Another store exclusive that could have gone bad or good.
Amiibo figures, toys that come to life on Nintendo’s Wii U and new 3DS consoles, have become very popular in the gaming world and figure collectors. As Amiibo figures have started to become popular, stores in the United States have started claiming exclusive rights to sell certain ones. Earlier in the year, the Rosalina figure became a Target exclusive. Meta Knight also became exclusive to Best Buy stores. These are just two examples of the exclusive fiasco. The problem that has occured with the exclusive Amiibo is that there were never enough to stock. One they were gone both in store and their online store, good luck on waiting for a restock. It took over five months to have a restock made after fans complained while the rest of the world were getting their restocks. Why was this such an issue? Many people would buy these figures in bulk, scalp them or to trade for other Amiibo figures that were hard to find. You can’t really blame the stores entirely for this miscue as Nintendo itself is mostly to blame for the lack of keeping their items on shelf.
In early June, Best Buy stepped into the exclusive ring again to announce that Dark Pit figure would be exclusive to their store on July 31st. Myself and surely other Amiibo collectors were already getting a headache of this exclusive game. Before Dark Pit was released, Target GameStop, and Toys “R” Us had exclusive Amiibo figures that came out same day on May 29th. Was this going to be another headache to try and purchase these figures? Apparently stores have started to learn their lesson. Toys “R” Us had each Amiibo figure in its own plastic bin for people to choose while everyone walked in a line. Apparently what I heard from multiple people that there weren’t any limits. Target however did. Few Target stores ruled two Amiibo figures per character while majority (including the one I went to) was two Amiibo figures total. Target also had a number ticket made. My Target store in Madison Heights, Michigan did the numbering because of the issue of people cutting in front of people for the Nintendo New 3DS XL “Majora’s Mask Edition”. I was one of those victims (but I was able to score my console at another Target store, thankfully). GameStop did something a bit different. They posted their Amiibo stock on their front doors so people don’t have to wait and end up with nothing. However, GameStop had very limited stock with their store exclusive, Ness, while other stores had a good amount for the day. Lot of times when the stores are sold out, expect either a low-level restock or months down the road for a reasonable restock. Ness and other harder Amiibo figures have started to show up in fair amounts but sold out quick within an hour at most.
Recently, a week before Dark Pit Amiibo was released, Amazon’s exclusive Amiibo, Palutena, was released. She managed to say online for almost two hours. Which is surprisingly good for an online-only store and everyone was trying to purchase her. Amazon played things a bit different with their exclusive Amiibo. They told everyone by email and on their store the time Palutena would be available and that there was a limit of 1 per customer. If you tried to use another account with the same address/credit card you were most likely declined for the second one. This was actually smart move for Amazon to show fairness to everyone and keep scalpers at bay. Now with Palutena sold out, how and when will she restocked?
With Best Buy being left now with their store exclusive Amiibo, Dark Pit, this would be challenging for a couple reasons. Dark Pit was the only Amiibo to be released that day and second, Best Buy stores are the only sellers. There were questions of how much stock in hand each store had. Some say over 40 while others say less than 10. Like Amazon, Best Buy stated that only 1 per customer was allowed for the figure. Luckily, I was able to snag one. Best Buy didn’t have a numbered tickets but once the store opened, everyone followed to the front-desk to purchase our exclusive Amiibo. There were employees around to make sure no one tried to cut in front of people who waited longer. Hours after Best Buy opened and sold out across the states, they opened the gates to their online store to sell more Dark Pit figures. This was actually a smart move to try to get people to purchase in store and anyone who couldn’t get one to purchase online. I don’t know if scalpers were able to get away buy multiple purchases online but hopefully everyone was able to get one. As for restocks of Dark Pit, who knows when and how many. Apparently the Nintendo World Store in New York City has been getting restocks for every, single Amiibo character. For everyone outside of the city, this is quite annoying and frustrating since Nintendo isn’t spreading any love for those buying their product.
Now with all the Amiibo figures that had street dates been released in the states, we wait for Nintendo to announce when the new set of figures (new wave) will be released and what store will have the exclusives. There has been rumors that GameStop will have a 3-pack retro figures (Duck Hunt, Mr. Game & Watch, and R.O.B.) ready for pre-order on August 8th. Does this mean the figures will only be in a 3-pack or will they be able to be purchased separately in other stores? For in-box collectors, this could be a nightmare. Other speculations say that Target would have Dr. Mario figure exclusive to their store. Bowser Jr. to be exclusive to Toys “R” Us. Other rumor is the retro, 8-bit Mario being a bundle only to the Super Mario Maker when it is released September 11th. Hopefully things will clear up soon from Nintendo soon or rumors will continue to go wild.
Now that stores have gotten better with limiting their quantities and the supply is starting to get better, will things get better or worse in this next batch of Amiibo?