The Amiibo craze has been taking off in the right direction for Nintendo, with their cavalcade of characters populating the living rooms of Nintendo fans, while the Gamecube controller adapter Nintendo released to coincide with Super Smash Bros. for Wii U has become the go-to peripheral for Smash fans of all walks of life. However, Nintendo’s figurine line and Smash-centric peripheral has become notoriously elusive, as certain Amiibos are said to be discontinued along with the Gamecube controller adapter. But are they really on the way out, or are Nintendo planning more production waves? Quite honestly, we don’t know, and that’s a serious problem for Nintendo.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U has been the one game that’s drawn this issue to light, since both the Amiibo and Gamecube controller adapter are closely tied to that game. Nintendo has been making a respectable effort in keeping the game in stock (though shortages were rather rampant around the game’s launch), so the Amiibo and Gamecube controller adapter followed suit. Over time, certain Amiibo figures like Marth and Wii Fit Trainer became more difficult to find, while the Gamecube controller adapter would sell out immediately after a new shipment appeared. These shortages and fast sellout periods have made these products extremely hot items, going for sky-high prices on various online storefronts.
But what makes this worse is that Nintendo isn’t providing any clarity on whether these products actually are limited edition or not. We’re hearing so many conflicting stories from different sources regarding the future of certain Amiibo figures and the Gamecube adapter. Some say that they’re being discontinued entirely, while others claim they will be restocked down the line. Nintendo, however, has done very little to give a definitive answer, leaving most gamers in a state of confusion. Are these items really that rare or will we find more releases this coming year? We don’t know.
The biggest problem is that Nintendo clearly understands that there’s a demand. The high number of stores selling out of these products means that gamers are buying them, so why not keep the consumers informed on whether their favorite characters will get more figurines or whether they will be able to use their Gamecube controllers in Smash without shelling out a grand on an adapter? If Nintendo was able to provide a clear announcement, the focus would shift away from second-hand online auctions and the money could go directly to Nintendo. But without any official call and only conflicting stories leading gamers, Nintendo is doing themselves a huge disservice, keeping consumers in the dark and leaving them at the mercy of speculation.
If Nintendo was able to offer a real announcement, a clear-cut way to tell folks that more of these products are on the way, then no one would buy a Villager Amiibo for $500 on eBay. They’d instead wait and spend $15 on one, with that money going directly to Nintendo instead of a random person. But with gamers in the dark, fans are anxiously scouring secondhand stores while spending much more than the typical Amiibo would cost. The Gamecube adapter’s demand is even higher and is easily a larger example of Nintendo’s communication issue regarding production. Keeping gamers informed is a simple solution to a problem that shouldn’t happen in the first place. We’re all stunned that Nintendo hasn’t kept us all in the loop for some of their most in-demand items.