Nintendo’s Financial Results Briefing for the third quarter of the fiscal year has brought to light several interesting facts and figures in regards to amiibo, those lovable Nintendo figures that continue to sway our hearts and doom our wallets. Since their launch alongside Super Smash Bros. on Wii U, more than 80 types of figures have been released in Japan, the majority of which have also been released in America and Europe as of this writing. This is coupled with 25 amiibo compatible games having seen release and a grand total of 31 million figures having been shipped worldwide. From huge releases like Mario Kart 8 to more experimental titles like Code Name: S.T.E.A.M., amiibo have successfully become a Nintendo staple. With the Smash Bros. line of figures reaching their conclusion with the DLC characters’, more specific figure collections such as the recent Animal Crossing series serve as a look into what we could potentially see in the future.

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Speaking specifically of the third quarter, 9.9 million figures were shipped. This represents an all-time high for amiibo shipments and speaks volumes on Nintendo’s ability to bolster production and meet demand. The resurgence of figures like Little Mac and Fox last holiday season are hopefully a sign of things to come, with Nintendo noting the relatively low price point allows figures to be “…purchased regularly regardless of seasonality…”, and how much benefit can come from the “…constant presence of of Nintendo characters at retail stores.”

Figures aren’t the only facet of amiibo these days, with amiibo cards marking a new avenue of sales and content at a more affordable rate than even their plastic cousins. 12.9 million amiibo cards were shipped in the third quarter, with totals reaching 21.5 million shipped since their Japanese launch last July. At a few dollars per pack, cards represent an easy add-on and casual purchase to accompany larger ones. These numbers speak volumes on Animal Crossing’s brand presence, particularly in Japan. When Pokkén Tournament releases this March we will see a Shadow Mewtwo card as a bonus, the first non-Animal Crossing card available.

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When comparing shipment numbers across regions, some interesting facts come to light. While America, a country featuring multiple toys-to-life titles in stores, maintains the largest percentage of figure sales (57%), Japan holds the largest with respect to cards (43%). It’s clearly noted that America sees continual sales of previously released figures, no doubt due to their collectable nature and the community growth around them. Europe lies in the middle for both of these metrics, though it’s worth noting that the region’s figure sales exceed those of Japan. In terms of growth between quarters, Japan’s 3% growth in figure sales stands out, though America saw a small increase as well.

In terms of figure popularity, Nintendo provided a top ten for all regions last year. Link remained the most popular in North America, with the 8-bit Classic Mario taking the top spot in Europe. Most notable is how Splatoon amiibo managed to secure the top three spots in Japan, a massive achievement for a brand new franchise. Inklings were in such high demand upon the title’s release that stores were unable to maintain any stock. Once production increased, they’ve still managed to hold a strong presence in sales, marked by almost double the sell-through in the second half of the year.

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Looking forward, Nintendo is coming up with “…new ways of having fun with amiibo,” such as the Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge present campaign in Japan. By providing a software download alongside amiibo figures purchased after January 28th, Nintendo is eager to show the value its figures hold. A similar attempt came alongside amiibo tap: Nintendo’s Greatest Bits in the eShop, though this is a the first time a full and unique title has been offered as a bonus alongside amiibo.

With the DLC characters from Smash, more Animal Crossing cards and figures, and the special Wolf Link amiibo all on the horizon the growth and success of amiibo is clear. It could be referring to Cloud, Corrin and Bayonetta, but the report plainly states there are more amiibo planned for the future– we’ll have to wait and see what those are for sure. With the backlog of characters and the amount of compatibility titles like Super Mario Maker see, as well as the massive improvements in availability for figures as a whole, it’s never been a better time to collect amiibo and see all that they have to offer.

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Written by Ricky Berg

When he isn’t writing for Nintendo Wire, Ricky’s anticipating the next Kirby, Fire Emblem, or if the stars ever align, Mother 3 to be released. Till then he’ll have the warm comfort of Super Smash Bros. to keep him going.

Ricky Berg