Nintendo’s entry into the ‘toys-to-life’ market is nearly upon us; the company announced today that it would release its first set of 12 NFC-enabled Amiibo will be available from November 21, along with Super Smash Bros for Wii U, the first game to support the toys.
Nintendo’s initial lineup of Amiibo toys reflects its strong roster of characters to draw from in order to attract buyers – Mario, Peach, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Link, Samus, Pikachu and Kirby are all on board, along with a few others you might not recognize, including ‘Wii Fit Trainer,’ which is just weird enough to be a Nintendo move, through and through.
As with toys-to-life figures made by other companies, Nintendo’s Amiibo line will feature two-way communication with the console, with levelling and stat improvements recorded back to the toys as progress is made in-game. This should mean that when you bring your Mario over to your friend’s house to play their Mario in Super Smash Bros., you have different combat abilities, strengths and weaknesses, making for more in-game variety.
Nintendo has also said these toys will carry their attributes across games, with other titles, including the upcoming Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and Mario Party 10 supporting their use. Amiibos will also get backwards compatibility with titles already available, including Mario Kart 8, but no details around when that update will be made available have been announced yet.
Super Smash Bros for Wii U is another console-selling title for Nintendo, which could very much use some console sales. The Amiibo, too, might be a great way for it to build a recurring revenue stream; Skylanders and Disney Infinity have done wonders for Activision-Blizzard and Disney Interactive, respectively. A second wave of Amiibo is already planned for a December launch to take advantage of holiday shopping fervor, with more favorites including Zelda, Diddy Kong, Luigi, Little Mac, Pit and Captain Falcon.