Some news recently leaked online (via NeoGAF) regarding the potential upcoming release of possible variant editions for the Nintendo Amiibo line. Basically, some images and product certificates were leaked online for silver and gold editions of Mario Amiibo figurines for the Super Mario wave of Amiibo figures. This is the new wave of figures produced for the Mario Party 10 video game that is due out next month. The release plan or availability for the figures are unclear. It is unknown whether these will be store exclusives, limited edition chase figures or something else. The production of variant Amiibo such as this is a shrewd move on the part of Nintendo, and a smart one as well.
At the very least, the existence of these images proves that Nintendo knows that it has stumbled onto something huge with the Amiibo craze. When a business or corporation is able to tap into something like the Amiibo, fad or not, that business has to essentially milk it for all its worth. Even if Nintendo eventually kills the Amiibo craze by capitalizing on the popularity of the figurines, such is the nature of business.
Would I personally be interested in obtaining gold and silver editions of Mario Amiibos? No, I would not. However, the huge fanbase of hardcore Nintendo fans, consumers, Amiibo buyers, Nintendo memorabilia collectors, and most likely toy scalpers will eat these up. Amiibo are in hot demand at the moment. The total earnings of Amiibo in 2014 were more than twice the earnings for the Super Smash Bros. game in the same year. So, Nintendo can meet the high demand for Amiibos. It would be foolish for Nintendo not to seize the opportunity created by this craze. Right now, Amiibos are a license to print money.
Does Nintendo run the risk of killing the craze with the variants? Yes; that is also a possibility. However, that does not mean they should not release variants. If people are willing to trip over themselves and do whatever it takes to buy a Gold and/or silver variant of a Super Mario Amiibo, that is great news for Nintendo. As long as Nintendo does not overestimate or over-produce the Amiibos, it should not be a problem. Until then, Nintendo should be thinking of crazy strategies for Amiibo release, including hard-to-find variants and limited editions. Basically, Nintendo should be riding the Amiibo craze until it no longer becomes viable. The Amiibo craze is the lottery ticket for Nintendo right now, and it is smart business to cash it in.