Up until now, Nintendo’s near field communication toys – those addictive little figurines known as amiibo – have been mostly limited to the massive Super Smash Bros. set. There are more than 50 characters in the beat-em-up’s roster including the DLC fighters, and the big N said from the get-go that they intended on releasing a unique amiibo for each and every one of them. So far that set has managed to cover 37 characters over four waves of releases, with three more waves left to get out the remainder of the base game fighters.
Since the Smash Bros line-up started its home invasion last November, a couple much smaller sets have made their way into our homes and sucked our wallets dry. The Super Mario series of amiibo only has six characters in it (eight if you include Gold and Silver Mario), while Splatoon‘s got just a trio in its complete set. Setting aside the various hassles, stresses, and complete inability to meet the fan demand for these little interactive toys, Nintendo hasn’t slowed production on new sets and exclusives. Leading up to and during E3 this year they revealed many, many new amiibo for a trove of games. Here’s a look at all the awesome and adorable new amiibo you can expect to either pre-order months in advance or hope to find on eBay for a reasonable gouging before 2015 is over.
We’ll start with what we already knew about. Yoshi’s Woolly World is an adorable looking platformer that makes fun aesthetic use of many assorted amiibo, but alongside the game we’ll be treated to three variants – green, pink, and blue – of actual, knitted Yoshi amiibo. They are the most unique and adorable figures announced thus far, and will serve to make a duplicate Yoshi in-game when you activate one, allowing easier puzzle solving and access to new areas.
The last amiibo we knew of before E3 week was the lone Chibi-Robo. A fairly obscure series in the west due to lacking sales from past games, it’s kind of surprising to see his new game, Chibi-Robo: Zip Lash!, coming stateside. Players can use the Chibi-Robo amiibo to level up the little robot and earn in-game collectibles. The E3 trailer revealed the release date for both the game and accompanying amiibo to be October 9.
Let’s move on to the new stuff, starting with Pixel Mario. Much like the Super Mario series Mario amiibo, which came in two alternate skins of silver and gold, Pixel Mario will be releasing in two forms: Classic Color and Modern Color. These two special amiibo are part of Nintendo’s 30th anniversary celebration for the mustachioed plumber, along with the upcoming Wii U title Super Mario Maker. Both versions of Pixel Mario will launch alongside Super Mario Maker in September.
E3 actually kicked off early for Nintendo, as they hosted a Nintendo Direct-style video before any of the press conferences, detailing all their upcoming content for Super Smash Bros., both digital and physical. That includes the next wave of amiibo, which will wrap up all main fighters that aren’t DLC. This wave consists of the trio of Mii Fighters (Mii Swordsman, Mii Gunner, and Mii Brawler), Falco, Duck Hunt, R.O.B. (which will have feature the Famicom colors in Japan), and Mr. Game & Watch (who comes with 4 interchangeable poses – an amiibo first). They are all slated to release before the end of the year, though oddly enough Falco is the only one of the lot that has a placeholder of “Holiday 2015” as opposed to “Fall 2015” like the rest of them. DLC brawlers Mewtwo, Lucas, Ryu, and Roy have all been confirmed to be receiving the amiibo treatment as well, though they are all slated for 2016 at this time.
The final series to get the royal amiibo treatment is the adorable Animal Crossing. Nintendo announced the franchise’s first title for Wii U at E3, titled Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival. It will be a free-to-download game, and the first truly amiibo-centric title yet released. Though you can download the game for free, you cannot play without at least one amiibo. Luckily they’re bringing out six lovely and familiar faces to function with amiibo Festival: Isabelle, K. K. Slider, Tom Nook, Mabel, Cyrus, Reese, Digby, and Lottie. Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival and its eight compatible amiibo are set to release this holiday season. That’s not the end of Animal Crossing amiibo news, however…
The previously announced Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, for the 3DS, will be the first game to utilize amiibo cards. You’ll need to purchase a special card reader (which undoubtedly means we’ll see more such cards for future titles) to use them, but Nintendo is claiming that there will be more than one hundred amiibo cards for Happy Home Designer alone. No doubt this will reel in fans of collectible card games, as 3-card booster packs will be available for purchase in addition to the handful that come packaged with the game. Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer and the respective amiibo card packs launch September 25.
BONUS ROUND! In a surprising move, Nintendo and Activision have partnered up to make new Donkey Kong and Bowser amiibo (yes they are, in fact, amiibo) specially for the upcoming Skylanders SuperChargers. The Turbo Charged Donkey Kong and Hammerslam Bowser (which come with the Barrel Blaster and Clown Cruiser vehicles respectively) bases can be twisted to work with either the NFC readers for Nintendo consoles or the Skylanders board, and as a bonus they will also be able to hold save data for both modes. Handy! Skylanders SuperChargers launches September 20.
So there you have it; that’s the current extent of Nintendo’s plans for amiibo through to the end of 2015. They’re a bit all over the place, what with the figures, cards, crossovers, and single figure variants, but you’ve got to give them credit. For all the bumps along the way, the company certainly has a lot of faith in the continuing success of amiibo. What do you think? Are they going overboard? Do you plan on picking up any of these? All of these? State your case for or against in the comments!