Being an amiibo trainer isn’t easy. Sure, training a Figure Player can be tough in its own right, but actually purchasing an amiibo in the first place is enough of a challenge as-is. A vast majority of the amiibo created for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate are either rare, expensive, or both, which results in amiibo training’s unfortunate reputation of being an expensive hobby. Thankfully, there are other purchasing options available — and today, we’re going to discuss how you could more easily obtain your most wanted amiibo!
Direct from Retail
Of course, new amiibo are always made available for pre-order at stores like Best Buy, GameStop, and Amazon (in the United States, at least). If you’re at all interested in new figurines with pre-orders available, you should secure one even if you wind up cancelling it later. New amiibo usually become quite expensive following their release. For example, the Super Smash Bros. Joker amiibo was released in October 2020 for $15.99 USD; at the time of writing, it’s tough to find a Joker amiibo for any less than $50.
It’s also important to note that Super Smash Bros. amiibo tend to fetch a higher price after their release — particularly on obscure but beloved characters like Ness, Terry, and Banjo & Kazooie. New amiibo from popular franchises such as Super Mario or The Legend of Zelda are generally more well-stocked, so pre-ordering those isn’t quite as necessary as it is with Smash Bros. figurines.
If you’re looking for Animal Crossing figures, you’re in luck — the Animal Crossing series of amiibo is extremely easy to find (specifically the figures, not necessarily the cards). They were released in 2015 alongside Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival, and it seems Nintendo anticipated these figurines to be a smash hit. They were not a smash hit; in fact, so many Animal Crossing amiibo were produced that stores had to sell their unsold stock to discount shops. As a result, most retail locations have either reduced or completely removed their amiibo displays, likely to prevent similar overstocking issues in the future.
The rarity of any particular amiibo depends on where you live. Some characters are more common in certain countries than others, so it’s impossible to say for sure which characters are objectively easy to find. That being said, several amiibo are rare everywhere. At the time of writing, the most elusive Super Smash Bros. figurines include female Corrin, Gold Mega Man, and the Mii Fighters (among many others). If you’re looking to obtain these particular figures, there’s no way around it — they’re going to be expensive.
As a result, then, purchasing these figures new-in-box is going to be a costly endeavor. Your best bet is to try to purchase them used (out of box), if at all possible. eBay and Mercari are reliable marketplaces you can try out if you haven’t done so already; the rare figurines we listed in the last paragraph will still be expensive, but generally speaking, out-of-box amiibo are much cheaper and thus will save you money in the long run.
Your best option for purchasing actual figures could be local second-hand or thrift stores. Most of these establishments aren’t entirely aware that certain amiibo figures are more expensive, so there’s a chance they’ll be selling them for a much more reasonable price. If you’ve got any second-hand stores nearby, it’s worth a look if you have some time to spare.
Custom amiibo Cards & Coins
The image is above was lifted from BigKidToys on Etsy. It’s entirely possible that rare amiibo never get restocked — which means their price tags will only become higher and higher over time. If you are looking for a specific amiibo to train for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, there are actually some non-figurine alternatives you could explore. There are artists on websites like Etsy who create custom amiibo cards and coins. These are essentially NFC tags that have been pre-loaded with the character’s amiibo file, and they’re much lighter on your wallet (in addition to being more portable). And don’t worry — the Nintendo Switch can’t tell if the amiibo being used is a coin or a figure, so there’s no risk of something going wrong if you use one on your console.
The popular Animal Crossing: New Horizons x Sanrio amiibo cards are often sold as custom coins, so if you’re looking to get your hands on the exclusive villagers and furniture these cards bring, your safest option is to look into purchasing coins! They’ll be much cheaper than the expensive price tags you’ll find from scalpers (and you’ll be supporting creators, which is always a good thing). The recent Monster Hunter Rise amiibo figures are also available in card form!
It’s unfortunate that so many amiibo figures are flat-out unobtainable without dropping hundreds of dollars. Over the next few years, it’s entirely possible that certain characters will completely disappear from competitive amiibo training due to lack of stock. If Nintendo were to print official Super Smash Bros. amiibo cards of each character, our metagame would be much better off for it. In the meantime, try your best to find used amiibo figures or custom coins or cards to purchase instead. If you have any questions regarding amiibo prices or purchasing, feel free to join our Discord server and ask. Good luck in your hunt for your favorite amiibo!
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