Struggling to find the amiibo you’re looking for is not a new story, as it was still happening as wave 4 pre-orders began last week. Some customers have criticized Nintendo for their handling of the situation and the amount of stock they have supplied to stores, with some going as far to claim they are creating an artificial shortage to increase demand.
One customer, Brian Nelson, contacted Nintendo’s customer service directly regarding the problem and sent a copy of his conversation with a representative to Game Informer, who seemed to point the finger of blame to the stores.
Nelson wrote the following:
I would just like to express my disappointment with your handling of amiibo support, instead of taking preorders and making a supply to match, you have purposely created a shortage of characters and now games with features large amounts of players will never be able to access. Disney and activision have no problem assuring their customers get their toys to life figures.
There’s no reason I should have had to wait in line for hours at gamestop yesterday, been the only customer in line and still have to walk away without the amiibo I wanted, you’ve known of the demand since wave one and still refuse to keep up with the demand for products. Why even make a product you have no desire to make sure people who want can get. You advertise compatible amiibo feature with games, yet don’t produce enough for people to even use them in the compatibile software. I hope you see the error of you production currently and offer some sort of solution soon.
The customer service representative responded to Nelson with an apology but failed to include specific details about the situation.
Thank you for writing. I apologize for the delay in our reply. I’m sorry to hear of your disappointment with the availability and distribution of amiibo, and would like you to know that we have documented and shared your concerns with the relevant departments here at Nintendo.
Additionally, I’d like to convey that we are aware of the popularity of amiibo and continually aim to always have a regular supply of amiibo in the marketplace. As stated previously, certain sold-out amiibo may return to your local retailer at a later stage. We apologize for any inconvenience you are experiencing now, and thank you in advance for your continued patience in this matter.
Nelson responded questioning the ability to find amiibo that are particular to unlocking special features in games, including the compatible amiibo for Kirby and the Rainbow Curse (King Dedede, Meta Knight) and Code Name S.T.E.A.M (Fire Emblem Characters). The representative said the following, placing the blame elsewhere:
While this may not be the answer you were hoping for, all of the issues you’re describing are retailer related. Nintendo has no input on when or how retailers sell our products, if or when new products are stocked, or when and how the retailer takes pre-orders. These decisions are made by retailers at the administration level. If you have concerns about these kinds of issues, we can only recommend contacting your retailer.
It may interest you to learn that Nintendo doesn’t ship products directly to retail locations. We take orders from distributors (who sell our products and products from other companies), and ship our products to their distribution centers. The distributors then take orders from retailers and ship these orders to the retailers’ merchandise centers. Once there, the retailers make all decisions about how to best sell this merchandise. They divide this merchandise up into smaller units and send them to retailers based on sales data.
Please also note that no amiibo have been discontinued at this time. We plan to have different amiibo available throughout the year, and characters which seem to disappear at one time will suddenly reappear in the future. This means that amiibo which are hard to find now will be back in stores.
What do you think of the comments made by the representative? The rep claims no amiibo are discontinued, which means we could see any or all of the characters return at some point in the future.