Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A Thought to Chew: On Amiibos, From a Guy Who Owns One

Upside-down Pikachu. Starting bid: $650000
Amiibos (Amiiboes? Amiiben? Amiibo?) are something that I've never quite understood. I get the purpose and the functionality, but I don't understand the Amiibogeddon, and here's why I guess.
In case you've been living under a rock for the past two years, and I can't blame you considering the economy (HEY-O! MLG AIRHORNS), Amiibo (I'll stick with that) are essentially physical DLC: they take the form of action figures with an NFC chip which, when placed on the Wii U gamepad, unlocks a feature, such as a new costume or exclusive levels.
NOT THAT ANY OF YOU KNEW THAT BECAUSE NOBODY USES THEM. The culture is weird. Some people will say "Oh, but it's okay to keep action figures in boxes?" but herein lies The Thing: action figures are explicitly decoration and made as collectibles. Amiibo actually serve a purpose and are  manufactured as such to be used, so why not use them?
For one thing, they've become so coveted that they aren't toys anymore. "What, you can use them? F*ck that, throw that out the damn window, I waited TWO HOURS to get this god-forsaken Jigglypuff and I ain't doing jack-diddly-squat!" or whatever the hip kids say. I wouldn't know.
I mean, remember this guy? Flawed logic aside (HE WANTS NINTENDO TO STOP BUT IS LITERALLY GIVING NINTENDO A BUTTLOAD OF MONEY. JESUS CHRIST.), the whole collecting thing is surreal as heck. Suddenly, Amiibos disappear of online shelves two minutes after being released. People wait in line for hours at a store that's only given a stock of seven. An Amiibo manufactured incorrectly sells for hundreds, perhaps thousands. Furthermore, Nintendo apologizes about all of the inconveniences and insanity yet does little to remedy to situation.
So, as a kind of letter to Nintendo, I'l try to explain what to do.
To the Stores: Make a Buying Limit
This is Joe. He stockpiles all the Amiibo of a certain kind and sells them on Ebay for triple the price. Most people would refer to him as a "scalper." I refer to him as a "mistake."
YOU SEEIN' THIS?! Are you seeing the issue here?!
NOBODY SHOULD EVER use a dining room table to advertise items for sale, the lighting is terrible, the angle is poor, and the composition is asymmetrical. Oh yeah, and also THAT"S WAY TOO MANY. If you want to curb the sales of Amiibo so more people can enjoy them, limit the amount per customer before Swaggy McDouchealot prances in and takes all of them. Even though some places practice it, it needs to be completely widespread because this? This is a physical representation of sinning.


Make Adjustments to the Packaging
You know the concept of "glory holes"? What if the same was applied to Amiibo? If there was a hole in the bottom which would allow the Amiibo to be stamped onto the gamepad WITHOUT removing the packaging, people would actually be able to experience them how they're supposed to be experienced.
Amiibo Cards
A fair while back, during a Nintendo Direct in February, Iwata stated that there were plans to make "Amiibo cards" to combat the painful Amiibogeddon; while the initial idea of Smash Bros. cards is still hazy, Animal Crossing: HHA is the first to follow through with the concept. Well....
It's not working too great, at least not in Japan. The same issue arises: scalping is poison. It's a step in the right direction, but it's still not working out too great. Again, a buying limit would be useful, as would increased stock. The whole idea is that making more is cheaper and easier to distribute and that they would have less collectability than the more physical figures, but NOPE. The same issue arises. By Friday, at least we'll see how America fares with them, but I'm pretty sure it'll be ten times as bad as Japan.

There's probably more, but I'll end it as such: Amiibos are not something that Nintendo can continue to shrug about and do nothing. If they want people like me to start buying more, they have to get their act together and work towards changing their policies for the better of the majority.

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