After having many issues in the U.S. Market keeping their toys to life figures in stores. Nintendo has finally responded. Unfortunately it might not be what you want to hear.
Nintendo's Amiibo line have been met with fervor and disdain by their fans. The figures are great and have fantastic details, although using the Smash Bros. trophies as models for a physical figure wasn't a great idea (yellow support stands for link) for the most part the figures look great. Some of the figures are flying off the shelves and are all but impossible to get if you didn't get them right as they came out.
The question is how did this happen. I think its a combination of things, Nintendo of America vastly underestimated demand for this product. (availability isn't a problem in other markets) In addition Nintendo partnered with various brick and mortar retailers for exclusive Amiibos. My guess is that in order to get shelf space in these stores Nintendo (which has a lot less clout these days) had to agree to this. These two things make it very hard to get the Amiibo that you want, which in turn motivates scalpers to buy them by the truckload and sell them on eBay at exorbitant prices.
Until now Nintendo has been silent at best, and oblivious at worst about the problem. During a recent Nintendo Direct, Iwata actually spoke about the retailer exclusivity as if he were really proud of that. Finally Nintendo has responded to the cavalcade of collector complaints that have been leveled at the Kyoto game company.
“We appreciate the enthusiasm that our fans continue to show toward amiibo. Sales for the product have exceeded our expectations. We understand how frustrating it can be at times if consumers are unable to find certain figures, and we apologize for that.
We’re trying to meet the demands of our fans and consumers by increasing the amount of amiibo we manufacture and ship to retail. We may continue to see consumer demand outpace supply levels for certain characters at times, but we will do our best to prevent that from happening.
As our library of amiibo continues to grow, some figures will be easier to find than others. We are constantly looking for the opportunity to reissue amiibo and are already making plans to bring back some currently out-of-stock amiibo figures. Stay tuned for details.
Nintendo plans to make it easier for consumers to know when new amiibo are on the way, through Nintendo press announcements, timely updates on our social media channels and working closely with retailers.
We remain committed to keeping amiibo affordable and easy to access as a platform to enhance game-play experiences. These plans include Animal Crossing amiibo cards that will become available by the end of 2015, and a free-to-download app for Wii U called amiibo tap: Nintendo’s Greatest Bits that launched on April 30, 2015, that lets consumers enjoy playable scenes from certain NES and Super NES games with amiibo.”
Basically they are saying, hold on, we'll get this figured out, but they are light on details. What Nintendo needs to do is take orders directly, and ship them directly to the buyers, like Apple does with their high demand products, You buy it, they tell you when you should get it, sure it might be months, but when you've shipped all the ones that you've sold, move onto the next wave. Pushing them out through the brick and mortar stores is only irritating your costumers and lining the pockets of scalpers.