Predicting The Future of Amiibo

Just based on current trends, it would seem Nintendo has a powerful money making tool on their hands these days with their ‘amiibo’ figures. Created to provide additional gameplay opportunities in certain WiiU games like Mario Kart 8 or Super Smash Bros, the real draw of these character figurines may be the nostalgia factor. As a Nintendo fanboy and console owner as a kid, having little statues based on characters you grew up with is a powerful thing which obviously speaks to many people’s memories seeing how well they’re selling in stores. Nintendo owns some of the more recognizable and beloved characters anywhere, so it really just makes sense to sell them as figures in stores.

This past Wednesday Nintendo even went ahead and announced a completely new series of the amiibo line focusing on the Super Mario franchise. Personally, I had absolutely no clue that this could actually be a thing, moving from franchise to franchise like this. Though, I guess one could have made a guess considering that the current line of amiibo figures feature the “Super Smash Bros” logo in the top right corner of the box.

Still, from a business perspective it makes total sense. Amiibos are currently selling like hotcakes, even outpacing the game they were made for, Super Smash Bros for WiiU, so why not capitalize on the buying frenzy with more? This whole “Super Mario” line of figures really got me thinking about the future of these collectible figures. If Nintendo is introducing a new series of figures, what’s stopping them from moving into other franchises as well?

Nintendo has such a diverse and massive backlog of franchise and characters they can tap into that creating more of these figures just makes sense. There’s a wealth of opportunity here.

Here are some amiibo series I’d love to see Nintendo bring to the market:

1. Legend of Zelda
This one is definitely the easiest and also the most probable considering that a brand new game is due out later this year. This series has a rich and detailed history thanks to the amount of games in the franchise. Just off the top of my head, picture some of the characters you could pull off like Moblins, Ganon, Ganondorf, Darunia, Impa, Zant, Midna, and…Tingle? I’m sure someone out there would enjoy a Tingle amiibo. Seriously though, there’s a vast amount of characters Nintendo could tap into for a Zelda series set of amiibo. Just think of all the different style Links they could create as well: Skyloft Link, 8bit Link, Adult Link form Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess Link, and even Fierce Deity Link to name a specific few.

2. Metroid
My personal favorite series, Metroid may not have as many games as The Legend of Zelda has, but it sure does have a wealth of characters to call upon. Ridley is an obvious choice as he’s also the most recognizable character from the series. Digging deeper into the lore though, I’d love to see Space Pirated, Kraid, Phantoon, a Metroid, Mother Brain, Chozo Statue, and maybe some of the other bounty hunters from Metroid Prime 3 and Hunters. If Nintendo really wanted to pull on your nostalgia, they could even release multiple suit variants of Samus including the gravity suit, varia suit, Dark Samus, and SA-X.

3. Star Fox
Another franchise that’s low in total games but rich in characters to draw on. Sure, many of the characters are only seen flying ships, but you could make an exception for some of them. The obvious choices for character here would be the Star Fox team, but you could also make figures on the Star Wolf team, Andross, or even Fox McCloud’s dad, James. It may be controversial but you could even look to the Star Fox Adventures game for characters like Krystal, General Scales, or Prince Tricky.

4. Donkey Kong
The other no brainer series on this list due to the fact that a couple of titles have been released recently including Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze. It’s a franchise that should be on the mind for WiiU owners already. What’s interesting with this series is that it was formerly developed by Rare for Nintendo back on the Super Nintendo and N64 systems. Rare is now owned by Microsoft to many of the former characters are not accessible to Nintendo anymore. I believe that even extends to the Kremlings, who were the primary antagonists of the first games in the series, led by King K. Rool. This might also explain why the enemies are  no where to be found int he most recent releases. Still, the Kong family alone could make an interesting series of amiibo figures.

5. Pokemon
I mean…do I really even need to go into why Nintendo would be stupid to not make these into amiibo figures?

As you can see above, we’re just scratching at the surface of the potential future for amiibo figures. With so many more characters Nintendo has to look to, it’ll be interesting to see where else they go considering how much money these figures bring in for them.

With such a vast history to draw upon, are you drooling yet over the possibilities? What would you like to see as an amiibo?

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5 Responses to Predicting The Future of Amiibo

  1. C. T. Murphy says:

    Frankly, I don’t think any of it matters as long as they are willing to have retailer exclusives, extremely limited supplies, and aren’t more open about when amiibos are or are not discontinued. They’ve been a huge financial success, sure, but they’ve been horribly mishandled as well.

    Though I could be swayed with a Punch-Out!!! line with all the original boxers. Then Soda Popenski and I can finally share that Mountain Dew!

    • Oh man, another great title right there. I’d be all in for a Punch-Out!! line of amiibo as well.

      Though you’re right, while the concept is awesome, the actually handling of the retail aspect has been less than stellar. Odd release date pre-order mishaps, characters being discontinued almost immediately after they release, scalping…it really is ashame.

      Though I’m hopeful that Nintendo learns a thing or two from the first few months when they inevitably announce more figures down the road. Hey, Marth is making a comeback so maybe that’s a start, right?

  2. Hatm0nster says:

    I find myself wondering what’s behind the appeal of these figures. I mean, I get that they have some use towards some games and that the figures themselves actually look good and well made, but I’m still a little mystified as to why they’re selling as fast as they are. Could it really just be the nostalgia factor like you mentioned in the post?

    • I feel like nostalgia has a big piece of it, especially for people who grew up with Nintendo. Certainly makes for a cool desk ornament, right?

      But overall, I agree. I figured they’d be popular but the fact that they’ve sold like this and caused such a stir at retail has really surprised me.

      Good for Nintendo though and I really hope this success helps them bring out some of their other franchises down the road.

  3. Pingback: E3 2015 Predictions and Thoughts: Nintendo | Gamer Crash

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