need to stand on a circular base at all, they could contain the required technology in the body of the figure. With this in mind, my children liked the idea that these toys could be freed from their stands. However, it seems that’s sadly not the case.

The circular figurine base — like Skylanders and Disney Infinity — is where the NFC tech is housed. These also continue the themed bases approach with the current crop of figures each having a Super Smash Bros. logo on their stand. This not only demarks which game they came with, but opens the door to multiple collectable versions of the same character for different games.

So far we are expecting 10 figures for Super Smash Bros. (Mario, Donkey Kong, Kirby, Pikachu, Princess Peach, Samus Aran, the Animal Crossing Villager, the Wii Fit Trainer, Yoshi and Link) with four more seen on the official website (Fox, Marth, Pit and Zelda). Nintendo's Shinya Takahashi has stated that there are plans for every Smash Bros character to have an amiibo, although there are no details on when they will be available at retail as yet.

In addition to Super Smash Bros., these figures will be supported by Mario Kart 8, Yoshi's Wooly World, Mario Party 10 and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. Whether those games will get their own related collectable figurines remains to be seen, but it must be likely.

This cross-game compatibility is another significant distinctive feature for amiibo. Having a single figurine that enables you to bring a companion character in to multiple games not only means you don’t have to buy as many toy figures, but also makes the toys more significant. There can be a flow of upgrades and abilities between different titles via the amiibo characters.

This also creates a greater connection between the young player and the toy character. Making decisions about upgrading and customising along with time spent playing with the same character in different games underlines the fact that this is your Mario or Princess Peach rather than a stock derivative version.

Getting this cross-game feature right will be important for amiibo. If bringing a Super Smash Bros. Mario figure into Mario Kart is more limited that brining a Mario Kart version of the same figure, players may feel that the experience is not as good as it could be.

Equally, to work as a collectable toy line, each different version of these characters needs to have a distinct reason to be owned and collected. Skylanders walked this line well with their potentially controversial reposed versions of characters from previous games. Although this encouraged collectors to buy multiple versions of the same character, in the game they unlocked specific abilities not previously available to the original version.

Provided these retail considerations are well managed — and there are enough amiibo figures to make the offering substantial — it seems that this will be another driver of game and console sales for Nintendo. It’s an ideal follow up to Mario Kart 8 and is likely to be the sell out product this Christmas. Savvy parents will want to get in early.

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User Comments (121)

Tasuki

#4

Tasuki said:

"In the Super Smash Bros. example, the amiibo version of Mario would be used to fight against, team up with or battle other in-game characters. Using the character in this way would increase its attack and defence stats and let it learn new fighting tactics,"

So now Nintendo is jumping on the f2p bandwagon, what a shame. So tell me how this doesn't give a person an advantage over someone who doesn't want or can't buy the figures?

unrandomsam

#5

unrandomsam said:

@Tasuki It doesn't affect your character. Only the Amibo one but they have locked the best computer AI away in the Amibo thing. (Plus the whole Smash Brothers set is 40 figures apparently. So 15$ or £12 * 40.)

Peach64

#11

Peach64 said:

I've managed to resist the Infinity ones, and I love Disney, but I might get that Peach one. I hope they're a success for Nintendo, but I wasn't hugely impressed with their in-game use. It sounds like the sort of stuff that was featured a lot in beat em ups from the early 2000s. I'm glad it's not unlocking characters though.

Can't wait for the Squid Girl amiibo :D

smikey

#12

smikey said:

I fully intended to buy every amiibo (but that's just how I am) unless the gamepad can read them through the packing they might never get used though as I'm not taking them out.
(other than the one's i'll buy for the kids)

SkywardLink98

#14

SkywardLink98 said:

I'd buy ones for the Fire Emblem characters! Of course it's not gonna happen, but maybe Lucina or Chrom.

SavoirFaire

#15

SavoirFaire said:

I hope they make a few Amiibo compatible, and Amiibo focused games for the characters. I'm all for fun stuff in games I already own, but I'd really like to see $15-$20 eShop sports games (hockey, baseball, etc) that allow you to make a team with your Amiibo's. The sandbox aspect of these seems to be taking a back seat to Smash Bros, which is only natural for initial marketing. Hopefully we get some more info in the Directs over the remainder of the year.

Oh and goodbye $$ of course. I see at least a dozen I want already :(

Klunk23

#16

Klunk23 said:

Getting the Marth one for sure, and any other fire emblem characters that are made. Past that I'll have to see how much I like their in game use to see if I'll get any more.

dwuuuu

#17

dwuuuu said:

The amiibos would be very much like how street pass work. i.e exchanging data between games

Peach64

#18

Peach64 said:

A neat idea might be Tomadachi Life U integration. Add Nintendo characters into your household :)

sinalefa

#19

sinalefa said:

I will be getting a bunch of these, specially the female characters, Link and Bowser.

MetaRyan

#20

MetaRyan said:

@Tasuki The core game's still the same, and these can't be used in online multiplayer. I see it more like physical DLC.

AJWolfTill

#21

AJWolfTill said:

@Tasuki Tasuki bro, these things are like sparring partners. The more you fight them the stronger they get and they adapt to your playstyle. Alternatively, imagine you have a friend over who also has his own crafted amiibo. You would be able to locally team up with your one and fight against him/her and his/her ally. Or you could team up with him to fight both or just let them fight each other to see who's is superior.
They've been very clear throughout that all of the customizing and upgrading stuff will not be part of the online system outside of friends.

By the way amiibo pre-orders have flooded the shop.to charts.

ALSO!!! Samus is the only initial figure who doesn't have a game out this nintendo generation (+villager on Wii U) NEW METROID CONFIRMED XD

Shotgunryugan

#22

Shotgunryugan said:

I'm not buying them, I don't see a point to them yet, unless they can be transferred to something like Mario Kart(Seeing Captain Falcon in a kart could be really cool), I'll pass.

Though I will say this, Peach is going to be really popular, you can see her panties and you know how the internet is with that kind of stuff(I'd post a picture, but don't know if it's allowed).

MrGawain

#23

MrGawain said:

Beyond owning the figures as statues or toys, If you see amiibos as DLC you buy in the shops then it all comes down to what DLC you get for your money. I suggested on the forums that for example if you bought A Link figure, and with it you got a Hyrule field MK8 stage and Link themed Yoshi's Yarn level, that's worthwhile for £10-£15. Each figure could support 2-3 games and give you extra content for each. However if the DLC in all the games is similar to having a Link sparring partner in Smash (which I'm pretty sure you can already have), then it's pretty pointless. Then you're paying the money for having a Mega Man or Star Fox figure, which there is nothing wrong with if you want that.

Also a some point you've got to think there is going to have to be a "Nintendolanders" game at some point where you can play a platformer/3d level beat 'em up as your figure?

rjejr

#24

rjejr said:

"Unlike Skylanders that sells players a new Portal each iteration...This will be extended to the 3DS in 2015 with a peripheral "

What's the difference between a "Portal" and a "peripheral"? ;-)
Sorry Andy, couldn't resist.

"to work as a collectable toy line, each different version of these characters needs to have a distinct reason to be owned and collected."

Right now this is my biggest problem w/ amiibo, there doesn't seem to be any reason to own any of these besides they are Nitnedo toy characters, which I can buy cheaper w/o the NFC and they would be almost as useful. amiibo need their own game where they really matter. Something like Nintneod Land where each toy opens up a new ride and the toys all mingle in the plaza. Or Subspace Emissary. Or "amiibo Life" or "amiibo Crossing".

I also don't like the "hockey puck" stands. They are 3 years late to NFC toys and that's the best base they can come up with? How about a bright shiny coin, or a toadstool/mushroom, or a barrel. Or Mario's cap. Something full of Nintnedo color. Not boring brown circles.

Guess after waiting all this time I just find overall these are a pretty pathetic effort. The toys themselves are fine, just like the 2 dozen Pokemon we've had for years. Even the clear plastic stands some of those come w/ would be preferable to these.

sinalefa

#25

sinalefa said:

@rjejr

The difference being you buy ONE peripheral, but you buy THREE portals, one per gen.

I feel it would be better if they make the Amiibo exclusive game later down the road, after people get the first figurines with Smash, so you will be able to use your existing toys instead of having to rush to buy them because a game forces you to.

And these stands have the golden Smash logo in them. The hockey puck makes them look like Smash trophies, thus going full circle, as Smash is supposedly a game about toys coming to life. It is possible that figurines for other games have different stands.

TL, DR: stop complaining so much ;)

BieberBlows

#27

BieberBlows said:

The SSB use isn't very appealing to me so I need see how they function in other games. I would also like to see a sandbox game or an RPG using the amiibos.

rjejr

#28

rjejr said:

@sinalefa - TL, DR: stop complaining so much ;)

I dont even know what TLDR means. :-)

We own Melee, I know where the design choice comes from, but that doesn't mean it's not ugly. And if the toys are supposed to not be tied to 1 game, why make the bases tied to 1 game? They should have put the hockey puck on a big 3D N64 logo. How cool would that be? I kind of think of that N as Nintneod's N though I realize it represents the N64.

And I guess we're opposite on the chicken and egg, amiibo and game way of thinking, I really would have liked to see a game first. The Wii U doesn't even have a sim game yet, not Animal Crossing or Tomodachi Life, or even a game like Pokepark 3, so the timing would have been perfect. Even if they just used the amiibo to unlock new games in Nintnedo Land rather than make a whole new NL2 that would be nice if you could have the amiibo party in the plaza. Maybe make it so you could unlock prizes if you take each amiibo thru every game in NL, sort of like taking each character thru a 1 player game in Mele. Maybe that's how a new game could be unlocked? Whatever they did, I feel like an amiibo oriented game should have come along w/ the toys.

To put it another way, a game that you would only buy to play w/ amiibo. SSB was going to sell w/o amiibo, I don't think amiibo will help sell many more copies of SSB. Or MK8 which has already hit 2m. Nintnedo Land 2 could probably use some amiibo help as I don't think the 1st did very well.

Cyberbotv2

#32

Cyberbotv2 said:

This sounds very gimmicky. I hope Nintendo isn't expecting a huge amount of folks to buy it. Maybe the hardcore might, but until I see a legit in game purpose, I'll hold out.

DeChunk

#36

DeChunk said:

Quick note, amiibo figures have two sets of data in them: one that works for the main game they're a part of, and one for everything else that just says, "I am me." This means super cool interactivity in one game, and mediocre content in another. So in Smash, you get a sparring partener that grows with you, and in Hyrule Warriors, you get a one use special attack and that's it. Cool, yet, not what we wanted.

Darkness3131

#39

Darkness3131 said:

I think in terms of comparison to other options, Nintendo has done a lot of things right. Yes they are buying into this toy market, but the customization and the versatility really add something new and personal to the experience, and it certainly gives me more motivation to buy. Not to mention they look very pretty. It is also very convenient that the gamepad reads the figures on its own, eliminating peripherals.

zool

#40

zool said:

Lets not get to carried away and not forget this is a money making venture for Nintendo. These over priced plastic toys will be expensive and the same results could have been achieved with less expensive plastic cards or free codes.

If Nintendo is going to include in is games multi player options, different controller options, online and street pass options and plastic toy options, this will add extra cost as well as more time developing games and for the single player gamer who is not interested in gimmicks only good single player games the future is not good.

ikki5

#41

ikki5 said:

my plan is to get the Link, Zelda... actually probably all the Zelda series figures and Marth for sure.

Shotgunryugan

#42

Shotgunryugan said:

@Daruncic Samurai Goroh assist trophy & you'd be delusional to think he won't be back, none of the original 12 are getting cut.

Especially how popular Falcon became because of Smash(Falcon Punch even made it to the F-Zero anime).
Most people now recognize him more for Smash than F-Zero.

Also I was talking about Amiibos in general, not just the Smash Bros amiibos, nothing is stopping them from making F-Zero amiibos, if we ever get a new F-Zero game.

dumedum

#43

dumedum said:

It is a bit confusing at this point and I hope Nintendo has a clear plan of how to make amiibo popular and useful. I like them as figurines anyway but they need to make that amiibo game or alternatively make it clear how you use them in all the games, so people won't complain.

SkywardLink98

#44

SkywardLink98 said:

"Although this encouraged collectors to buy multiple versions of the same character, in the game they unlocked specific abilities not previously available to the original version." Really? I'm pretty sure the Skylander I got for the first game have all the abilities that a newer version of the same character (and in my house we have two of this character).

AlbertoC

#45

AlbertoC said:

Zelda and Yoshi. Perhaps a Palutena.

That'd be all. Thanks.

...Unless they decide to make a Rosalina: fire flower version, or Splatoon figures. Then we will talk about my wallet really hating me.

sketchturner

#46

sketchturner said:

At first I was like, "I'll just get Samus." But the more I look at them... I'm like "Okay, maybe Fox as well, and Pikachu, oh yeah... and Yoshi. Oooh!! Captain Falcon." Then I realize...
Gotta' Catch 'Em All!!

whodatninja

#47

whodatninja said:

Definitely getting Link, Rosalina and Samus! Though I'm afraid it could become an addiction... :D

TTGlider

#49

TTGlider said:

This op ed does identify two of the biggest concerns about the product as we know it so far. And this article is also fairly optimistic- or at least neutral. I have big reservations that having the product activate as an AI character, and training that AI character's moves, and then taking your AI to a friend and having his AI character play your AI character, will be in any way as interesting as actually being able to play as the virtual version of your plastic toy is- ala Skylanders. The process of putting on a new Skylander, seeing it come to life on screen, then losing all health and taking it off the portal with the big 'whoosh' is very satisfying. Given some of Nintendo's other comments about the competition, I wouldn't be surprised in the least if they've never even played Skylanders to know what is satisfying about the experience. But hey, the reader is in the GamePad, and that results in certain design constraints- fine. The other big red flag is that these characters are being branded as the 'Smash' line. As the article perfectly describes, will anyone really buy a Smash Mario, an MK Mario, a third-game Mario? And if he did, would he really be happy that each character only did some limited subset of something in each different game? Because that is the whole hook of this idea- that the figurines work in multiple games. At this point, I'm having flashbacks to the eReader. Now then... team up with Activison and Disney and show us a Mushroom Kingdom themed iteration of either (or both, though I prefer Skylanders) in the same fashion as Hyrule Warriors, and prove me wrong.

MixMasterMudkip

#50

MixMasterMudkip said:

I want them all, but it'll probably take me awhile to get the whole roster. The two I'm positive I'll pick up to start off are Peach and Wii Fit Trainer.

Crimzonlogic

#51

Crimzonlogic said:

Is it just me or do the Link and Zelda figures look, um...Not that great? Something about the color and their faces seems off...Well, they will probably look much better later, or better in person(I mean, uh, in toyson?). These are prototypes that have been shown so far, right?

The Samus and Pit figures look fantastic. Hopefully the final products look that good. I'll buy both of them. :)

Kirk

#52

Kirk said:

Whether I personally agree with this kind of things or not, I genuinely think that right now this whole amiibo initiative probably has the best chance of actually turning the Wii U's fortunes around. More so than any individual game like Mario Kart 8 or Smash Bros imo, or anything else Nintendo is talking about in relation to Wii U right now for that matter. I don't think that's the best thing for the more core gamers and tech types out there who aren't really interested in collecting figures and just want to play lots of AAA games and have access to lots of world class services and features etc, people like me basically, but it will almost certainly be a big deal among hardcore Nintendo fans, collectors and kids.

midnafanboy

#53

midnafanboy said:

Well im getting an Ike, greninja and a little mac amiibo. Damn my wallet is going to shed blood this year.

bizcuthammer

#54

bizcuthammer said:

The features they are used for in Smash Bros doesn't justify a $15 pricetag. You don't get to play as your amiibo character, but only fight with or against them?! That's kind of useless given i can already fight with or against those characters, i just have to set them up as AI challengers or have friends come over to play, or play on the (hopefully good) online modes.

I can see myself maybe buying some of these because they look cool, like Link, Samus and Zelda, but i don't know because at $15 a pop, it doesnt seem worth getting very many if they don't really do anything that cool.

Amiibo has potential to be cool, but i dont think it will reach that potential with Smash Bros or Mario Kart. They need their own dedicated game rather than just being optional, seemingly pointless distractions for games that were originally created without them in mind.

rbmoura85

#55

rbmoura85 said:

@rjejr

i know all those things u are saying seem to make sense in your mind, but i can tell u that when i buy my Link amiibo i sure dont want it to be on top of a mushroom, barrel or anything that takes away the atention from the figure and adds absolutely nothing to it besides cost...

Kirk

#56

Kirk said:

@bizcuthammer

Yeah, regarding their use in Smash Bros alone, it does seem pretty sh*t imo. Hopefully people will get more from them once they use them across multiple games or whatever. Also, I'm guessing that half of the people buying these things are really just getting them as kind of collectibles anyway, so it probably doesn't even really matter if they don't do that much, as long as they look cool on the shelve I guess.

Fidu21

#57

Fidu21 said:

It's like a real-life scale version of Pokemon. You battle your Amiibo to make it stronger, and then you set it to battle with other amiibos! You edit it's moveset and everything!

THIS IS AWESOME!

Fidu21

#58

Fidu21 said:

@Tasuki You can only use the figure offline, if the players don't agree to use Amiibo, they won't use it

umegames

#60

umegames said:

@epicdude12302 somehow you manage to take that famous quote and make it that much more epic. I second, that my body is ready, my gamepad is ready, my wallet is ready!

Dreamz

#61

Dreamz said:

I plan to grab Samus, Zelda, and Link. I may consider Peach if they give us a version from the Super Mario comic series. As I grab more, I plan to have them slow phases out the Krosmaster figurine collection I currently have decorating my TV stand.

JaxonH

#63

JaxonH said:

@Fidu21

You certainly can use amiibos online. Not in For Glory, because that's bare bones competitive fighting, but you can use them in the For Fun mode, which is where 95% of gamers will be playing. All you do is set up a lobby and check the box that allows amiibos, then there ya go.

Grimlock_King

#64

Grimlock_King said:

I am looking forward to these amiibo figures. And seeing how they interact with each game. I really like the details and paint apps and hope the retail versions are equally awesome.

NintyMan

#65

NintyMan said:

There are already several I would be interested in getting: Donkey Kong, Pit, Peach, Kirby, Villager, and Yoshi. Then there's the inevitable Captain Toad amiibo for Treasure Tracker. It's already making my wallet want to burst in flames, and that's not including more of the rest of the Smash Bros. roster.

Right now, my biggest concern with amiibo is still which figures will be usable in which games. Nintendo really needs to clarify on this eventually because I can see casual consumers being confused about the full range of opportunities for these things. Could I use the Donkey Kong figure in Yoshi's Woolly World or not? I don't expect to use the Pit figure in Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, but I want Nintendo to say whether I can or not eventually. There should be something like a chart that gives yes or no answers to which figure is usable for which games. I think it's been confirmed that there won't be an instance of a figure only being usable in one game. If so, then that would be very interesting for figures of the third-party characters like Mega Man, Sonic, and Pac-Man. I'm also interested in how Nintendo will do the Mii amiibo. They've experimented with custom-made Mii figures by making a Miyamoto Mii prototype.

The concept of one figure being usable across multiple games is complicated, but exciting to think about anyway.

JaxonH

#66

JaxonH said:

@TTGlider

Pretty sure different versions of characters are NOT going to have different characteristics. Pretty sure that's just optional variety, so that Nintendo has a better chance of selling a Mario figure, or Yoshi figure, or whoever. If there's multiple versions, that's more chances to appeal to the consumer who will say, "aha! Now THAT'S an amiibo I like!".

But in the end, as far as functionality is concerned, I'm pretty sure a Mario Kart 8 Yoshi amiibo and a Smash Bros Yoshi amiibo will be identical. It's just preference and variety for the buyer.

King_Johobo

#67

King_Johobo said:

I'm a bit confused so whatever character u buy, in particular in smash bros, u can train against it to level it up but can only level that particular characters amiibo up? Sorry that made no sense its early...

B3ND3R

#68

B3ND3R said:

Link, Pit, Marth, and Sheik will all have a nice place on my work desk! And while I'm not making games, I'll be training my Amiibos to kick my rear at Smash.

JaxonH

#70

JaxonH said:

@King_Johobo

Well ya, if you buy a Mario amiibo figure obviously it's not going to level up a different amiibo. You use that Mario amiibo and level up that Mario amiibo. The Mario amiibo character in game is separate from the Mario character in game. The Mario character in game doesn't level up. He's just a roster character. But if you buy the Mario amiibo, that can level up, by using it and fighting it.

Xiao_Pai

#71

Xiao_Pai said:

You know, I've been thinking, maybe Monster Hunter could get into this? Like, figurines for either the cats or monsters (like, for arena quests or something). Would be cool.

WanderingPB

#72

WanderingPB said:

I still dont really understand how amiibo will work in each game or what will change in the game by using them…but for some reason the collector in me wants them all……thanks alot nintendo guess i better start saving up now

rbmoura85

#73

rbmoura85 said:

@WanderingPB

every game that supports amiibo will have a diferent functionality for it...in smash it becomes a fighter, in other games it might become something else...its almost like buying a kind of DLC for multiple games. Maybe if you have a toon link amiibo, in the next zelda you are allowed to play as toon link, for example.

raith

#74

raith said:

I'm going to buy them all, but God only knows how fast I'll run to the store if Nintendo ever made any Wonderful 101 amiibos.

WanderingPB

#75

WanderingPB said:

@rbmoura85 thank u for the explanation it does sound promising( especially Toon Link) but im still more curious about actually seeing its execution in the game. Maybe they'll do a more in depth demo in a Direct before its actual release...after Skylanders im a bit skeptical and would rather avoid those type of games but the great thing is u dont need to buy the amiibos in order to access those characters in the game which as a gamer and parent i truly appreciate

WanderingPB

#76

WanderingPB said:

@raith OMG…if they did i might just lose my mind and my wallet of course! Makes me upset that Wonder Red is only a trophy in SSB…so much potential it could spark sales boost in W101 too!

unrandomsam

#77

unrandomsam said:

How long before these things are hacked ? (I think less than a week judging by how quickly the German government RFID thing was hacked.)

raith

#78

raith said:

@WanderingPB

That one hurt. If he's not in this Smash Bros., he should definitely be in the next one. W101 should have been one of the free promotional games with MK8 so the game would gain more exposure. It's a damn shame W101 didn't receive the adulation and sales it deserves.

Franklin

#79

Franklin said:

I'm pretty non-plussed by this whole thing.

At a time when the physical presence of games themselves is becoming less and less, this just isn't needed. If they're going to give something tangible, I'd honestly prefer beautifully made game boxes and manuals back.

The cost seems insane. Even as a child I would have been able to see that this is a rip off. 1 figure costs around a third of the price of the game. Now I would rather buy a new game, and if my parents had said to me when I was little 'You can either have 3 Amiibos, or a new game for Christmas', I would have gone for the latter most certainly.

It also seems to be the worst of both worlds. They can't allow it to unlock truly valuable content, as the serious players of Smash Bros. would get annoyed (rightly in my opinion). It also cannot truly be used as a toy, as you wouldn't want to break it.

I've never been to the Nintendo Store, but I expect I would buy all sorts of things I don't need, but I don't see the half-way enjoyment of these figurines to be worth it.

I also don't think it will entice many new gamers, I think anyone who wants these figures was already going to get their respective games. It'll sure generate money for Nintendo, but I think little interest, which is needed to 'save' the Wii U.

Nintendo's entry into this market also seems late and cumbersome. The GamePad is pretty big. They could easily have made it with a circular slot for the Amiibo to fit in, and allow a fuller experience.

For it's price and functionality, I think it would be beneficial for Nintendo to include a small mini-game or some such, or even an old game with their figures. So perhaps Pit figure could unlock the GB Kid Icarus game, or Kirby Kirby's Dream Land. Wario could have a few mini-games, Link a 4 Swords Adventure, etc. I think this would make them vastly more worthwhile, and including old games would require little effort.

WanderingPB

#80

WanderingPB said:

@raith im with you 101%!!! And most people that have played W101 feel the same way and want it to have the recognition that it truly deserves…it shall become a cult classic and maybe just maybe we'll have a wonderful sequel!

Shambo

#81

Shambo said:

I can hear the people in toy stores ask already: "Do I need to pack it as a gift?"
Well, I mostly go to a game store, where I used to work, and most people there know I'm a collector/Nintendo fan...

TruenoGT

#82

TruenoGT said:

Assuming Amazon sells them, I'm totally filling my Wish List with a ton of these. They'd made great, relatively inexpensive gaming-based gifts. (Starts building wall shelves)

AVahne

#83

AVahne said:

I'll probably grab the FE related figures as long as the prices are fair.

rjejr

#84

rjejr said:

@rbmoura85 - "adds absolutely nothing to it besides cost..."

And when Picasso and Van Gogh painted the cost of the paint added nothing to the painting, they should have just left the canvas blank b/c it would have been cheaper that way?

I get what you're saying, hockey pucks are cheap, but SKylanders still all haev very different bases that are cool looking and distinguish the elements.

People from the Zelda universe could all be on a rupee. That probably wouldn't cost much more than a hockey puck.

https://www.google.com/search?q=legend+of+zelda+rupees&espv=2&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=GSmuU_KCH5eryAS5uIF4&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAg&biw=1440&bih=813

I'ld be ok if everybody was on cheap looking plastic rupees, even if the colors were random.

ei8htbit

#85

ei8htbit said:

No matter how anyone tries to say these are different from Infinity or Skylanders doesn't change the fact that everyone including the author of this article is apparently getting hyped for how much money they are going to save with what is essentially a single 4MB or less game save file wrapped in a plastic shell that will likely sell for $20 each. Oh yeah, it's also an overpriced game save file that you can never back up on your actual hard drive and it's shaped like a small toy that could easily get lost or broken so say goodbye to your level 80 Greninja at that point.

Will I buy these? Yes because I am weak. But are these worth it? Let's not kid ourselves, these are a dumb waste of money and the under-riding principle of the their mere existence is possibly the most evil business Nintendo will have ever entered into (including the Love Hotel era). It's flat out greedy to take fanboy collector money for single-use game save files and package it as if it's something more than that simply because it's tangible. I guess they didn't create this market though, they're just copying it to stay competitive.

DeltaPeng

#86

DeltaPeng said:

One point to make (based on comments I've read), I want to point out that it isn't confirmed that different versions of the figures unlock more or less content on one game or another, but more that it is a possibility based on whether alternate figures are made in the first place, and whether that's the route chosen in terms of cross play functionality. I think it would be cool to have alternative posed figures in terms of optional collectability and personalization, but for the gamers' wallets and value per cost it would be best if all variations of a character's figures unlocked the same content in the games it will be compatible with. On the other hand, a company has to make money, so we'll see how things turn.

I personally think the route Nintendo is going with the characters in Smash is a good one. If you could play as your amiibo-stat-boosted character, it would give you an unfair advantage against someone just joining in the Smash world that isn't as (financially) invested. On the other hand, if given to the newer players, it gives them a needed boost to compete on a higher level with you, so that could be a plus. In a similar way you could just play 2v1, you vs (the newer player and your amiibo) which would give your opponent an advantage while still letting them learn how Smash plays at the standard and balanced stat level. I've played Smash from the original and am among the best in my group, so I'm looking forward to having an Amiibo AI that is stronger than Lv9's that I can fight against or throw in the 3rd or 4th player spot as needed.

Others mentioned wanting an amiibo themed game, and while it's possible, I'm glad Nintendo isn't starting with it. An amiibo themed game seems more like 'pay to unlock content already on the disc', where amiibo's currently feel more optional and less like they're forcing sales on you. As mentioned, I'm satisfied with the current route Nintendo is going with Smash bros, all characters are unlockable at no extra fee, and the core content to enjoy the game for hours on end and get your money's worth is already available.

The number of different kinds of amiibo characters and how vast the functionality is could put a strain on development. I'm hoping it will be a suitable amount of content and that they find a good balance, as the more content added the higher the amiibo's asking price will likely be and the longer development will take for games using amiibo. It does make me super curious as to how amiibo could be used in the other games though...

Superstick

#87

Superstick said:

These are basically just toys. Except they have an actual purpose other than just sitting on your shelf. I can definitely see this being good with children. I am probably gonna wait until they release the Mario Kart 8 amiibos, but this is definitely a good idea. :)

Shpongled_Mario

#89

Shpongled_Mario said:

@Daruncic Ness & Captain Falcon are both unconfirmed. However, the last Nintendo direct I think it was, they showed the Samurai Goroh assist trophy as well as the Mr.Saturn item, and I highly, HIGHLY doubt these would be the only representations of those two series, especially since they have a huge fan base and both characters have been in Smash since the original. So I'm willing to put money that they are both in the game as playable fighters.

element187

#90

element187 said:

@rjejr TL/DR means "too long, didn't read".... When you add it to a really long rant, you give the cliff notes version immediately after for your lazy readers...... Or you can use it as a rude reply to someone who typed out a novel.

Took me awhile to figure tldr out.. It is pretty obtuse without an explanation

Alucard83

#92

Alucard83 said:

My wallet will be safe since i don't really care about these toys........................................ FLAT

Fandabidozi

#93

Fandabidozi said:

These look gorgeous! Hopefully the retail versions retain the quality of the prototypes. Also, love the packaging, will def keep these MIC.
So far Pit and Villager are must haves for me.
One I won't be getting is Pikachu, that's a slippery slope to buying 718 Amiibo's right there...and shiney's (!) uh-oh o.O

Chris77

#95

Chris77 said:

undecided on these, but if they offered custom amiibos of your mii then I think there would be an immediate family purchase. £25 for your custom made mii with the ability to transfer your mii game data. a free wii u app could help you build the necessary models and transfer data to a central server. that said I will probably end up getting a couple anyway.

AyeHaley

#97

AyeHaley said:

I've waited for this...glad I didn't get into Skylanders or Disney Infinity! My wallet will hurt though...I love figurines...and I love NFC enabled ones even more.
I'm seriously thinking of buying a separate glass case for my upcoming Amiibo collection!
Now I want a new Paper Mario game or Paper Mario in Smash...just to get that figure haha. I know it isn't likely to happen but they could give him sticker star moves and moves incorporating partners from PM: TTYD. If they give Dr. Mario a slot I'll be so disappointed :P 1 extra Mario is ok...but make it a special one like Paper Mario.

JaxonH

#98

JaxonH said:

@AyeHaley

Ya know, speaking of Paper Mario, that's most likely one of the next games in line to be announced for Wii U. If you look at a list of the top-selling 1st party Wii games, you'll notice that those are all the franchises that have released on Wii U, or have been announced. I think Paper Mario, Animal Crossing and Metroid Prime are sure bet announcements at E3 2015, along with a few others like Mario Strikers and what not, because it seems Nintendo is kind of working their way down that top-seller list. And they're next.

AlexSora89

#99

AlexSora89 said:

On the bright side, the figurines are amazing by themselves, and without counting the NFC business, something Nintendo should have done years ago (I have some Mario keychains based on modern era Mario artwork (Mario jumping from NSMB, Rosalina from Galaxy, etc.), but this is another thing entirely.
Unfortunately, though, the advantages granted by amiibo figurines, coupled with the customizable moveset, singlehandedly throw all of Sakurai's work to make this iteration of SSB more balanced down the toilet.

shigulicious

#100

shigulicious said:

I'm eager to see how well these are received commercially. I will be buying them all. Also, an amiibo open world sandbox game like Disneys Infinity is a must.

Clara

#101

Clara said:

to be fair on skylanders the first two games portals are compatible with both Spyros adventure and giants, its only with swap force that they had too make a new portal to accommodate the swap figures,

as for trap team they could of used the swap force portal i guess (it technically could handle enough NFC chips at once to support the new Traps) but they have added some new immersive gimmicks that require a new portal.

Anyhow really looking forward to the Sonic and Tails figures, since they are going to do the entire smash bros cast

Mytoemytoe

#104

Mytoemytoe said:

I second any comment that custom-printed Mii Amiibos would be a smash hit. Not only could Nintendo charge more for custom printing, but I would gladly pay the difference.

As far as the "fresh new course" that Amiibos are setting... sitting back and watching my computer character fight for me doesn't really sound that fun. And how are my friends supposed to join in, do they lean over my Gamepad and swipe their character?

The Amiibo concept is built on mysterious "potential". I'll believe it when I see it. I like figures and I'll probably buy a few but this reeks of a cash grab to me. That's fine, Nintendo has earned the right to do it in a desperate situation.

PlywoodStick

#105

PlywoodStick said:

Locking away a feature into a physical object... It's nothing new. However, these particular features offered by the figurine chips... This is basically just another version of on-disc DLC being locked away by a DRM mechanism until you pay up. I'm not happy with that kind of development at all. I'm even less pleased about all the workers, materials, and energy that will be used to uphold the supply line for these things...

If they really wanted to utilize the NFC for this, they could have just made Amiibo a software program that uses a game's bundled free card, (which could store the data of any one character of your choice in Smash Bros), keeping the card specific to that one game. If you lost your card, you could buy ones offered at stores. (Similiar to e-reader.)

Not buying even one. Never been fond of these questionable business practices from Activision and Disney; and I'm sad to see Nintendo once again eyeing the shady alley they walked back in their monopoly and price fixing days. (Although this doesn't reach the level of anti-consumerism, as those actions did.) They should have taken hints from the Dreamcast's VMU, if they wanted to integrate objects outside the system and game into the experience. (Or their own e-reader and Famicom Disc system.)

sinalefa

#108

sinalefa said:

@rjejr

"I dont even know what TLDR means."

I did not take that reply in the literal sense. I thought you meant that you read all posts, no matter how long, hence not knowing what that acronym meant.

Thanks at @element187 for explaining it to you. Whenever I ignore those things, I take a quick trip to Urban Dictionary.

Jmaster

#110

Jmaster said:

Meh. If appearing as an AI character is the only thing they'll do in Smash, and I have to buy a different series for MK8, I'm not interested.

YoshiTails

#111

YoshiTails said:

Is it definite the the price will be £10+ each? I would have hoped under a tenner...if any hope of getting more than a couple. In fact you should get at least 4 of them for £20.

RantingThespian

#112

RantingThespian said:

I'm 30 years old and I already want a Link,Yoshi, Samus, and Luigi (once available).

... is there something wrong with me?

GoPirate

#115

GoPirate said:

Wow amiibo figures are most likely better but I'll get to look forward to buy it.

rjejr

#117

rjejr said:

@sinalefa - "I take a quick trip to Urban Dictionary."

Well, it was from you, so I figured it was something funny regarding my negativity, such as "stop being a jerk" or "don't think like that", so I just laughed it off :-)

PuppyToucher

#119

PuppyToucher said:

I think Nintendo may have missed the mark with these amiibos. I think at least part of the reason skylanders and Disney infinite sell so well is because they have games centered around the figures. To me it seems like Nintendo is only tacking on these amiibo to existing games rather than making a game whose core function centers around the figures and doesn't work without at least a figure starter pack. If the game is good that would force people to buy more and more amiibo and then the extra features for games like smash and mario kart would just be an extra bonus instead of the main reason.

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