Toy Story

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Now Playing – Dragon Age: Inquisition


This week Nintendo is releasing their line of Amiibo figurines in stores across the country. Amiibo use NFC (near field communication) to interact with WiiU titles in a variety of ways. They are also overpriced, useless hunks of plastic that are meant to suck your hard earned cash from you by playing off of your nostalgia for classic Nintendo characters.

And I want every single one of them.

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This isn’t something I’m particularly proud of but it’s the truth. No matter how much I might tell myself that I don’t want them (and I certainly don’t NEED them) I know what’s going to happen. I know deep down inside that one day I’m going to be at Target shopping for Pull-Ups and apple juice and I’ll wander past the gaming aisle and there they’ll be staring back at me. I’ll see Link or Mega Man or maybe it’ll be Samus. And I know I won’t be able to resist them.

At this point I’m not even sure what the main functionality of an Amiibo is! I’ve read explanations and watched Nintendo’s own videos but I’m still a little confused. The one game that supports all of the figures is Super Smash Bros. and from what I understand you can level up your Amiibo by scanning it and using that character in combat. But to what end? Scanning a character doesn’t unlock that fighter so I’m not sure what the point is. Do you get special abilities only available if you’re using an Amiibo? Or is it just so that I can take my leveled up character to a friends house to do battle? And the costumes you unlock in Mario Kart 8 and the items you get in Hyrule Warriors are hardly very exciting. So there really isn’t any appealing use to these things so far as I can tell.

But then why do I have such an urge to pick them up? Why do I NEED these things? I suppose it could be because when I was growing up in the 80’s, despite the huge popularity of Nintendo I don’t recall there being very much in the way of toys or merchandise. Even today besides the occasional line of Super Mario figures there really isn’t much in the way of toys for kids to buy. You might say “But John, you’re a 37 year old man. What do you need with toys anyway?” To which I would say “Shut up. I just do.

I tried a different tactic and  kept pointing out to my daughter that these are coming out soon in the hopes that she’ll decide she really wants them for Christmas. But that didn’t seem to work and I’m pretty sure that my wife is seeing right through that strategy.

I’m holding out hope that maybe they have some master plan with an amazing open world game that uses the Amiibo to unlock all of these playable characters that can run around and interact in cool ways similar to what Disney Infinity does. In the meantime I’ll try and stay strong and keep my head down when I walk past them at the store. But I know it’s only a matter of time before I fold like a cheap suit. Man, they are gonna look wicked cool sitting on my shelf.

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