Amiibo Impressions *Updated With Contest Winner!*


With the incredible success of Activision’s Skylanders franchise, and also the eponymous Disney Infinity line, Nintendo has acknowledged the hotness that is the miniatures market. Though the Wii U has endured much criticism concerning its lack of technological power compared to the PS4 and Xbox One, the Big N should be praised for having the foresight to build near field communication (NFC) functionality into the console’s game pad. Because the Wii U has been on the market for two years, many of us questioned why such a feature would was included in the game pad and if it would ever be used. Finally, Nintendo has unveiled its line of Amiibo figurines, and the company’s vision has become clearer.
Amiibo figurines, modeled after Nintendo characters, have chips in them that can be scanned to unlock new features in the games across all of Nintendo’s modern platforms.
So the question remains: now that the first wave of Amiibo figures is out, how do they stack up to the competition? Are they worth seeking out and nabbing at their $12.99 price point? The answer will depend heavily on what you are looking for.
At launch, Amiibo figures are compatible with three major Wii U titles: Mario Kart 8, Hyrule Warriors, and the wildly popular Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. With Mario Kart 8, scanning an Amiibo will give your Mii a costume based on the figure. It’s not spectacular, but it’s neat to see. With Hyrule Warriors, most figures will get you basic crafting items and the like, but scanning a Zelda-based figure—Link, Zelda, or Toon Link—will get you a higher-tier weapon or tool, and they can be used once per day.
The most interesting in-game application of the Amiibo figures, however, is found within Smash Bros, where each figure represents its own learning artificial intelligence. Each figure starts at level 1 and, through battling with you, computer AIs, and other Amiibo characters, can reach level 50. More interesting is that their behavior will depend on what they’ve learned over that period of time. That means two Marios could fight totally differently depending on how they have been trained over time.
At the end of the day, Amiibo functionality is neat, but nothing overwhelmingly new. I could see games doing some very cool things with these in the next couple of years, but on launch their in-game features are fairly lacking.
Nevertheless, what I find most appealing about Amiibo figures is their high quality construction and their collectible nature. The figures look fantastic and would make great desk ornaments for any gaming geek. When you also consider that they’re releasing them in limited waves, it can trigger something in the brain that makes you want to seek each of them out. I honestly don’t give a hoot about several of the figures, but I wanted to complete my set so I grabbed them. With more yet to come, I’m eagerly awaiting their release.
Amiibo figures currently have no in-game functionality that warrants their price, but collectors like myself will be stoked to get their hands on these high quality miniatures. I can’t currently recommend folks go buy these given their high price and low functionality, but if you’re a collector or looking for something cool to put on your desk at work, you can’t go wrong with a sharp-looking Nintendo figure.
For everyone interested in knowing which figures are coming when, below is a list of everything we know at the moment. There are currently a total of 29 Amiibo figures planned for release, some of which are retailer specific.
Wave 1 – Launched November 21, 2014
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Wave 2 – December 2014
[amazon template=iframe image&asin=B00O982JSU,B00O92ONBM,B00O97ZVJA,B00O97ZWVC,B00O97ZVJ0,B00O97ZYP6]
Wave 3 – February 2014
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Lucario Toys R Us Exclusive
Shulk – GameStop Exclusive
Meta Knight – Best Buy Exclusive

The Amiibo Contest has ended!

Ok folks, that’s it! Pencils down! Time is up!

We want to give a huge thank you to everyone who submitted entries for the Amiibo contest! There were some great entries and some really cool Amiibo designs!

After an exhausting series of debates and arguments, it has been decided that Moira Hugues will be taking home the Link Amiibo figure!

She said she’s looking forward to Pit, since he’s her favorite Smash Bros character. If she could have anyone made into an Amiibo, it would be Midna from Twilight Princess. She even provided the model below!


There were a ton of other great entries! A few honorable mentions are below.

Thank you again to everyone who took the time to submit an entry or create artwork. You all did a fantastic job!
Epona Kenneth Douglas Gay

Epona (Legend of Zelda)
Kenneth Douglas Gay

Blaziken (Pokémon) Dylan Smith

Blaziken (Pokémon)
Dylan Smith

Pac-Man Logan Pykiet

Logan Pykiet

Krystal (Starfox) Lillian Crimea

Krystal (Star Fox)
Lillian Crimea


Joe Morgan

Husband, gamer, software developer, animal lover. When he's not writing for GeeksUnderGrace, he's probably fishing or working on content with his wife for Coffee and Adventure, their YouTube channel

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