As a gamer and fan of collectibles, statues and action figures, I really like what Toys for Bob has done with the Skylanders franchise. Essentially, Toys for Bob created a gimmick where kids and players could get figurine toys of characters from the game and use the figurines for gameplay. Disney Interactive got on the boat, along with Disney Infinity. The move to make the Disney version of Skylanders, with all of the classic and beloved characters of the Disney Library, was brilliant. Disney Interactive took that a step further by adding the equally classic characters of the Marvel Universe for Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes. And now, Nintendo is getting into the interactive figurine act with the Amiibos, which will be utilized for Super Smash Bros. Wii U.
The Wii U needed some surefire hits such as Super Smash Bros. The utilization of interactive figures for the gameplay is a smart strategy because the Nintendo characters are incredibly marketable. Just as with Skylanders and Disney Infinity, it is easy to imagine kids, and perhaps hardcore Nintendo fans, collecting Amiibos.
Amiibos are nicely designed and sculpted figurines, and they allow for player customization for the attributes of your character in Smash Bros. The other benefit is that the figures appear to be compatible with other games besides Smash Bros.–an interesting prospect. Considering all the classic games and franchises under the Nintendo banner, there are endless possibilities and amounts of potential figures. I can almost visualize these figures as high-end trading cards that can interact with video games.
The drawback to the Amiibos is similar that of Skylanders and Disney Infinity. The expense of acquiring all the figures is considerable. That is another reason why Nintendo is brilliant for creating the Amiibos: It looks like a license to print money. Kids who love these characters will want to buy them all. However, it can be quite a hefty bill to own all the ones you want. An investment in Skylanders: Trap Team, along with all the keys and figures to unlock all of the game’s content, costs a pretty penny. I imagine that is the reason GameStop decided to begin accepting trade-ins for game figures. Perhaps the resale of used game figures for a discounted price will create a profit, especially if there are particular characters the players desire.
Super Smash Bros. hits the Wii U on November 21. The 3DS version of the game is currently available.