Allow me to begin by saying I have never owned an amiibo.
No really, I haven’t. I had never felt the pull to buy any of them, for in-game use or for collecting.
When the Dr. Mario amiibo was announced a while back, I was instantly conflicted. I adore Dr. Mario. I didn’t even care what the amiibo did in what game. I just wanted that figure.
In a big, polyvinyl way.
Or whatever they are made out of.
Anyway, I started to look into where I would have to place a pre-order and when. I knew it was releasing in September, but I didn’t know which of the umpteen retailers would sell my prize. So I started doing some research. And I mean, I probably spent about an hour reading through articles and forums just trying to get a hold on where this guy would show up.
It was then that I really started to think about why I wanted this. Why did I want this? If I wasn’t going to use it in a game, it would essentially be a collectible figure. Do I need one of those? The older I get, the less physical items I try to buy. Sometimes I fail at this, but I still try.
I also thought about Nintendo’s poor handling of the overall amiibo situation. They have to be aware of the grey market on these things. So even if I did decide to buy one, who’s to say I would even be able to get my hands on one for less than a grillion dollars?
Once I started thinking about it in these terms, I felt less excited about it. I don’t need a collectible. I don’t have any games (that I’m aware of) that I could use it in. I have little space for figures and dusting is a drag. What am I doing spending so much time trying to figure out where to buy a plastic representation of my fond and nostalgic (fondtalgic?) memories?
It was at this point that I realized the amiibo train will have to leave the station without me. I can’t imagine spending any more time (or money) on a search for a product that I may never see and certainly don’t need.
My hope, and I mean this sincerely, is that Nintendo takes steps to get the amiibo people want into their hands without going through a third party. Dr. Mario (and his polyvinyl friends) may not be for me, but I know there are people out there who love and diligently collect these, and I don’t blame them a bit; amiibo are wonderfully adorable. They appear well-made. But they are also part of a larger problem that Nintendo has addressed, but not remedied.
So between my attempts to stave off my consumerism and my concerns for how Nintendo is doing business, I realized something, and I actually realized this as I was thinking about writing this piece: I don’t need a little plastic Dr. Mario. I have three versions of Dr. Mario on my 3DS and those are just fine for me.
I will satisfy myself with my musty old memories, and new high scores on Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure (which I just downloaded today!). I am all about experiences, and this stands in supplication of that.
On that note, let’s take one last look at our plastic friend. And I have a question: does anyone else out there struggle with various video game-related purchases? How do you decide what you will, and will not, buy?
Have a safe weekend!
I think I’ve basically settled into a “wait and see groove”. If I wait to purchase a new game until I am actually ready to play it, I’ll likely get it at a discount and most, if not all, of the bugs will be patched out. I’m not nearly so drawn to pre-orders anymore for the same reason, those bonuses will be available to me at a later time. Even if there is cost associated with that it should be offset by the reduced price of the game anyway.
The part I really struggle with is the figures that are often part of the collector’s editions. If I already know I want the game because it’s part of a franchise that has made home in my heart (Uncharted, Arkham, etc.) and it comes with a really cool figurine for the shelf in the man cave, I usually cave (not sure how I feel about that alliteration, or if that’s the proper use of the word “alliteration”).
I guess the answer is, if it will look cool enough on the shelf or I really want to wear it, I’ll buy. I’ve already had to stop picking up posters that look great because of the large stack that are still waiting for frames and hanging…
i think that’s a really smart approach. it’s one i TRY to adhere to. :) certain games (like until dawn and tearaway unfolded) will get pre-ordered as i can’t wait to play them until a later time.
and hey, that’s your prerogative! if you want to own it and look at it, by jove, then you shall! but i totally understand about posters. sometimes there just isn’t enough wall space.
I totally agree with you about the whole amiibo situation and as for video game purchases I wouldn’t say I struggle with it,I just buy what I think I’ll like.
hey, i like the low key approach! :)
It’s really just like any other knickknack for me. I have a Link amiibo, and I like to look at it every now and then. I think it looks cool, and I’ve never even used it for my Super Smash Bros. game. I might end up buying more in the future, or I might not. I like to buy t-shirts and stuff like that occasionally to represent my particular love for all things video game, but it all really just boils down to taste. Yes, I will often stand in the store for a dozen minutes or so, agonizing over whether I really want it or not, but I’ve never really felt any kind of buyer’s remorse after the fact. There’s really no shame for buying things you don’t need.
that makes sense to me, too. and i also love my t-shirts! i am actually unsure how many totoro t-shirts i have. :)