Nintendo Amiibo fever is in full swing. The train has left the station, and there is literally no stopping it. Retailers are now carrying store exclusive Amiibo figurines. Target specifically is carrying its own store exclusive Amiibo figurine featuring Rosalina & Luma (they are packaged together as one figurine). According to Amiibo Inquirer, so much chaos ensued to pre-order the Rosalina & Luma figurine last month, that Target had to actually cut off pre-orders. The incorporation of toys-to-life by Nintendo was a brilliant strategy. 2014 and 2015 could go down as major comeback years for Nintendo. From a business perspective, the availability of exclusive figurines in other stores is a brilliant strategy.
Besides Rosalina & Luma, Nintendo has released a number of other characters in Amiibo form to other stores. The Meta Knight Amiibo is exclusive to Best Buy only. The Shulk Amiibo is exclusive to GameStop. Finally, the Lucario Amiibo is exclusive only to Toys R Us.
Thus far,Nintendo has only scratched the surface in terms of the potential of the Amiibo phenomenon. However, licensing store exclusive Amiibo figurines to Target is definitely a good start. Since Loot Crate has a special Amiibo deal set up, Loot Crate and Nintendo should collaborate for some sort of exclusive figurine or character that is only available through the Loot Crate website. Other online and store retailers should consider making deals with Nintendo for store exclusives. If Walgreens can make a deal to get store exclusive action figures for Marvel Legends and Star Wars Black, it too should consider some sort of store exclusive deal for Amiibos. The store exclusives will essentially act as the hot chase figures of the Amiibo figurine line.
The strategy of store exclusives might agitate fans. However, in the case of Rosalina & Luma, there was clearly a feeding frenzy to obtain the Amiibo figurine. From Nintendo’s standpoint, that is an exciting prospect. It means Nintendo’s products are selling out and selling well. There is a high demand for Amiibos at the moment. Nintendo has clearly stumbled onto something quite special with the Amiibo phenomenon. In short, Nintendo needs to ride this train until it stops.
The Rosalina & Luma Amiibo figurine will be available at Target stores starting in February. Wave three of the Nintendo Amiibo figurines, including Bowser, Toon Link, Sheik, Sonic the Hedgehog, Mega Man, King DeDeDe and Ike, will also hit stores in February. Super Smash Bros. is currently available for the Nintendo Wii U console.