It’s hard to believe it’s been just over three years since we saw the release of our very first amiibo, but somehow another anniversary has come and gone. Amiibo mean a lot to us here at Nintendo Wire — they’re kind of the foundation we’re built on in the first place — and I can say with complete honesty that the announcement and release of any new amiibo still gets the entire team just as excited as it did back in the beginning.
That being said, 2017 has been a pretty interesting and exciting year for amiibo (especially with the launch of the Switch!), despite the seemingly dying toys-to-life breed; and as the year starts to close out we want to take a minute to look back at everything we’ve seen.
February 3, 2017 – Yarn Poochy
2017’s first amiibo release maybe wasn’t the most major, but I’d have to say it’s definitely one of the cutest. Launching alongside the 3DS port of Yoshi’s Woolly World, we finally got the amiibo that seemed absent from the first Woolly World launch: Poochy. Poochy lives as only one of five yarn amiibo and has the unique privilege of being the only different (and somewhat obscure) character of those five, making Poochy a must-have for the more hardcore Nintendo fans. Honestly, I’ll take any excuse to add another plush to my collection (and let’s face it, he really is just a glorified plushie), so Poochy gets an automatic pass in my book.
March 3, 2017 – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Wave 1)
In all seriousness, I’m not entirely sure where to begin with these five amiibo. If by some crazy happenstance you can’t remember, the series consisted of Link (Archer), Link (Rider), Zelda, Bokoblin and Guardian. Even months before BotW came out, I’d say the majority of fans were expecting to see amiibo for the game not only because of it was such a high-profile release, but because Nintendo expectedly wanted to show off the fact that amiibo functionality didn’t die with the Wii U. Overall, these figures are bursting with personality and flair, and the series was the first to introduce us to an amiibo with movable parts with the Guardian.
It’s also worth mentioning that for the first time in a long time, these were amiibo that were nearly impossible to find. While the stock seemed plentiful in the beginning, it did end up petering out and for a while it wasn’t easy finding any of these guys in-store. In fact, the Bokoblin figure still hasn’t gotten a single restock since the initial launch, and is nowhere to be found.
For any major LoZ fan, these are absolute must-haves. The detailing is beautiful and I still find my eye wandering towards these most often when looking at my own collection.
March 24, 2017 – Mario Sports Superstars (Card Series)
Hot off the heels of Breath of the Wild, the next amiibo release was… admittedly lackluster. I can’t say that amiibo fans are crazy about the cards in the first place — but at least with a series like Animal Crossing it made sense, and each card was visually appealing with a cute character we loved on it. The same argument can’t be made for Mario Sports Superstars. The Mario sports games have a fanbase, but considering those games tend to be more casual or party style games, the use of amiibo altogether seems a little unnecessary, and the overall opinion on these cards is just… meh.
May 19, 2017 – Alm & Celica
The official start of the Fire Emblem amiibo series, Alm and Celica aren’t characters anyone seemed to be expecting… and it was exciting. While we love our Mario and Link, I think most Nintendo fans are eager to see more representation of lesser known or older characters that aren’t necessarily just mascots, and Nintendo really delivered on that desire with this 2-pack. The figures themselves are absolutely gorgeous and they came alongside a game that, again, people weren’t necessarily expecting. If you remember the quality of the very first human amiibo (Marth, Ike, Lucina, etc.), this made Alm and Celica extremely exciting.
June 23, 2017 – Link, Link and Link
Getting the 8-Bit, Ocarina, and Wind Waker Links for the LoZ 30th anniversary was exciting, but there was a void left in most Zelda fans’ hearts left by a lack of representation of the other major games in the series. I suppose these figures were mainly introduced just to fill that void, because they were never labeled as part of that 30th anniversary celebration. They did act as a way to get more unique items in Breath of the Wild though, which was exciting — but from a realistic perspective, my guess is that Majora’s Mask, Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword Link were released with the intention of making collectors happy, especially since these became another three notoriously difficult amiibo to find.
July 21, 2017 – Super Smash Bros. DLC, Splatoon 2
A day that will go down in amiibo infamy, I honestly cannot tell you why Nintendo decided to release nine highly anticipated figures plus a highly anticipated game all on the same day. Obviously, the Splatoon 2 amiibo were going to release alongside the game, but there could have been any other release date for the Smash Bros. amiibo that wasn’t the release date of Splatoon 2. At the very least, I suppose this made for an interesting mid-July.
The Smash amiibo are something we’d all been waiting for for much longer than we’d like to admit, and finally (for the time being) those of us who’d been waiting to complete the Smash collection could say that we had all the figures. Overall, the amiibo look great, especially in comparison to the first-ever Smash amiibo (Bayonetta’s figures would not have looked this good back in 2014), but the wait time almost makes it seem not worth it. Key word: almost. And while there’s still no official reason for the P2 variants of just these three figures, I can only imagine that it was to ease us into — you guessed it — more Smash amiibo in the future.
As for Splatoon 2, these figures look better than I could have ever hoped for, and nowadays looking at the original Splatoon amiibo actually makes me kind of sad. The high-gloss finish, dynamic poses, and vibrancy of the Splatoon 2 amiibo make them some of my absolute favorites in my entire collection, and their release marked the release of a sequel we were all desperate for.
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that, for the first time in years, this release date actually made me feel pressure about my collection. Gone were the feelings of a steady stock and no worries, and the thought process of “you really don’t need to pre-order” because I was right back to where I was three years ago, desperately trying to get my hands on Greninja or Lucina.
July 28, 2017 – Pikmin
While the Pikmin amiibo came right after the excitement of two extremely in-demand series of amiibo, I wouldn’t say it suffered quite the same fate as the Mario Sports Superstars cards did, at least not in my eyes. See, I’d been waiting for a Pikmin amiibo since the very beginning, back when those amiibo posters with all the stock images of different Nintendo IPs were appearing in GameStop stores. Back then, it was fun to be able to guess what we might see in the future and after characters like Tom Nook and Toad, we finally got another character off that list.
September 15, 2017 – Samus Aran & Metroid
If I had to say one thing about E3, it’s that people try their hardest not to get their hopes up about Metroid. However, this year, Nintendo shocked us all by revealing not one, but two upcoming Metroid games, one of which would come just months later. Alongside that September release, came another 2-pack of amiibo: Samus and the Metroid, which I don’t think anyone saw coming. Regardless, the two figures look absolutely phenomenal, and the Samus one in particular is a major upgrade from the first Samus we saw in Wave 1 of the Smash Bros. line. Additionally — who doesn’t love a good, squishy baby Metroid?
October 6, 2017 – Goomba and Koopa
Goomba and Koopa are two characters that are surprisingly underrepresented in the amiibo brand. This could have something to do with the fact that, overall, the figures aren’t all that interesting as the character designs are so simple, but at this point the two enemies are so iconic that it seemed right to finally have them available in amiibo form. There’s honestly not much more to say about these characters — they’re nice additions to the lineup, but certainly not the most exciting of the year.
October 20, 2017 – Chrom and Tiki
More additions to the Fire Emblem series of amiibo, these two look amazing. Chrom was somebody a lot of people were hoping to see for Super Smash Bros., so when he was definitely not going to be in the roster, I think a lot of people lost hope we’d ever see an amiibo of him. But, Nintendo knows what its fans like, and has provided us with a Chrom amiibo anyway. While these two might be some of the most fanservicey figures we’ve gotten, there’s no denying that because of the way FE characters are designed, and how good the human amiibo look nowadays, these two are just fantastic. They also seem to be on the rarer side (especially Tiki), so if you happen to see them out in the wild, I’d definitely suggest picking them up.
October 27, 2017 – Wedding Mario, Peach and Bowser
This was a really fun twist to our favorite classic Mario characters that I’m willing to guess a lot of people weren’t necessarily expecting. Launching alongside Super Mario Odyssey (what I’d consider to be my favorite game of 2017), the Wedding Mario series fit perfectly with the quirky nature of the game. Not only that, but they look phenomenal. Sure, they’re dressed snazzy and Peach looks gorgeous, but the pearlescent treatment given to the whites on these figures really gives them a lot of oomph, similar to what the glitter treatment did for Callie and Marie back in 2016. Considering how important this whole wedding theme was to the game, I’d say these were the perfect addition to the amiibo lineup.
November 10, 2017 – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Wave 2)
When BotW launched alongside its first wave of amiibo back in March, I think most of us thought that was it: there wouldn’t be any more amiibo. Some of us had pipe dreams of the Champions getting their own figures, but in the grand scheme of things it didn’t seem likely or necessary. So, when Nintendo announced the four at E3 this past summer, a lot of us were understandably excited. These are our newest figures and we haven’t had a ton of time with them; but between the four incredibly creative designs of these four races, I think most of us are really happy with the outcome. They look absolutely stunning as a set of four, and like the first wave, any Zelda fan should absolutely have these. Surprisingly enough, they’re not nearly as hard to track down as I would have expected, so if you’re still missing them, pick them up soon.
December 11th, 2017 – Super Mario Cereal
While the official date hasn’t quite hit yet, the announcement of the amiibo enabled Super Mario Cereal box seemingly broke the internet altogether. People went crazy over the prospect of this, and when it was officially announced by Nintendo, we were all excited and… a little intrigued. On one hand, this was a fun prospect for amiibo. To be able to incorporate them in such an inventive and creative way really is a testament to Nintendo as a company, and it let’s us brainstorm about what else we might see in the future. On the other hand, we’re really hoping the future of amiibo isn’t delegated to gimmicks like this…
2017 has seen the release of 34 separate amiibo figures, plus a set of amiibo cards. Compared to 2016’s 35 figures and five sets of amiibo cards, I’d say that the brand is still on a pretty steady stream, especially when you consider how successful 2017’s figures were. That being said, there aren’t really any current announcements for amiibo in the future past the three upcoming Shovel Knight additions, so the future of amiibo is a little up in the air at the moment.
Of course, as collectors, we don’t lose hope, and judging from the popularity of so many of 2017’s figures, I doubt that amiibo are on their way out within the next year. With the Switch not even a year old, there are so many properties and IPs Nintendo’s yet to explore with the new console, and I have high hopes that the company will take full advantage of the amiibo fanbase for all of it.
I mean, who else is still waiting for ARMS amiibo, right?Leave a Comment