All the amiibo I bought in 2017 and how they have cursed me
Since 2014, I’ve had an amiibo problem. I know that these plastic Nintendo figures, cool though they are, don’t deserve the devotion I have given them; I have not even played Smash Bros in over a year, yet they line a shelf in my home, watching over me as I play, occasionally coming out to grant me an extra costume or a small bonus in whatever I’m playing. At 30 years old, I feel ridiculous about how much I have spent on these things. They haunt me.
I write this piece, in part, to get some financial return on my ridiculous over-investment, but also so that when I’m browsing over ‘Wario w/ New Hat’ next year I can take a breath, pull out my phone, re-read this list, and reconsider.
Callie and Marie
Let me level with you. I like Splatoon a lot, but I have forgotten which squid sister is which. All I know is that I saw the double-pack for sale, thought ‘oh, I haven’t seen that for sale in a while,’ and bought it. Is that a normal thing to do? Do people usually have a better reason for buying things than that? I feel like they must.
For the money I spent on these amiibo, I could have bought an actual squid. Alive or dead, it doesn’t matter. It could have been my friend, or it could have been food. I could have stuffed it all in my mouth at once, like Oldboy, its tentacles slapping away at my face, reminding me that I am alive and in control of my own destiny.
To be honest, I really like the Splatoon 2 amiibo on a design level. This squid looks very cool. Did I load up the amiibo stand in Splatoon 2 and tap the squid for a bonus? I certainly did. Do I remember what that bonus was? Not at all.
Splatoon 2 Squid Lad
Why did I buy so many Splatoon amiibo this year? Did these ones do anything different from the other ones I already had? I didn’t even have to pay for those older Splatoon models; they came with my review copy of the original Splatoon. Review copies no longer come with amiibo, because they know how badly they’ve got me. They know that I agonized over the figures that released this year but aren’t on this list. They know that I picked up the Goomba and thought to myself ‘do I want this little brown lump?
Splatoon 2 Squid Lass
The only solace I can take from this is that the review of Splatoon 2 I wrote for Zam made me slightly more money than I spent on these things.
Link, but he’s firing an arrow this time
Look. There are ten different versions of Link available in amiibo form now, and I own four of them. I umm’d and ahh’d over buying the Majora’s Mask version too, which I don’t think unlocks anything of any value in any games, but thankfully it sold out everywhere. I bought this one because I loved Breath of the Wild so much that I just wanted to own a thing that looked like the guy in it, which, fair enough, past me. It’s a very good game. I used it several times to unlock extra items in the game, although come to think of it I don’t know that it ever gave up anything particularly rare.
Guardian from Zelda
The Guardian is some sort of premium model, because Nintendo has slowly realized, over time, that they can basically just call anything an amiibo. It doesn’t need to be a small figure -- it can be a slightly bigger figure. Maybe that figure is made from yarn. Maybe that yarn figure… is really big. You can charge more for that, too.
Maybe the amiibo is actually a card. Maybe there are over 300 of them, each with a different Animal Crossing villager stamped on the front.
And then, of course, one day a box of cereal is an amiibo. A box of cereal that you know local collectors kind of want, even though it’s not available in Australia, where you live. You know that people are going to pay a premium for this rubbish cereal, and they’re not going to eat it, they’re going to tap the box to their controller and feel a bit empty when Mario collects his few coins, their own bank accounts having been emptied by the purchase. You wonder what you would do if you saw this cereal in a local import store. You know the answer but refuse to let it into your heart.
The Guardian is cool, though. Good design.
Bayonetta (original model)
‘Finally,’ I thought, ‘a character that I truly love.’ She sits now on my shelf, nestled in-between some other classics, like the Wii Fit Trainer, Mr Game and Watch, uhhh, what’s-his-face from Xenoblade Chronicles. All the classics.
Bayonetta (sequel model)
I never actually finished Bayonetta 2, for some reason, but this plastic ode to the eponymous witch’s cool new haircut still sits atop my shelf. I think about plugging my Wii U back in, putting Smash Bros in, and getting my two Bayonetta to fight one another, sometimes. I could be like a digital cockfighter who has, in their later, beer-soaked years, lost track of the reason why they were making the chickens fight and has come to view it as pure sport.
I would be hard pressed to name a single Fire Emblem character who made less of an impact on me than Corrin. The figurine’s not bad, even though it looks absolutely nothing like my Corrin, and it doesn’t work with the three Fire Emblem games that she features in. So look, amiibo is good, and it’s a good thing that I bought this.
Cloud (FF7 version)
Recently I had a lady over on a date. I had alluded to having these figurines, gently telling her to brace for the fact that I’m actually quite nerdy, but I had not explained how many of them I had. They went unmentioned the entire time she was at my house, but in my head I found myself thinking ‘does she see the amiibo? She must, right? What does she make of all that? How am I projecting out into the world? Are these… reasonable thoughts to be having? Just how much do I love Nintendo? How comfortable am I, with the things I’m passionate about? Oh, shit, should I be seeing a therapist?’ Dating is difficult.
This squishy little creep will do something in Metroid: Samus Returns, if I let him. But if I’m being honest, Samus Returns mostly just made me want to revisit Metroid Fusion, which I do not have time to do, because there are just too many damn games that need playing. There is no escape from the senseless march forward. The Metroid, despite being a lovely little amiibo, is a constant reminder that I cannot find time to breathe.
I thought it would be cool to have Waluigi as an office pal. He sits on top of my computer, his rictus grin and gripped fist standing as a testament to his stoic attitude. ‘Waaallluigiiii!’ I can imagine him enthusiastically shouting.
Sometimes he calls to me in my sleep in that same voice. I find, in the morning, that he has moved slightly, subtlety; not enough that I can make a big deal about it, mere inches over weeks. His grin is fading, now, into a taut grimace.
I wonder if it is healthy to have him looking over me as I type these words now. I wonder why his feet curve upwards the way that they do. I’m not even sure if he actually works with any games or not.
I don’t think I want Waluigi to be a part of my life anymore.
Daruk, the Goron from Breath of the Wild
Daruk is a very good boy. I love him. No regrets here.