It's 2014, the first line of Nintendo's amiibos is released, you like the look of one or two and are happy that it isn't something you want to collect the entirety of, knowing just how many will come out and how much that's gonna set you back.
Then you have one you recently bought in your hand, and even if you don't use it on a Wii U, 3DS or Switch, you like the figure itself and log onto Amazon and find yourself buying another. At around £11.99 a pop? What's the harm?
As the cute faces of Nintendo's well known myriad of characters gazes back at you from whatever display you've created, it can be daunting to think that you may of spent upwards of £600 on your new addiction, and that's not including the official stands or even customs.
Welcome to the world of amiibo collecting!
In all seriousness, if you do want to own every amiibo, or at least the majority of the ones released, it can be an expensive thing to do. If every amiibo in my collection was bought brand new at their retail prices, I would of spent over £600 altogether.
But I didn't get them all at their full retail prices, even when they were brand new, and I want to share my tips and tricks for collecting them with you too so you can also enjoy the lack of shelving space and the abundance of cute fictional characters in your livingroom.
Tip 1: Give old Amiibos a forever home with buying second hand!
Sometimes, just being someone fanatical about gaming can be an expensive hobby on its own right, never mind collecting accessories like amiibos, so a lot of people trade in games for money, or credit with whatever retailer they're trading with.
I personally, like to trade in games to CEX, in-store and online, in exchange for credit, which I save to use with their website. This has primarily been the way in which I've managed to build up my amiibo collection, as they list a lot of the amiibo figures at really low prices.
Not only do they stock the amiibo figures, but they actually stock amiibo cards as well, such as the Animal Crossing NFC cards and more recently the cards for Mario Sports Superstars on the 3DS. I own all the Animal Crossing card collecting books, so CEX has been fundamental in me getting a hold of my favourite cards and filling up my collection.
Back on to the general amiibo front, using CEX is a great way to find amiibos which are rarer to find. Early in the year, I found it difficult to get a hold of the Sonic the Hedgehog and Megaman Smash amiibos, with amazon only listing marketing place prices that were double the retailer price. However, by trading in games I haven't played in years, or blurays that were still in their wrappers, I managed to get those slightly rarer amiibos without spending anything!
Although CEX's search engine isn't the best, and it hard to sift through the Animal Crossing cards if you're only looking for amiibos, type 'amiibo figure' within the search engine, and search for results from the lowest price to the highest. Eventually, you will start to see listings for the amiibo figures, with you can purchase with credit or money.
Every single amiibo I've got second had has been in amazing quality, some even still within their original box, and if you aren't a box collector, then using a website like CEX can be a great way of getting amiibos without breaking the bank!
Tip 2: Use Comparison Websites!
There exist a lot of websites that specialise in providing you with the links to the cheapest availability for whatever item you're searching for, from car insurance to TV packages, but for me, the most helpful ones are ones which are based around gaming.
Which takes me to Postabargain!
A website like postabargain gathers information sent by people online, to post links to deals on video games, consoles and video game accessories, and this of course, extends to amiibos!
My trick is to make sure I get notifications on my phone from the Postabargain twitter account, to make sure I don't miss out on any alert, which could be an amiibo!
Thanks to Postabargain, I was able to get some amiibos for my collection for as cheap at £3!
Tip 3: Check your local Game shops discount bins!
In the UK, our gaming specialist retailer is GAME, and like with a lot of physical stores, they occasionally have an area that contains items on sale. As Game has began stocking gaming merchandise, this usually means its bargain bins are full of console decals, Disney Infinity figures, PlayStation mugs but, occasionally you can be very lucky, and find a brand new boxed amiibo, retailing on their website for £20, for a fraction of the price.
Tip 4: There's an app for that!
If you want to seriously collect anything, it's usually helpful to keep a record of what you have so far, and that leads me to Amiibo collecting apps!
I personally use Collector Amiibo Edition on my android based smart phone, which allows me to click on the image of the amiibo, which notes that that figure is part of my collection.
The app updates very regularly, and upon announcements of new amiibos, it will have the new ones available, even if they aren't even available to pre-order themselves.
Its downfall is that it asks you to update the app with each run, prompting you to pay for the full version of the app, but I've not had a reason to upgrade, as the lite version supplies any collector with exactly what they need.
What I especially like about the app, is that it gives you stats on your collection, which either makes you feel proud of your collecting accomplishments, or sad as you haven't completed certain sets.
Before The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild's release, I owned very Legend of Zelda amiibo, and seeing that set complete on the app felt oddly satisfying. Yet now I'm missing Breath of the Wild Princess Zelda, the Guardian, all of the Champions and the new set that features Link from Skyward Sword, Majora's Mask and Twilight Princess.
Although I personally want to collect every amiibo, the Legend of Zelda set are the amiibos I prioritise as I love the series and enjoy collecting merchandise from it. Plus, out of all the amiibos released so far, that I've seen in person, the Legend of Zelda ones have been the best in terms of quality, with the Ocarina of Time Link being my personal favourite amiibo so far.
Any iphone wielders, don't fret as the Collector app is also available on the app store!
I stopped counting my amiibo a dozen amiibo ago. If i know the exact amount i might worry about my life choices
— Game Music 4 All (@genoboost) July 23, 2017
Tip 5: Let friends and family know you love amiibos!
This is an obvious piece of advice when it comes to collecting, but through the months since I wanted to collect them all, it really helped in boosting my personal collection of amiibos!
Tell friends and family that you want amiibos for gifts for special days and holidays. Use wish lists on websites? Add them!
Amiibo's prices make them great for gifts, as they're affordable. Just make sure to not get any doublers! (Though if you do, you can trade them in and get another amiibo!)
It's only natural to assume that companies bring out cool collectables in Japan that never see releases over here, but that's where eBay comes in!
Nintendo have released paper-craft like stands, calling them 'diorama kits', for your amiibos, usually to fit a collection, for example, I used to own the Animal Crossing stand, before selling it on eBay as I realised it didn't actually fit all the Animal Crossing amiibos. Now I own the first Splatoon stand, but there's far more available!
You can find them on ebay for around £10, and they look lovely on a shelf or figure cabinet. Great for a picturesque way to group your collection and display it for all to see!
Talking of Animal Crossing, you can get an Amiibo bundle featuring two Animal Crossing Amiibos, and a game for around £10 from most game retailers. The game itself isn't worth any attention, however, you can trade it in for credit to put towards even more amiibos!
I hope any of this has helped with your amiibo collecting, or given you ways to treat yourself without over-spending!
I don't have the amiibo collection I'd personally like to have (currently sitting at 70 amiibos), as I don't have the financial means, but as the quality and range of amiibos improves, they're fun to collect and a really lovely addition to any household that may already be full of video game related merchandise!
Happy amiibo collecting!~