Posted on December 11 2014 by Nathanial Rumphol-Janc
Sometimes nothing in life is worse than uncertainty. For me when I was 15, that was telling someone I liked how I felt. The fear of rejection ran rampant, but more than that, the fear not knowing how she would respond tore me apart more. I did eventually tell her and yes, it worked out… at least at the time. The point of this story however is to express that uncertainty can be a very painful experience.
Hitting closer to our home and our hearts as Nintendo fans, Nintendo has done nothing but provide uncertainty about our ability to grow our amiibo collection. For our purposes we’ll steer clear of what various retailers have been saying: We don’t doubt the validity, but their words do not come from the horse’s mouth as it were. Nintendo has released a few public statements about amiibo and their availability, but none of them offer any clarity.
The first remarks that certain amiibo might be phased out came before they even made it to the market. Way back in October, Nintendo released a statement that certain amiibo would be phased out after their initial shipment sold out:
“The amiibo figure lineup for “Super Smash Bros.” will continue to be released even after this year-end sales season, and we hope that this will help to update store shelves. As store shelf space is limited, some amiibo will remain stocked on the shelves as staple choices while some will be limited-time offers which will cede their positions to new ones once they are sold out. … With these offerings, I believe the Nintendo characters lined up on shelves, which usually only contain standard-sized boxes, will have an outstanding presence, and this means a lot to us.” – Nintendo of America
Thus, we had some warning that certain amiibo may not get restocked. Nintendo wasn’t 100% clear on which amiibo this would affect, thus we were left guessing at the time. Surely Mario and Link were safe, given they are fairly big Nintendo characters, but what about everyone else?
After various rumors surfaced about which amiibo wouldn’t return, Nintendo released a public statement to several various websites, including ours, about the availability of amiibo. These are exact quotes from the email response:
“We will aim for certain Amiibo to always be available. These will be for our most popular characters like Mario and Link. Due to shelf space constraints, other figures likely will not return to the market once they have sold through their initial shipment.” – Nintendo of America
Again, this seems to go hand in hand with their initial statement in October. This also confirmed for certain that Link and Mario are safe, but that any other amiibo could possibly reach the chopping block. However, like the prior statement, this too was full of uncertainty. Which amiibo are being discontinued? We still don’t know. Today, Nintendo sent a different response to a few outlets, including our trusted friends at Gamnesia who have tried really hard to sort out this whole mess:
“Some amiibo were very popular at launch, and it is possible that some amiibo in the United States, Canada and Latin America may not be available right now due to high demand and our efforts to manage shelf space during the launch period. Certain sold-out amiibo may return to these markets at a later stage. We are continually aiming to always have a regular supply of amiibo in the marketplace and there are many waves of amiibo to come.” – Nintendo of America
This statement really explains nothing. Some out of stock amiibo may return. I emphasized “may” because this only adds to the uncertainty. I can feel your pain already.
So, What’s Going On?
If one thing is clear from the three statements from Nintendo, and yes we realize that they aren’t being that clear, it’s that there are going to be amiibo that will be discontinued. Which amiibo these are going to be, as well as what amiibo they plan to restock today… or maybe restock down the road, is unknown. We only know for certain that Link and Mario are safe, as they are the only amiibo mentioned by name to not be included in the thought process of letting stock run out.
With the constant wave of new amiibo planned, it’s safe to say that if you really want to ensure you will get the amiibo you want, buy them now and hold off on Mario or Link. Those will be around for a while, while the rest are unsure. If nothing else, Nintendo just got me to buy Princess Zelda, as we can’t be certain she will be available for much longer after she is released.
We really are sorry if you guys are confused – Nintendo is the one doing it to us all. Ignoring all the other noise around amiibo availability, the future of most of the amiibo figures is uncertain at best. Nintendo has done a good job with marketing and PR this year, but amiibo will likely be their one black mark in 2014. It should be noted that the media lack of clarity on which amiibo will be discontinued could be because they haven’t decided which ones they will be doing it too. They could just tell us that however, as it would at least clear up some of the ill will towards the lack of clarity. Nintendo has declined to comment further (on our end).