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!