What amiibo shortage?

The last couple of times I’ve popped into GAME, I’ve been surprised at just how many amiibo are in stock. It seems that Nintendo have firmly delivered on their promise back in May to increase amiibo production. I saw all sorts of previously rare amiibo on my visits to GAME stores in Walthamstow and Edinburgh, including Greninja, Game and Watch dude and tonnes of others.

Amiibo stand in Walthamstow GAME, mid-October.
Amiibo stand in Walthamstow GAME, mid-October.

After months and months of amiibo shortages, the sight of an amiibo stand packed full to bursting with the little blighters almost sent me into a frenzy. I’ve long since convinced myself that I don’t really need the likes of Duck Hunt Dog or Captain Olimar, but when I saw them dangling there,  RIPE FOR THE PICKING, I very nearly just grabbed them and dashed towards the shop counter, credit card waving in the air.

But I didn’t. Luckily I managed to wrestle my inner child to the floor with a Self-Control TaserTM and walked briskly from the shop.

However, one amiibo that did manage to sneak past Self-Control’s formidable (yet negotiable) defences was R.O.B.


I pre-ordered the little fella a few months back, and he plopped through my doorstep several weeks ago, although I didn’t think to note the occasion at the time. Look at the wee scamp! He’s got a tiny On-Off switch and everything!


I’m particularly impressed with the detail on this one. Amiibos really are lovely little things, aren’t they? Having said that, my living room is beginning to resemble a toy shop, so I’m choosing my future purchases carefully – next on the list is Roy, due for release next year.


It seems that amiibo have been a huge success for Nintendo, with more than 21 million sold so far. Interestingly, more than half of those sales were made in the US, which leads me to wonder what the amiibo stock situation is like stateside. So, dear American readers, is it easy enough to buy amiibo over there now? Or are there still chronic shortages?


  1. I thought the very same thing recently, given the abundance of all sorts of amiibo on store shelves. Even Yarn Yoshi, the cute little fella, is relatively easy to find down here.

    The bubble has burst, it would seem. I wonder how those poor bastards that paid a mint on eBay for some of the more rare amiibo are feeling right now…

    1. But has the bubble burst, or has the supply simply increased to match the demand?

      More intriguingly, by increasing supply, has Nintendo made amiibos less desirable and therefore will sell less of them? Or will it sell more because, well, people can actually find them to buy now?

      1. You’ve had me drawing demand-supply diagrams in my head.

        So what you’re describing is ‘prestige pricing’, and noting the underlying assumption that consumers are rational, it doesn’t exist in economics only in marketing gobbledygook. Effectively you’re describing a demand curve that is concave.

        And a shift to the right of the demand curve is, in fact, still the bubble bursting.

        On the issue of desirability though, what you’ve effectively seen is a degree of price discrimination (albeit at the secondary market level), where sellers have been able to capture the entirety of the consumer surplus. That’s what auctions effectively do – although the design of said auction does impact that.

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