Head of Consumer Marketing Admits amiibo Expectations Smashed

Sold out pre-orders, lack of stock, bizarre issues with supply and orders… the launch and rise of amiibo hasn’t been smooth, but that hasn’t stopped Nintendo fans from still trying to grab the figure for their favorite character or source the rare figures wherever they can be found.

Nintendo has been aware of this for some time, but when MCV interviewed Nintendo UK head of consumer marketing James Honeywell, he admitted that Nintendo was caught by surprise at just how much people loved amiibo:

Right from the outset we hoped that amiibo would be strong, but even our expectations have been smashed. With a unique line-up of iconic characters that are loved by so many people, it really has been unprecedented.

We hope to do a better job of satisfying these needs in the future with more stock, and, while there are always going to be some times when we can’t on certain characters, I suspect that is also part of the appeal.

What we hadn’t anticipated was the number of collectors wanting to get them all – this has seen demand exceed supply in some areas. Although, if you search around, you can still find some of the more hard-to-find Amiibo sitting on shelves.”

And of course we’ve also heard from Nintendo in recent months that they’re doing what they can to bring certain high-demand figures back on the shelves—but whether that actually makes visible difference remains to be seen.

Honeywell also spoke about the figures’ core audience, and how it’s not just a game and collectible for kids:

From what we’ve seen the core audience for amiibo at the moment are our older fanbase who have the love and disposable income to get in first, but increasingly with the launch of new amiibo compatible titles like Mario Party 10 with the Super Mario Classic range and upcoming titles like Splatoon, we are now starting to see younger fans buying into the unique gaming experiences on offer. We hope this will continue to grow throughout the year and will culminate at peak with lots of kids asking for their own amiibo. They really are the perfect stocking-fillers.”

That said, the competition this holiday season will be at an all-time high for the toys-to-life genre, especially now that LEGO Dimensions is entering the playing field. Will there be enough room for everyone to have a slice of the NFC toy pie?

Competition always helps grow desire for new products categories and I’m sure that having amazing new products from LEGO and existing offerings will do so again. I’m sure it will give our retail partners some headaches in trying to find enough space on shelf but they are very experienced in this sort of thing, so it should be a bumper Christmas.”

One thing is for certain—it’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out in the second half of this year.


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Author: Dave View all posts by
Dave will tell you that he likes to play video games, this is in fact a lie. What he really likes to do is buy games, and leaving them sitting unopened on his shelf. He is a monster.

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