If a weekend of hunting for rare amiibo figures has taught me anything, it’s that Nintendo’s charming plastic figurines have created something of a vacuum in the world of video game consumerism. If you’re trying to find a specific amiibo, you’re almost certainly more likely to find a lack of it than a healthy stock on a store shelf.
I will say that if you’re looking for Mario, Donkey Kong, Peach, or Kirby, you should have very little trouble getting your hands on the amiibo you want. I’ve seen stacks and stacks of these at every place I’ve looked so far.
However, the ones that are the hardest to find right now are Marth, Wii Fit Trainer, and the Villager from Animal Crossing. In fact, there are rampant rumors that those three might no longer be manufactured, and eBay prices are already beginning to soar. To make matters worse, Nintendo claims that they probably won’t be releasing another run of “less popular” characters (though they might make the amiibo functionality work on cards in the future, which would certainly be less expensive to produce).
A new series was launched more recently, which includes Pit, Zelda, Captain Falcon, Diddy Kong, Little Mac, and Luigi. While I’ve heard reports of Luigi being difficult to track down, I’m pretty sure this is because of a shipping error rather than an actual shortage, as one of the Best Buys I stopped at had a sign explaining that they weren’t expecting to have any in stock until the end of December. Pit, however, is nearly impossible to find already, and Little Mac is disappearing really fast as well. I have my money on those two being the rarest of series 2. Of course, Diddy is already getting pretty hard to find, and I’ve even heard of people having trouble finding Princess Zelda. So you might want to just snap up all of series 2 as quickly as you can.
In the third series, which is coming out in February of 2015, there are some store exclusives. Best Buy is getting Meta Knight, GameStop is getting Shulk from Xenoblade Chronicles, Target is getting Rosalina and Luma from Super Mario Galaxy, and Toys R Us is supposed to be getting Lucario from Pokémon, though there are doubts as to whether Toys R Us will follow through with this. Either way, I have a feeling that all of these are going to be really hard to come by if you don’t pre-order them right away.
Additionally, since Mega Man always gets the shaft, I have a feeling his amiibo, which is also coming in series 3, will ship in an incredibly small run. Thankfully I’ve got mine pre-ordered already.
The absolute rarest of the rare are the amiibo that shipped with factory defects. A legless Princess Peach sold on eBay for $25,000, which perhaps makes it the Holy Grail for amiibo collectors. Other rare defects include a double-arm-cannon Samus (which sold on eBay for $2,500) and a dual-wielding Marth. If you can get your hands on a similar defect, you could earn yourself some serious cash or serious bragging rights.
I really don’t know how to feel about all this. On one hand, it’s kind of fun chasing down the rarest figures on the market. On the other, it seems like just about every amiibo Nintendo produces is only available in a painfully small quantity, which is leaving a lot of fans just flat-out amiibo-less this holiday season. And that’s kind of a shame.
One ray of hope for those still on the prowl: a user called Dubiono on the r/amiibo subreddit has posted a spreadsheet with information on where to find the rare amiibo you’re looking for. I wish you the best of luck!
Update: Nintendo announced that the Marth amiibo is getting a reprint later this year.