Amiibo collecting has been a quixotic endeavor for American gamers. Ive been grumbling for about a year that I couldnt find a Ness Amiibo anywhere. I couldnt find Marth, either. The fact that I got a Mega Man is slightly miraculous, and my discovery of two Wii Fit Trainer Amiibos at a Best Buy in July was remarkable. Basically, its been really hard to find certain Amiibos.
Yeah, I could get them from Amazon or eBay for $20 to $25, or pick them up at a store like Image Anime or Video Games New York for $40, but thats not collecting. Thats quitting the hunt and settling for a box of White Castle burgers from the supermarket freezer section.I finally found Ness and Marth at retail, and all it took was going to another continent. Ive discovered the secret to finding Amiibos, and its going across a freaking ocean.
Im in Berlin for IFA 2015, a technology trade show. I had some free time, so I went to Aleksanderplatz to do some shopping. There, at Saturn (German Best Buy) and Media Markt (also German Best Buy), I found Ness and Marth and Pit and King Dedede and Captain Falcon and Shulk and Olimar and Dr. Mario and Lucario and Villager and Rosalina.
Look at this display from Media Markt. Its a rainbow of Amiibo. Its a Rainmiibo. A full third of these are nearly impossible to find at retail in the United States. Its amazing.To be fair, these are EUR 15 each, which makes them about $17 rather than the $13 they should be in North America. Of course, these Amiibos actually exist and can be found in stores in Germany, so the trade-off is pretty worthwhile.
Nintendo of America is still very weird with Amiibos, though maybe the upcoming Yarn Yoshi Amiibos will be a bit more sanely and transparently distributed. Im not holding my breath, though. On this side of the Atlantic, it seems like Amiibo collecting is about feast or famine. You luck out and get the rare ones you want, or you accept the dozens of Luigis and Toads warming the pegs in every store you can reach. Of course, if you dont want to cross an ocean or get stuck with Luigi, you can always emulate the things, but we know, thats not nearly satisfying when youre collecting.
Now Im going to try to spend the rest of this trip not going back to Aleksanderplatz to get Pit and Rosalina and Villager, because I dont want to be a freaking international Amiibo mule (sorry, friends of mine; limited luggage space), and if I spend more than 100 euros on little Nintendo figures that still dont really do much (though they do unlock costumes in Super Mario Maker, which is the closest thing to being worth it I can think of), Im going to have to reconsider my life choices even more uncomfortably than usual.