Have you ever felt the need to take playing with your Amiibo to the next level? Do you have strong feelings for dioramas? Do you live in Japan? If you answered yes to all of these, Nintendo has great news for you. On April 28, Nintendo will be releasing official dioramas themed around Kirby’s Dreamworld and the Battlefield stage from Super Smash Bros.
Each Diorama kit will retail for 864 yen, or just over $10 CAD. They look to be able to house four or five Amiibo at a time, as well as some game-inspired props such as the Smash Ball or the Maxim Tomato.
It is currently unknown whether these diorama kits will be released outside of Japan, but for my wallet’s sake, I pray they don’t.
Currently, there aren’t a lot of options to display Nintendo’s toys-to-life characters, despite the massive demand for the toys. The only display readily available in stores is the End Level Display, a plastic stand based on the end of a Super Mario level.
Amiibo have been incredibly successful. So much so, in fact, that Nintendo hasn’t been able to produce enough figures to keep up with the demand. It’s not unusual to find people camped outside an EB Games to grab the newest Nintendo characters, most of which triple their retail value – or more - upon being sold out in stores.
"Our consumers have been inconvenienced by stock shortages on some of the figures in our Amiibo lineup," late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said when addressing the issue in 2015. "We have increased production for Amiibo figures that have sold out very quickly after launch, that are indispensable to play a certain game and for which we have received strong demand from retailers and consumers. However, we are very sorry that we can't promise at what point we will likely be able to resolve the current situation because figures such as these require a considerable amount of time to produce, store shelf space is limited and it is difficult to precisely predict the exact amount of overall demand."
Nintendo had shipped about 21 million Amiibo figures by the end of 2015. With more figures being launched, coupled with the growing number of games compatible with Amiibo, the Amiibo craze certainly won't die down anytime soon. They’re sort of like this generation’s Beanie Babies – but let’s hope people don’t get quite as insane over Amiibo.
The North American market is clearly the prime target for Amiibo, and should be treated as such. It would be a huge misstep for Nintendo not to release these dioramas in North America, because Wii would like to play, too. In fact, Wii want to play even more than Japan does, according to Nintendo’s financial reports.
Surprisingly, Amiibo have been especially successful in North America, with the American market being the most significant for Amiibo sales in the world. The U.S. market accounted for 60 per cent of all Amiibo sales, with Europe amassing 20 per cent and the Japanese market at only 11 per cent. At the end of 2015, Nintendo reported that Amiibo figures generated 204.1 billion yen, or just under 2.5 billion CAD between April 1st and September 30
2015. 71 per cent of which were outside of Japan.
These dioramas are cute, and a great accessory-for-an-accessory. While there is no scheduled North American release, the dioramas will be available on April 28 in Japan. If Nintendo’s financial reports are any indication, it’s a safe bet to say that people in North America will be camping out to grab the dioramas when they inevitably launch here as well.