Kow tells his long but worthwhile tale of becoming an amiibo collector.
Hello all, my name is Kow. Well, not really, but I prefer to go by that name. Some of you may know me, but for those who don’t, I make music and what not. However, I’m not here to promote or advertise myself at all. I’m here probably for the same reason you all are: you love and/or grew up with video games being a key factor in your life. As we all may have some interest in video game culture, I feel rather lucky to be honest. For one, I’m a huge Nintendo fan and Nintendo is the greatest company of all (biased opinion, clearly). Also, I grew up playing the Mario games in order. My earliest childhood memory is playing the first Super Mario Bros., followed by the second and later the third at my grandparents house with my aunt. Then, my neighbor had Super Mario World and that changed my life.
As you can tell, I grew up under the influence of the Nintendo brand. They had a similar influence as Disney in my life. You get the point. Growing up with this god-like brand, I didn’t see much merchandise other then a few plushes and Mario Kart figures. So as soon as I heard about this crazy new Skylander-esque plan for Nintendo to release amiibo figures, I was immediately on board (keep in mind, though, that I have been a toy collector beforehand).
When the chance came to pre-order, I jumped right on it. It wasn’t because I knew some would be hard to get and go for a crazy amount on eBay; it was more so simply because the amiibos were clearly ripped straight out of my dreams. And, you know, being the fan that I am, I believed in this new idea and had to support the N gods.
You may assume that I completed the first wave flawlessly—and you’d be right. A few weeks later, I heard that some may be getting discontinued. Not long after, news emerged that Marth, Wii Fit Trainer, and Villager would be the “rare amiibo” of this first wave. Even though it was just a rumor, I covered all my bases. I also just so happened to be at this random Walmart in Reno, Nevada when the rumors came out. It was completely stocked with Wii Fit Trainers and Villagers. I didn’t think much about the rumor. I just grabbed one Villager in case I needed it for a future trade. It was later revealed that the rumors were true and I regretted not picking up more. It wasn’t even that I wanted to sell ‘em for outrageous prices on eBay; I just wanted to trade and help people out. This leads to my next little tale.
In the midst of the madness, I managed to pick up all of the wave two amiibos, which were Luigi, Diddy Kong, Zelda, Little Mac, Captain Falcon, and Pit. This wave was rather strange because it came out across the month of December because of shipping problems or something about Nintendo messing up. Either way, I had no idea which would be rare or hard to find because at that point it was difficult to find any of them. Well, except for when I stumbled across three Little Macs at my local target. I honestly thought Little Mac, of all the characters, would have a hefty supply because people seemed happy with him in the new Smash Bros. and what not.
I didn’t grab one of the Little Macs for myself because I already had one pre-ordered, but I did snag one for my girlfriend’s little brother for Christmas. He’s the only person I know, outside of the internet, who digs these things as much as I do (or at all). This first act of kindness made me feel pretty good after finding out Little Mac soon became one of the rare amiibos. The feeling of giving to the less fortunate had grown on to me, so a week or two later, I figured I’d keep it goin’.
I ran into some guy and his kid at the Best Buy near my work, and this was the first time I’d met another collector, searching shelves for amiibos. We start chatting it up about the collectables, and I find out he has an extra Marth and was searching for a Villager (which I had an extra of). I told him to take my number and we could trade the next time I was out there. I wanted to help this little guy out. Villager and Marth were at a pretty equal value at the time, but sadly Nintendo revealed in a Direct video that they were restocking Marth. Of course, the value of Marth dropped completely to me so, long story short, I never met up with the kid and his dad… and I now walk the amiibo isles with this heavy load of evil on my shoulders.
Nintendo later revealed that there would be retailer exclusives. At first, I thought it was fine, but it quickly became a complete nightmare. I spent the last half of December and all of January stressing over these little plastic amiibos—but why? i honestly couldn’t tell you other then the reason i have already stated, but boy did these things take their toll. Luckily, I have a rather decent relationship with the people at my local Gamestops, so grabbing two Shulks (one for trade value) was cake. And as I tend to waste money without thinking and procrastinate buying things I actually need, I missed the Meta Knight pre-order on Best Buy. It happened to be up for quite a while, too. Sigh.
Pre-ordering Rosalina and Lucario was close to impossible, so I didn’t even try. I figured, “Hey, maybe I can just walk in day of, get there before anybody else, and snag me one or two!” Little did I know I wouldn’t be the only one. First exclusive was the Lucario amiibo at Toys R Us. I went about an hour and a half before opening just to be safe and ended up second in line. Time passes, more people show (a good 20 or so by the time they opened), and it turned out they only had two Lucarios. Two. I lucked out being second in line. It was then I finally grasped the limited supply of some of these things.
Next came Rosalina at Target. I have a friend who works at a target, thankfully, and he was able to grab both of us one, but I still went in early to the closest Target just in case. The store wasn’t too bad, honestly. Even though there was was a big line, just about everyone got their Rosalina. I was fifth or so in line and didn’t have much trouble snagging a second one. Shulk was next and that was no problem. However, the one I had feared and was stressing over was Best Buy’s Meta Knight amiibo.
For weeks, there was no official release date, and all the stores I visited said they had no idea when they’d be available, if at all. Finally, the date for these things shows up. I was about an hour early or so with only one guy standing in line. But not for long. As I’m about to exit my car. I see two other guys walking towards the door. I’m fourth in line—technically third, though, as one guy had pre-ordered his. The store manager came out and told us they only had two. I was freaking out thinking “how would I ever manage to snag one.”
I sat and waited all the same, just in hopes of one popping up. With the line clear as day, some yuppie punk walked up saying, “Oh you guys are rather far from the door,” thinking he’ll just rush in. He didn’t, but the store opened, we went in, and he somehow got in front of me… I gave this man the meanest of mugs and he slowly made his way back behind me. I was not having it at all—I was tired, cold, and not letting some peasant, who showed up 10 minutes before opening cut in front all who have waited patiently in line. It turned out they had two more in stock, and the manager was on the phone figuring it out. He asked who the two in line were, so I obviously raised my hand, but so did the line-hopping punk. The manager walked up and put the dude in his place. I managed to snag a Meta Knight amiibo (so did the dude who was actually behind me all morning).
Nintendo recently announced the new Super Mario amiibo series. I pre-ordered them all, of course, and I’m waiting patiently for wave four pre-orders. The limited edition Gold Mario release popped up for pre-order on Walmart’s website recently, and I somehow managed to snag two. This was only after hours of lurking through forums and comment sections, though. I mean, I’m an artist who should be working and spending time on music or art, but I’m not. Instead, I spend my days stressing and overflowing with the fear that I may not be able to snag the next amiibo. So if I could send you off with anything, it’s this, don’t fall victim to these things. They will ruin your life…
Addendum: They’ll also serve as a great addition to your cat photos, as seen below.