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Nintendo Not Completely at Fault for Amiibo Scalpers

Earlier this week, Nintendo released an official statement to fans regarding some of the many problems and complaints surrounding the Amiibo figure line. In short, the toys-to-life line of figures for Nintendo has been an outrageous success. However, like the old cliché says, “With more money comes more problems.” Fans have come down hard on Nintendo regarding the trouble with pre-ordering figures from retailers. Certain store exclusive figures sell out quickly. The other major problem is that scalpers buy up the rarest Amiibo characters and then sell those figures online for high, outrageous prices. Scalpers are able to do that with short-packed figures with a small amount shipped per case. Although fan complaints about the line are valid, I think some fans are going too far in blaming Nintendo. I truly believe Nintendo is doing its best in the case of Amiibo.

For one thing, the Amiibo line only launched a few months back. The first wave started shipping in the US in late November 2014. In terms of the toy market, sometimes it takes time for things to adjust, for product to spread around the country and for distributors to re-issue certain figures. It can take months at a time. Did Nintendo perhaps underestimate the market and fandom that would arise for the Amiibo line? Yes, I would say that is fairly accurate. However, it would have been cost-prohibitive and bad for business if Nintendo had produced a much higher supply than the market desired. Then, Nintendo would be left with tons of unsold product and out of a lot of money.

Nintendo should be held responsible for the actions of greedy toy scalpers. Nintendo cannot control how scalpers buy up and sell rare figures. The easy solution is to produce more of that rare item to drive down the scalper price. I truly believe Nintendo will fulfill its promise to reissue certain characters that have been hard to find and are at the root of the scalper issue. I have seen it firsthand. The two Amiibo figures I wanted more than any other were Mega Man and Sonic the Hedgehog from Wave Three. For a while, they were almost impossible to find. It took a couple months, but soon I started seeing Mega Man and Sonic in more stores in droves. My understanding is that Nintendo started reissuing larger qualities of those figures. I could have probably searched eBay or import sites for higher priced versions; but since I had patience, it was not a big deal.

If there is a figure that a fan wants to buy, that fan should have the opportunity to buy it. However, the toy market is a little different than the video game market. Nintendo does need to adjust to those expectations. However, Nintendo is doing its best in this situation. The best solution that can solve a lot of the fan complaints is patience. It is good to make Nintendo aware of these problems, but the constant outrage becomes pointless after a while.

Jeffrey Harris, a pop-culture, entertainment, and video game journalist and aficionado, resides in Los Angeles. He is a staff writer for games, movies/TV, MMA and Wrestling and contributor to and He is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin's Radio, TV, Film program.