There comes a time when we should admit enough is enough. When it might be a little too much to invest into physical trinkets that are nothing more than eye value at best. Then NFC-figures change this scope by offering a little bit more than what meets the eye.
Collecting Amiibos, Skylanders and Infinity figurines almost feels similar to what a lot of kids, and adults, experienced in the 1990’s with Beanie Babies and even earlier with Pogs. These were both crazes that caused much of the sought after items to skyrocket in market value based on the demand and the willingness of others at the prices. It wouldn’t be rare to find a Beanie Baby or a Pog Slammer to go for several hundred dollars to even over $1,000. Similarly with many of these NFC figures you can see the market value of many of them pushing for the asking price triple the store price with some Amiibo’s to nearly $100 and even more with some Skylanders figures.
Part of the issue to blame is the lack of integrity for the market that scalpers cause. While scalping is nothing new to any industry, lately it has seemingly taken its hit on the gaming industry by aiming for such figures as well as top dollar collectors editions to sell later on Amazon and Ebay. Often times they will buy many multiples of products that have several effects on buyers. First, it pulls the available stock to a minimum to the point where sometimes they will be the only avenue to get the wanted product. Second, because they are the only avenue to obtaining the item, they get to call the price which pretty much becomes a take it or leave it situation.
[Also Related: Someone Help me Find Me Find The Amiibo Appeal]
In my personal experience with Amiibo collecting it came sort of like a surprise. My first Amiibo purchase was for a simple Link NFC figurine. With Majora’s Mask coming out and The Legend of Zelda on Wii U, it seemed like it could be a fun investment. Plus I already owned Super Smash Bros. and will more than likely be picking up Hyrule Warriors. Why wouldn’t I want the extra benefit of having a Link figurine?
After a couple weeks, I sort of decided to myself that I think I would want Toon Link to accompany the other link figure. However, to much of my dismay, this figure which had been in stores the weeks prior had seemingly vanished from the stock. I checked several different stores to find the same pattern of a missing Toon Link. It also dawned on me that many of those figures that had been there weeks prior were completely gone. Villager, Marth, Wii Fit Trainer, Captain Falcon, Star Fox, Pit among others were gone. A quick glance of the online pricing of Amazon and eBay showed exactly why.
Within time I definitely became hooked in what is known as “the hunt.” It’s a collector’s term for scouting out specific items to add to an ever growing collection. While tedious, at times it is much similar to an RPG grind, where you wait and wait; continue your search, until something awesome happens. For me it has happened several times. First I came across the ability to order Rosalina and Luma from Target, I took two in hopes of using one as a trade bait. The next time came when I came across Shulk available to pre-order; while this was propositioned for a later date transaction I was able to confirm that I would be obtaining one. Then Mega-Man became available to me, who is one of my favorite characters from child-hood. Lastly I stood in line for two hours for a Meta Knight that is probably the most badass Nintendo figurine I’ve ever owned.
Now as it stands there is a Wave 4 of Super Smash Bros Amiibos as well as a newer lineup of Mario Party 10 Amibos. The Mario Party 10 series is currently available to pre-order, although Toad has already been sold out. Amazon UK does have the Wave 4 collection available for pre-order. North American consumers will still have to wait for a later date to pre-order as well as to know who will be the Amiibo to purchase before it’s gone. Rumors as of now point to April 24th for the release of Wave 4. If I was a betting man, I would put my hand on Charizard and Ness as the two to snag while you can.
For me, Amiibo hunting has become a fun thing to do. Yes it can get expensive and time consuming, but it also has been rewarding and has a community that is pretty welcoming. Through this community I have been able to meet some gamers that have not only been helpful, but willingly helpful. I don’t anticipate myself stopping anytime soon, even if they are changing to Amiibo cards (hopefully alongside figurines).