While the release of wave four Super Smash Bros. amiibo is due in May for North America, the latest toys are set to arrive this week in Europe. Not that they'll be gracing store shelves, of course, as pre-orders sold out a long time ago, in many cases within hours of going live.
Unfortunately we've had multiple readers get in touch to state that pre-orders they believed to be secure and in place have fallen through, with retailers making a mess of dealing with orders.
ShopTo is a notable offender: Darren Kerwin - who some may know from his work on the Harmony of Heroes music album - got in touch to say that his Ness amiibo was 'despatched', but then cancelled nearly a day later. That makes Darren's chances of securing a Ness pretty hopeless, while ShopTo has had the audacity to put the price up on the out-of-stock item that it's failed to deliver to pre-order customers, apparently to "ensure safe delivery" for those that manage to order future stock. Apologies were given, but no credit or compensation beyond the basic refund.
Another reader, Ryan Craddock, has had difficulties of his own. He jumped on improbably inexpensive deals for the upcoming green 'yarn' Yoshi, which was then cancelled by Zavvi. Back to ShopTo and this week's wave 4 figures, Lucina and Robin orders were cancelled yesterday - with an advisor stating they'd actually been out of stock for over a month and orders shouldn't have been taken. As for Ryan's Ness order from ShopTo? Same deal as with Darren, cancelled today after a despatch notice was issued. ShopTo had apparently been running a promise, too, that if for ANY reason the Ness order didn't arrive there'd be £5 compensation. As with Darren Kerwin, this isn't being honoured.
We apologise for this issue but unfortunately we are unable to supply these items, we are unable to offer the release date compensate[sic] as this is only eligible if the orders are handed over to the postal service.
The Nintendo UK Official Store has had problems, too, with recent pre-orders for Jigglypuff and Greninja. Reader James thought he'd successfully pre-ordered them after jumping online at the relevant time - the store had warned consumers when they'd be available. Yet the next day he received an email advising him that due to demand his pre-order wouldn't be met, offering priority on the next four figures going on pre-order that day as an apology; the problem? The email arrived 25 minutes after the next batch had gone up on the store, and were sold out before this 'priority' could be taken. Apologies were offered, naturally, but it's obviously frustrating for the amiibo fans concerned.
A number of you contacted us after we put the call out on Twitter, re-affirming that these problems affect multiple retailers regardless of territory, with examples such as Amazon cancellations being given. With rare figures, the problems are the same as they have been for a while.
It's no surprise that figures such as Ness are proving troublesome, though ShopTo did arguably descend to a new level of farce in triggering their systems to send despatch emails, only to cancel the orders the next day.
Are you hopeful of receiving your current pre-ordered amiibo, or fearing the worst? Share your tales of amiibo collecting challenges below, and you can also check out this amiibo song from Ryan Craddock, one of our unfortunate collectors mentioned above.