Nintendo Needs to Deflate the Amiibo Bubble
J Thoendell stashed this in Video Games
NINTENDO HAS UTTERLY lost control of Amiibos. Somehow, it’s got to get it back.
On Wednesday, Nintendo had a livestreamed web presentation to announce a variety of games and products it will release in 2015. The presentation was festooned with Amiibos of all shapes and sizes. And why shouldn’t it be? The plastic figurines of Nintendo’s popular characters like Mario and Princess Zelda, which interact with Wii U and 3DS games in a variety of ways, have been a huge hit since their launch in November. Of the millions of figures that Nintendo has sold, 63 percent of them were sold in North America.
But even those millions have not been enough. Nintendo vastly underestimated the demand for Amiibo figures, and the extreme scarcity of some of them has created a vicious cycle: Knowing that the figures will disappear from shelves instantly, and that they may never be replaced after the first shipment, fans have begun purchasing the figures the instant they go on sale. They disappear within minutes. Missed the window? Get ready to shell out 300 to 400 percent of retail on eBay, if you’re lucky.
Some observers, recalling crazes like Beanie Babies and baseball cards, see a collectibles bubble that’s about to burst, leaving many disappointed speculators in its wake. If that happens, no one will feel bad for them. But what Nintendo has not been able to do at this point is to figure out a pathway by which fans, who just want Amiibos so they can use them in their gameplay, can acquire them.
Flood the world with oversupply.
That will reduce the value of them so that fans who need them for play can get them.