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Animal Crossing Amiibo Win Greatest Tank Battles

by Donald Theriault - January 8, 2016, 5:18 pm PST
Total comments: 23

Selling about as well as the game they were designed for.

We’re about a year removed from the mania over Smash Bros. Amiibo, and now Nintendo has a different problem on their hands: there are too many Amiibo for a November release. In this case, it’s Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival and their sea of boxes clogging up retail stores.

This shouldn’t be a big shock – the game sold about 36,000 copies in its launch month, but it seems that Nintendo has dramatically overestimated the value of Animal Crossing characters in general. Checking Amazon’s price history for the Amiibo, you see something never seen before in Amiibo: Steady reductions of price so they can get rid of the things.

(Charts courtesy camelcamelcamel.com)

Tom Nook has been on a steady downward trend for the past three weeks: as of press time, he’s below 50% of MSRP. That’s a level of bomb that not even the likes of Sin and Punishment 2 or Metroid: Other M ever realized.

Mabel was down to $6 before going back up just after the New Year, but it’s resumed losing a few cents a day since then.

Even the 3-pack, or as it’s more commonly known “KK and the Llamas” is down nearly 33% from its initial price. It was down to $30 on Black Friday and switched back and forth between MSRP and $30 until just before Christmas, when it hit $25 and has continued to fall.

Checking retail supply locally, shelves that were previously bare of Amiibo are now stocked to the brim with stock that just isn’t moving. One EB Games (Canada) source admitted on Reddit that sales of the line were “like hot garbage” so far. As a result, they were basically limiting the second wave of Amiibo to preorders only on an allocation at the level of Lucas. When your heavily hyped line is on the same sales expectations as a character who hasn’t had his original game release in North America, you know there’s a problem.

Although we can’t corroborate a further claim from the EB Games source that the line is going to get killed if wave two underperforms, the option has to be on the table for Nintendo at this point. Even Japan isn't biting: you can get the Japanese Cyrus figure for just slightly more than Tom Nook on Amazon as of press time. The last time Amiibo sold like this was the Super Mario series that was tied to Mario Party 10, which was supposed to have a second wave with Donkey Kong, Rosalina, and Wario. Clearly, that hasn’t happened yet, and hopefully Nintendo has learned that tying Amiibo lines to board games is a bad move.

Retail imaging has already appeared for wave 3 of the Animal Crossing series, but we may not get that far. And it’s hard to tell what’s going to happen with exclusives – if any, as Lottie’s exclusivity in Canada lasted about the length of a hockey tournament. Will retailers take a chance on grabbing an exclusive, in order to concentrate the 20 people who care about Tom’s nephews into the store? Or do they pass because they can’t get rid of Tom himself? We’ll be watching with… mild… interest how this unfolds.

Images

Talkback

rlse9January 08, 2016

I saw how cheap the Tom Nook amiibo has gotten and considered picking one up.  Not surprising that they're not selling well given how poorly Amiibo Festival has performed.  I wonder what the sales for the amiibo would be if they had released a proper Animal Crossing game instead.

StratosJanuary 08, 2016

I'm not surprises, though I didn't expect it to be this bad. I might try to pick some up if they hit the $5 mark. But they just don't hold the same interest that other, more iconic characters.

ejamerJanuary 08, 2016

I'm kind of shocked, but only because I'm a big Animal Crossing fanboy.


Tom Nook is one of my most prized Amiibo figures, even though he's not really useful for anything other than shelf decoration. I'd gladly buy Isabelle, KK Slider, Blathers, and Resetti... if they get released.

The last two come out on the 22nd (and based on this they'll be sub-McDonalds meal by Easter).

SorenJanuary 08, 2016

You can get the Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival bundle + Tom Nook + Mabel for about $45 total on Amazon right now. That's a bargain for a half-baked party game that's actually played better than I thought. A few Let's Plays have convinced me to give it a shot as a rotation game for game nights.

EnnerJanuary 08, 2016

The fever has broken!


Or at least there's no fever for characters not in Smash. I walked in to a Gamestop recently and saw quite a few Zero Suit Samus amiibo. I picked them up thinking they were rare or uncommon, but it seems that figure is the one that is getting regular restocks.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorJanuary 09, 2016

Quote:

The last time Amiibo sold like this was the Super Mario series that was tied to Mario Party 10, which was supposed to have a second wave with Donkey Kong, Rosalina, and Wario. Clearly, that hasn’t happened yet, and hopefully Nintendo has learned that tying Amiibo lines to board games is a bad move.

As much as I still want plumber Wario - Nintendo *never* announced a second wave of figures for MP10 - there were simply in-game models found for those three.  That's all.

ejamerJanuary 09, 2016

Quote from: Soren

You can get the Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival bundle + Tom Nook + Mabel for about $45 total on Amazon right now. That's a bargain for a half-baked party game that's actually played better than I thought. A few Let's Plays have convinced me to give it a shot as a rotation game for game nights.

Sadly, these prices are US only.  If I could find the Amiibo Festival bundle for a good price I'd actually buy - besides my irrational love for the series, we have two young kids who the simple gameplay would probably work well with.


On Amazon Canada you can buy the game (bundled with the pack-in Amiibo figures) for $75, or get the separate Amiibo figures for $15 a pop.  Single figures were on sale a week or so ago for $10 or less though, which was pretty good.

MythtendoJanuary 09, 2016

I had no interested in Amiibo Festival until I saw Peanut Butter Game and SpaceHamster do a 2 part video on it. It looks a little bit fun (just not $60 fun).

Evan_BJanuary 09, 2016

Half-baked game with huge Amiibo support is not a good equation. I'd rather have a good game with half-baked Amiibo support, if anything.

Nintendo still has a lot to learn with the whole Toys to Life design. Like, making figures of obscure Animal Crossing characters is never a good idea, EVER.

A rare calm in the Amiibo storm! I am grateful!

...

*suddenly runs off to Amazon to pick up spare copies*

One thing I'm wondering about is if the lesson is that "software sells hardware" again, or if random animal crossing villagers simply would NEVER be as popular as central Nintendo character mascots.

StratosJanuary 10, 2016

Quote from: Kairon

One thing I'm wondering about is if the lesson is that "software sells hardware" again, or if random animal crossing villagers simply would NEVER be as popular as central Nintendo character mascots.

Random AC animals would never be as popular as mainline Nintendo mascots. Also, the few animals who could have carried similar popularity would naturally be dragged down a few notches because of the deluge of non-popular animals. KK Slider is quite popular. Why pair him up with TWO alpacas with less history and less popularity? This hurts his ability to sell well.


My greatest fear from this crash is that Nintendo cuts back on other planned figure series. I would love to see a Star Fox line (or another non-Zelda/Mario/Pokemon series) but they may miss-read this as a failure of ALL lower level figure series.

nickmitchJanuary 10, 2016

Yeah, I agree with Stratos.  Nintendo has a lot of conservative tendencies, and this could cause them to see the amiibo bubble as having burst and not a bad fit.  I mean, KK Slider, Tom Nook, and Mr. Resetti are the popular ones (to me, at least).  I don't see how releasing so many could be a good idea, except that it worked for Smash Bros.

Honestly, I'd like to see a Pikmin game with Amiibo for each Pikmin type.

SorenJanuary 11, 2016

Quote from: nickmitch

Honestly, I'd like to see a Pikmin game with Amiibo for each Pikmin type.

How would that be any different than this, though?

Gotta agree with the consensus here - Not sure Animal Crossing characters have the same fervent appeal of the Smash ones, especially with the 3rd party ones that have and will come out.


I'll defend Amiibo Festival as well, it's not a bad game, at least to the degree that Neal roasted it in his review.  I think it's largely dependent on who you're playing with and how tolerable you are to simple games that are largely based on chance more than strategy (although there are clear strategies you should employ in game to ensure your best chance at winning).

nickmitchJanuary 11, 2016

Quote from: Soren

Quote from: nickmitch

Honestly, I'd like to see a Pikmin game with Amiibo for each Pikmin type.

How would that be any different than this, though?

1) it would be a Pikmin game.
2) There would be less Amiibo (There's only 7 types and two of them weren't in the last game. Add two more for a sequel and that's 9 total)

I was thinking if Pikmin had a more open world design, maybe you could use the amiibo to drop onions on the map, maybe after clearing out a safe space (possibly by beating a miniboss). Or some type of powerup effect (instant flower, extra Pikmin, strength boost, change Pikmin colors on the fly)

But if your point is that it's an obscure franchise that isn't popular enough to push amiibo, then I see your point.

SorenJanuary 11, 2016

Quote from: nickmitch

But if your point is that it's an obscure franchise that isn't popular enough to push amiibo, then I see your point.

I'm more inclined to believe the reason the AC amiibo line failed was because they were given a crappy game no one asked for to stand with them. Pikmin 4 might be a great game, but I can't see many people realistically plopping $100 for a Pikmin amiibo line on top of $60 for the game. Animal Crossing had enough of a following where that purchase could have been justified if fans got an actual game in the series.

nickmitchJanuary 11, 2016

Yeah, but if you could limit the number of amiibo (there don't need to me more than like 6 types) and maybe do something interesting with the amiibo (like the Yarn Yoshi amiibo) or bring the price down to ~$8-10, then you curb the demand back up.

pokepal148Spencer Johnson, Contributing WriterJanuary 11, 2016

Hopefully this means than we won't see them wasting more development on shitty games that only exist to make you buy more of these stupid amiibo.

StratosJanuary 12, 2016

Nintendo sold 10 million amiibo in 2015. People were already buying them before this game put a sour taste in so many people's minds.

Best Buy Canada is resorting to giving Lottie to anyone who buys another amiibo.

ejamerJanuary 15, 2016

This seems like a deal... but I've played every mainline Animal Crossing game for many hours and have no idea who Lottie actually is.  (Is she Lyle's significant other? What does she do, and why should I care?  Lyle was super annoying... so I'm not convinced that I want this Amiibo, even if it's free.)

nickmitchJanuary 15, 2016

See, that right there is the exact problem with Animal Crossing amiibo.

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