In what will come as a scary piece of news for avid amiibo figure collectors, it would appear that the upcoming Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Piranha Plant amiibo is rapidly selling out in Japan.
Popular Japanese retailers, such as Amazon Japan, have already started to run out of stock of the figure for pre-orders, despite the fact that it won't be released until 15th February next year. According to NintendoSoup, this stock shortage extends to plenty of other Japanese retailers too, with Yodobashi Camera, Rakuten Books, AmiAmi, and HMV being among the places forced to scrap further pre-orders.
Whether this shortage is due to an incredibly high demand from consumers, or thanks to Nintendo simply underestimating said demand for this particular character, is unknown, but it does cause some concern for those of us hoping to grab the figure in the west. At present, our new Smash hero is still available to pre-order from a limited number of places (full guide here), but it's unclear just how long it'll remain available.
Other characters set to release on the same day - King K. Rool and Ice Climbers - haven't seen the same issues in Japan, indicating that this is specifically a Piranha Plant problem - which incidentally could be an excellent band name for anyone needing some inspiration. The figure is still yet to appear at places such as the Nintendo Official UK Store and Amazon, but we'd urge you to snap one up early when it finally arrives.
Are you an amiibo collector? Are you going for the full Super Smash Bros. set? Let us know with a comment below.
Pre-ordered this at Best Buy the second I saw the notice. My complete Amiibo collection is still intact.
I preordered at Best Buy immediately too a week ago or whatever.
I have one preordered from Amazon. I’ve got every Smash 4 amiibo and plan on getting all the Ultimate ones too.
Nintendo creating artificial scarcity once again.
Surely you jest.
That joke is getting pretty old tho, and you risk misleading younger readers into thinking artificial scarcity is something cute to do with plastic figurines.
I don't think this will be too much of an issue for Nintendo UK Store patrons. They always open their amiibo pre-orders much later than other retailers, and if you check their site now they're still taking pre-orders for Wolf, Inkling, and Ridley.
Amazon has sold out of a character that’s not in a game which isn’t even out yet. That’s pretty sold out.
Do Nintendo underestimate demand or are they creating it it’s a ridiculous situation and has been from the very beginning I’m sure the factory that produces amiibo expect Nintendo to order a certain amount before they are put into production and why can’t the production be rerun no wonder shops like Argos and smyths stopped stocking these the whole amiibo situation is a joke
I wouldn't fret about it unless you absolutely have to have it the moment it comes out. It's a Mario character so it's almost certain to have multiple runs.
I can get it off a later run.
I have plenty of amiibo to get by.
But yeah, this is unsurprising, my friends very of which new amiibo they want for pretty much every character except Pirahna plant.
Everyone wants him.
Pre-ordered from GAME.com as it was the only place for UK I could find
Same story as always.
To the surprise of no one. Whelp! Fortunately for me, I don't care about getting the pirahna plant.
I would take this sort of thing with a pinch of salt.
I remember when they said that the Super Famicom mini was 'sold out' over there, and I found one, normal price the next day. Just wandering around the local train station (me, not the console).
Maybe at the big chains they'll declare it sold out, but even the smallest town will have somewhere to look.
Ironic name for someone spending so much money on overpriced figures.
Yeah I noticed that when I looked online a couple days ago. It surprised me. I bet someone at Nintendo thought the same thing I did, that not as many people would be interested in a psuedo-joke character, as opposed to massively popular characters like Rosalina or Marth.
@Franklin Overpriced? That's laughable. Amiibo are by far some of the most reasonable collectable figures around for their high level of production quality. If you look at comparable figures from other companies, such as anime figures or Marvel and Star Wars figures, you get way higher prices. On the other hand, you get dramatically, overwhelmingly lower production quality from Pop/Funko type trash. And those are only slightly cheaper and the average amiibo.
@Franklin trolling again. Just like another mentioned try getting your US marvel or DC figures at those price and get laughed out of the retailer shop or online. Amiibo are Amiibos they can make plenty but that can never mean it runs out or was more popular then other mainline figure they made. If they are savvy Nintendo they will make more or get more production on the way as a result. Why would they want to lose more now.
I’ve already preordered Piranha Plant, Ice Climbers, and King K. Rool here in the US, so it’s all good for me!
Loved the Amiibo when I realised they existed, then detested them when I realised the lack of most, the scalpers and the consumer economy/rarity surrounding some of them.
Glad people love them but at most I will maybe but the odd one if I see it in a shop.
I was big on amiibo collecting when they came out but now I am now just getting the ones I like. So far of the new ones the only one I am getting is ridley.
Glad I managed to pre-order Piranha Plant!
You can't pre-order in the US yet, right?
I have all the Smash amiibo this far. I haven't payed over MSRP for a single one and in many cases got them for less. I did not wait in line for a single one. I did miss out on several in the beginning but was easily able to snag one on the second round of production.
Yes, they sell out pretty quickly. But Nintendo has remade every single Smash one at least once. And on the second round it's really easy to grab one because the hype isn't nearly as high. All you need is some patience.
I remember going to a comic con the summer after Sm4sh and seeing a Captain Falcon amiibo being sold. It was $80. I told him I'd just wait because I'm sure Nintendo will make more. Months later I got one for $10.81 with GCU from Best Buy.
@MasterWario I haven't been able too but I'm not sure if its because I was too late or if it's just not available for preorder yet. Anyone else out there in the US who knows this?
Not this again. -.-
@NewAdvent will explain to me how are you meant to make more money by selling less?
If anything scarcity would losr interest & reduce sales as people give up finding the product in question.
@IHateTombs I don't think this is a case of artificial scarcity though. Amiibo sales have been declining for a long time. Piranha Plant has never been a popular character until now apparently. I'm also not sure how many people except Nintendo superfans are dedicatedly looking for amiibos anymore. Oversupply is often worse than undersupply. With that in mind, I'm just don't think it makes much sense to make big supplies of amiibo.
Oof... I don't plan on getting EVERY Amiibo. But this is one of the Smash Amiibos I want. I need my new leafy boi ASAP.
Got mine in thank goodness.
Pre-ordered day one, so no issue here... hopefully.
Nintendo plays it safe as usual and that causes consumer problems.
The artificial scarcity thing I'm just not buying into, though. Nintendo would like to sell to the exact number of consumers who will buy it at their high margins. Scarcity makes some people crazy but overall it sells less. Scalpers selling at high prices does not help them in any way. Nintendo is much faster to respond in its homeland, too, so it feels worse to those on the outside.
Nintendo is just trying to avoid the Animal Crossing amiibo problem. Everyone who says "artificial scarcity", how long have you seen those Animal Crossing amiibo taking up expensive shelf space and not selling at all. It's a balance that is hard to predict.
Piranha Plant gets widespread vocal anger, so I'm glad to see that plenty of people feel like I do, and can't wait to play it and get my hands on the amiibo.
Day one order so no issues and to those that couldn't get them well when they first came out you could but instead waited and now there are none - no one but the self to fault here. And whom said you had to get the All Amiibos to play just get the one you like as another said. But if your trying to complete the set and complain how you can't find them. That's what Scalpers and auctions sites are for. The Scalpers for the love/hate on them well they fill the void.
Since it will be sold in three months, Nintendo could easily manufacture more. Other than the NFC chip inside, everything else is easily available. So if the big N were to order more, they could make it in a week if they want to...
@IHateTombs sure a simple Web search shows that the concept exist but nothing really provides evidence that it works or don't work.
Besides which most retailers I recently been to have ample supplies of NES & SNES mini's & it's been like that for months.
That surely does not sound like artificial scarcity at work.
That to me looks like Nintendo Learned a lesson after the nes mini kufuffle & fixed there supply issues ready for the launch of the snes mini & the nes mini rerelease.
So really it's more of a misjudgement of supply & demand rather than artificial scarcity.
@aaronsullivan exactly. People that do studying marketing and/or economics know that while artificial scarcity is a thing, it only works for certain markets, and the general purpose is to drive up demand so you can charge more... Amiibos are no more expensive than any other toys-to-life figures so clearly they’re not doing that, meaning they would be shooting themselves in the foot with such a strategy. Not to mention it’s not a good long term strategy for items such as this because consumers lose interest over time; hype is one of the biggest driving forces in gaming merchandise. The people who would remain determined to find them are collectors, who make up a minority of the market for toys-to-life - yes, there are a lot of collectors, but the bigger market will always be children. And based on pricing, that’s clearly who Nintendo targets, given they could charge notably more without much more effort and the collectors would still buy. As for preorders (as others have said), they can be canceled over the course of several months and are not reliable there because the entire goal of artificial scarcity is impulse buying. People have a lot of time to cancel preorders, which works AGAINST impulse buying. For most Amiibos, they don’t sell much during the second wave of release because consumers lose interest.
Artificial scarcity is GREAT for one-time products that are being overpriced, but in this case it would work against Nintendo. It’s far more cost efficient for them to do their best to estimate demand and try to match that exactly. Lower supply than demand is always preferable to overestimating demand (for any market), not to make it artificially scarce but rather because every unsold item is wasted resources for them. They painfully dealt with that last gen with the Wii U and it’s very understandable they’d lower their estimated demand after that to avoid more wasted resources. But honestly? Piranha Plant was a divisive announcement and it was likely very hard to even guess where demand would be for this Amiibo.
The biggest evidence that Nintendo isn’t using artificial scarcity though is they aren’t consistent. There are a lot of amiibos that have been way oversupplied. Mainly their more popular characters and some more niche lines like the Animal Crossing ones. The former is due to them being characters they know will likely continue selling for awhile. The latter because they overestimated how popular they’d be. They wouldn’t create artificial scarcity for some obscure characters because that makes less sense than their popular ones, they simply underestimate them because, well, they’re less popular. They usually bring them back in a wave two and it’s easy to find because there’s no more hype. Any artificial demand the scarcity happened to create died off before they could take advantage of it and the only ones who profited were scalpers. The last thing they want though is thousands of unsold Amiibos of each character though. That’s a ton of wasted resources for them.
Really... it’s all basic economics in the end. Supply and demand. The ideal is perfect equilibrium. Having 1000 less units of supply than demand means $13,000 of lost potential sales, which is undesirable. Having 1000 more units of demand than supply means $13,000 of lost expected sales. The difference is the extra units already cost them money, while the less units is just potential, and they can’t know what the exact demand would’ve been. It’s always safer to go lower for supply than higher, but the ideal is perfect equilibrium. That’s how you maximize sales. Artificial scarcity only works when you are willing to hike the prices up to take advantage of it, and even then it’s a short term strategy that damages the long term...
@Kawaiipikachu SNES Mini wasn’t even hard to get. They learned their lesson after the NES Mini (which they produced a later wave of anyways). Amiibo demand is hard to predict though, especially for individual characters. Do people expect Nintendo to know exactly how many people in the world want a piranha plant Amiibo? Or do people expect them to produce thousands of extras just in case and just eat the costs? Neither are realistic expectations.
It is impossible to know how much of any amiibo to make honestly, and they have done reprints so I'm not scuffed about it.
Look at the AC amiibo, those are STILL bargain bin items. I got them all for cheap because I love AC. Its just a hard game to know how any one amiibo will fair in the market. You might get a general idea, but that is about it.
@Hordak Amen fellow collector. I had to pay an exorbitant fee for the Mega Man Series Mega Man amiibo, but, I, too, have a complete set. Minus the cards, who wants those things?
I’m not exactly a collector but I end up getting them as presents a lot. I will get some more like Pikachu but only for the Smash fighters I really enjoy. Currently have Luigi (SMB) Pixel Mario (Modern colours), Pixel Link, Wolf Link & Midna, Bowser (SMB) and Koopa Trooper.
Ah yes that artificial scarcity conspiracist nonsense once again.
Company makes too few of product for people to buy. So when they go to buy it... Er, they can't. So those people buy it secondhand and... Nintendo... lose out on that money and sale... HANG ON THIS MAKES NO SENSE WHEN LOGIC IS APPLIED...
OR... The demand is just higher than what they can manufacture in time. One of these two things.
Glad I secured a preorder already. Though I suddenly remember when Target cancelled my preorders for Pit and Little Mac back in 2015. Here’s hoping that won’t be the case this time.
I agree, this seems more like conservative demand estimates than actively leveraging limited supply. I may be wrong (I frequently am) but I surmise that artificial scarcity only increases profit if the manufacturer sets higher prices than the market would usually bear. I don't see that here. Amiibo aren't outrageously priced compared to other collectibles. (At retail anyway...)
@ShadJV man you either hit the nail on the head or hit the head of trolls to give a thumbs down lmao. I also think you burned enough forest to build a wiki book here.
@Frontiersmann "I surmise that artificial scarcity only increases profit if the manufacturer sets higher prices than the market would usually bear. I don't see that here. Amiibo aren't outrageously priced compared to other collectibles. (At retail anyway...)"
That's some fluffy surmise here if that was the case why aren't the other Amiibos in the same boat. Also try buying a Marvel or DC figure at those prices and be laughed at. Amiibo has a dual purpose if you forgot besides looking pretty so you're paying more than just for the statue of the Nintendo character. Most Amiibo when MSRP were in the same ballpark it's the 3rd party sellers that made them cost more.
@subpopz that is why if I like the Amiibo I would preorder it. And some other Amiibos less known can still be had for less or equal to the MSRP. But with SSB coming out the prices most likely on eBay probably went up. You don't have to buy all Amiibos unless you collecting one of each of them. Not all Amiibos are short supply it's they are made only for a period of production time and what left is what is left. They can't make Amiibos forever that could also result in loss of margin as well.
Unfortunately I am not joking either when I talk about needing to reassess your outlook on what the term "artificial scarcity" encompasses, because what Nintendo is doing has nothing to do with the grim blood money schemes that operators of big mining companies are running in Africa, to keep the prices up on diamonds, gemstones, and rare minerals.
It's not even included in the light end of that scale. Producing conservative amounts of superfluous low-cost collectible consumer products, that are deliberately offered at a strict MSRP, is not artificial scarcity.
And it is not "anti-consumer" either.
@subpopz to some it's not just a toy but a NFC as well. Well for some have their BB GCU and that makes is less then others would pay so I'll use that until it expires. Then I have to resort back to GS unless BB still provides discount then I consider it. No I always liked the Amiibos so I collect them mostly only the Amiibo that work BoTW I use those the rest just looks pretty in the box for now until SSB Switch comes out maybe.
Oh come ON! I was gonna pre order after my birthday
@MysticGengar "Oh come ON! I was gonna pre order after my birthday"
Your no more special then rest of us.. Snooze you loose. That the nature of hot Amiibos.
haha. Now I don't have to pay for new amiibo for less money anymore.
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