amiibo!

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amiibo, Nintendo’s toys-to-life platform launched on Friday and we’re pretty stoked on them! Here are our random thoughts and experiences with the figures so far.

Ryan: My wife Lindsey and I are Loot Crate subscribers, and we’ve been pretty happy with the service so far, so we decided to take the plunge and subscribe to the amiibo Loot Crate. It’s a bit pricier than buying the figures from say, Amazon, but we have faith that the additional bonuses will be cool little collectibles.

Since the first Crate won’t be arriving until probably the middle of next week, I knew I needed to get some amiibo for the weekend. I ordered Marth, Wii Fit Trainer, Link, and Samus (and the Smash guide) from Amazon to tide me over.

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I scanned Samus and Link into Mario Kart 8 to unlock the Mii racing suits (which, while I don’t enjoy racing as my Mii, are still pretty cool). For Smash, I went with Samus as my amiibo fighter. I really dug the tactile feel of adding her into games and saving the data by tapping her on the GamePad. It seems silly on paper, but it’s a nice feeling in practice. Once Samus had gained some levels, I realized I had created a monster, as she was winning almost every fight I had with her 😦

(Btw, I named my Samus amiibo “Lady”- sorry/not sorry Other M haters)

With the amiibo Loot Crate coming, we have an almost complete set of the first series (including a second Samus to keep in the packaging). But there was still one figure we needed: Villager. So this morning we went to a Target in Denver and checked their amiibo display.

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The display is pretty fun- you can select characters with the touch interface and watch a demonstration of using the amiibo with the GamePad. It also showcases some videos of the characters’ respective games. It’s really awesome seeing such a cool celebration of Nintendo’s history and characters in a major retail store!

We did find what we were looking for- there was one Villager amiibo left. However, Marth, Wii Fit Trainer, and Samus were sold out. There were plenty of the “big” characters, including another end cap of them.

IMG_3144[1]I don’t know if amiibo will be the huge holiday hit that Nintendo is hoping for, but I am extremely happy with them so far. Whether it be tracking down figures, arranging them on a shelf, looking at other people’s amiibo photos on Twitter, or actually using them in games, I’m having an absolute blast with amiibo.

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John:

Ryan’s impressions of amiibo are similar to mine in a lot of ways. I pre-ordered Mario, Link, and Samus back when they first went live on Amazon a few months ago, so they were waiting for me when I got home from work on Friday night. I actually don’t love the Link amiibo (the Twilight Princess-esque model is probably my least favorite version of the character), so I was planning on wrapping it up and giving it to my son Owen for Christmas. My wife opened the Amazon box before I could get to it though and she showed them to Owen and placed all three of them on our Christmas tree, so I sort of had to open them all right away (I wasn’t heartbroken). Within a few minutes they were all out of the box and lined up in front of my son and I; we were both super excited, but we had plans to hang out at a friend’s house that night, so we didn’t actually use them with the Wii U until later.

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amiibo totally nail the toys-to-life idea once used with the system though. My first impression upon scanning them into Smash was that the experience was just so fun and engaging, and it absolutely captures the magic feeling of experiencing an exciting new toy or gadget. The process of saving back to the amiibo after building experience is particularly cute because of the animation accompanying the process. Watching the amiibo’s little soul materialize and shoot across the screen back into his or her model is super fun! I also think the fact that amiibo doesn’t need to rest on the NFC reader during play naturally results in more occasions for tapping the toys to the gamepad, and I like that – the process is a legitimate part of the fun I think, at least initially.

I’m pretty happy as far as the amiibo’s integration into Smash goes too. Playing alongside an amiibo character was really fun for my son and it resulted in the opportunity to try out modes like team matches that would’ve been less convenient otherwise. Owen and I found ourselves laughing at lots of specific scenarios that would arise as a result of playing with our amiibo, and like Ryan’s fighters, ours quickly outfought us after earning just a handful of levels. I’m curious to see if leveling them up further will be fun though, considering they’re killing me already.

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Even though I ordered most of the amiibo I have so far from Amazon, I did visit both Target and Toys ‘R Us this weekend to check out their stock and displays. My experiences were largely similar to Ryan’s, but I’ll include some photos too for variety’s sake. Kevin actually ordered a Marth from the Target near our work Friday morning when he found out they seemed to be short packed, so we ran over there during our lunch to pick him up and I bought one too. I haven’t opened him yet though as I’m trying to decide if I want him or if I’d rather return him for a Kirby or Fox. Both stores had decent selection, though Toys ‘R Us had plenty of everyone but Marth.

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One more note for amiibo fans who aren’t satiated by the initial 12 figures: both Toys ‘R Us and Target are still stocking a nice selection of the World of Nintendo toys and accessories. Actually, I saw some nice remote-controlled Mario Kart cars that can apparently drive up walls (!!!) that were only about $25 apiece. Between amiibo, World of Nintendo, Mario Kart toys, and the Mario K’Nex playsets, it’s a pretty exciting time for Nintendo toys and memorabilia.

Update 1: Toys R Us (Aurora, CO)

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Preorder cards for Wave 2

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Update 2: amiibo Loot Crate #1

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The Loot Crate-exclusive sticker, booklet, and bracelet

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Update 3: amiibo Loot Crate #2

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