Nearly 10 years after it first began, my unreasonable obsession with Nintendo's amiibo can finally stop

A photo of the Sora amiibo for Super Smash Bros.
(Image credit: Rollin Bishop)

I cannot believe after nearly 10 years and 95* individual amiibo, the Super Smash Bros. line of Nintendo's admittedly middling toys-to-life endeavor is ending with the release of Sora, the last DLC character for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, today. At least for now, anyway. But more than that, I cannot believe I have 73 of those. I, uh, really hesitate to do the math on that one, but I've yet to buy any of them at marked-up second hand prices, so that's some small comfort. Even if Sora happens to be the last Super Smash Bros. amiibo ever, however, I can honestly say I have no regrets.

Amiibo are, if you've somehow managed to avoid them for the last decade, little toy figures that can be used with the built-in NFC readers on Nintendo's most recent consoles to do… relatively minor things. You can unlock various equipment in the latest Zeldas, for example, with related amiibo. The Super Smash Bros. line is maybe the most involved as you could actually "train" your amiibo and have digital versions of them actually fight in the game with the figure keeping track of how it'd been trained and so on.

What's in the box

Best 3DS games - Super Smash Bros. for 3DS

(Image credit: Nintendo)

It's a neat concept, but hasn't really expanded beyond that terribly much. Animal Crossing allows new villagers to come visit via amiibo, but that's about it when it comes to the actual complexity of what they actually do. In retrospect, the whole initiative is a bit disappointing in terms of actual mechanics and impact. I hesitate to speculate about what Nintendo could or should have done, but there's no denying the reality that the way they have actually been used is lackluster at best.

That's not to say I regret my time or money spent. Even in the depths of retailer-exclusive amiibo hell, tracking down folks to trade with while waiting for reissues that might never come, there's been a simple joy to it for me. I've liked collecting these little bits of ephemera. For roughly a decade, there was always more to come, something new to physically hunt or a design to thoroughly inspect.

As for why I started doing this in the first place, I'm honestly not sure. At the time, I think I was intrigued by Nintendo officially getting into the Skylanders-adjacent business, and I've always loved Super Smash Bros. as a franchise. I think it seemed to me that, if Nintendo was going to do amiibo for all of the fighters, the least I could do was personally enshrine them myself. (All 73 are sealed; I've never willingly opened an amiibo for non-work reasons. My coworker calls this a disease that we share.)

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And to be clear, there's every indication that Nintendo will continue releasing amiibo here and there. It seems unlikely that the company will ever commit to the scale of the Super Smash Bros. line again, but reissues and new first-party amiibo seem easy enough to predict as being on the horizon. A slow, inconsistent drip of little figures for as long as Nintendo desires. If there's a new major Zelda, expect more Link amiibo.

But then again, maybe not. Super Mario Bros. Wonder managed to come and go without any associated amiibo, and if you'd asked me prior to its release whether there would be at least one, I'd have sworn up and down there would. On the other hand, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 did manage to eventually get a double pack, so. Whatever Nintendo's big overarching goal for amiibo is – assuming there is one – I couldn't possibly say.

What I can say is my hunt is over. My watch, such as it was, has ended. In the immortal words of Frodo Baggins, it's done. I'll probably still pick up amiibo here and there going forward, but never again with the same fervor. Whatever the next 10 years hold for Nintendo and amiibo, it seems fair to assume that it won't be the same as the last. My concluding obsession will have to simply stand as a testament to the past, my arguably foolish youth, and a frankly obscene discretionary budget that I will absolutely never again have.

*Look, the Mega Man Gold Edition amiibo just… isn't really part of the Super Smash Bros. line. That's my stance, and I'm sticking to it.


Regardless of whether they have associated amiibo, it's still worth checking out the best Nintendo Switch games to play.

Rollin Bishop
US Managing Editor

Rollin is the US Managing Editor at GamesRadar+. With over 16 years of online journalism experience, Rollin has helped provide coverage of gaming and entertainment for brands like IGN, Inverse, ComicBook.com, and more. While he has approximate knowledge of many things, his work often has a focus on RPGs and animation in addition to franchises like Pokemon and Dragon Age. In his spare time, Rollin likes to import Valkyria Chronicles merch and watch anime.