Nintendo's take on the "toys to life" concept, amiibo, has been a resounding success, with the company almost unable to keep up with the incredible demand for these interactive lumps of NFC-enabled plastic.
However, there's been a lot of confusion regarding which figures are going to be discontinued, and this obviously throws up questions about how players are going to unlock certain elements in games if they can't get hold of the right figure. For example, the Link amiibo is needed to unlock an exclusive weapon in Hyrule Warriors, while only a select few figures can access additional costumes in Mario Kart 8.
Speaking to The Associated Press, Shigeru Miyamoto explained that while not all amiibo figures will remain in production, Nintendo is already considering ways it can extend the functionality of these toys in a less expensive fashion:
We'll continue to make future games that will have functionality with the "amiibo" characters as an additional present for people who bought them. Beyond that, we're looking at how we can use the "amiibo" functionality in the future, including cards and whatnot.
We're not making promises for certain figures, but the way "amiibo" is designed is that certain games can have "amiibo" specifically for that game. Other games can take advantage of past "amiibo" that developers want to make their game compatible with. In the future, we have the option, if certain "amiibo" figures are no longer available in stores, to release an "amiibo" in card form with the same functionality.
With certain amiibo figures already fetching prices online that are way higher than what they originally sold for, the idea of low-cost and plentiful cards might come as a welcome surprise to many players. However, is extending the amiibo brand to cards going to cheapen the whole "toys to life" experience, as there will be no actual toy involved? Would you miss the gloriously sculpted figures and the often-hilarious production errors? As ever, we want to hear what you think, so leave a comment below.