Categories
Gaming Nintendo

Amiibo Collecting: Tips, Tricks and Collecting on a Budget

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.



My two Isabelle amiibos, gossiping about their neglectful Mayor.



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.



An awesome find. Mario Party Luigi amiibo, new in box, at a GAME store in Glasgow, Scotland, for 99p.



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.

Screenshots taken from the android version of Collector: Amiibo Edition app.



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!






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!)




Bonus:


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!~

Disclaimers: As I’m based within Scotland, the methods and websites I use are UK based, or ship to the UK. I’m not familiar with the corresponding websites used in other countries, so if anyone knows of any, please mention them in the comments for others!



I am not in any way affiliated with Nintendo or their products, and was not sponsored by them to write this post. I simply enjoy video game merchandise and figures, and enjoy collecting amiibos.
Categories
Cosplay Gaming Playstation

Journal: It’s All In The Mind, What PaRappa Means To Me

I’m going to describe a staple situation from my childhood:

I’d get a new game, either by saving up pocket money, for a birthday present, or I’d borrow one from a friend, and become fanatical about it. I would discuss it at great lengths to friends and family, whether they wanted to listen or not, as back then the internet was still in its infancy, and finding a long length of time for your mum not to be on the phone to use it to look up information about games was a challenge.

Categories
Cosplay Events Top 10

Little Record Girl’s Top 10 Pre – Con Tips

So, you want to go to a convention?

Or maybe you’ve been going to conventions for a while, and want to bring along a friend who’s new to the idea and you want to prepare them as best as possible?

I compiled a list of what I think is the 10 most important pieces of advice to give to anyone going to a convention, may it be a comic con or a hotel based event.


10. Reset Your Phone

Photo by https://www.facebook.com/jonbradyphotography/
Photo by https://www.facebook.com/jonbradyphotography/

Maybe you don’t have the most up to date smartphone on the market, but you want to make sure you won’t have any problems with your phone during a convention weekend; reset your phone to its factory settings!

Be sure to copy over your photos, videos and save your contacts to an SD card or to your email account if you’re using an Android based phone, iCloud if you’re using an iPhone, before resetting, as otherwise you’ll lose all your precious selfies and snapchat face swaps.

Phones are like computers and can get viruses that you won’t even be aware of, so resetting can help make your phone run faster, and ensures you have the space to take lots of new photos at the convention you’re going to!

Also, no cosplayer likes to stand posing for minutes on end as you’re phone is having problems as you go to ask for a photo!

9. Bring a Travel Charger

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“Hmm, I know the hotel is around here somewhere.” Photo by https://www.facebook.com/annmargaretphotography/

All that selfie taking, Pokemon Go playing, video filming, and social media checking even though you’re meant to be socialising can drain anyone’s phone battery, so make sure to bring a fully charged travel charger with you to any convention.

Not only is it helpful so you can take selfies all day long, but if for any reason you get lost or separated from your friends, you know that you’ll have enough battery to get through those type of situations!

8. Make Packing Checklists

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“Hmm, what to bring, what to bring.” Photo by KawaiiGainz.

Even with ‘simple’ cosplays, they’ll be so many elements to them that the list of items that incorporates the entire outfit could fit onto a scroll. Taking that into consideration, making checklists for a convention can be incredibly helpful.

You can make a checklist any way you like, on Microsoft Word, hand written, on Mac desktop stickies or within the memo pad app within your smart phone, either way, write down every single element of your cosplay, and when it comes to packing, and then wearing it the day of a con, check the list to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything!

What can be even more helpful is, if you keep your cosplay within a dress bag, print out a small version of your checklist and place it on the dress bag pocket if it has one, or attach it via a safety pin. That way you know what’s in that dress bag, and it makes the cosplay easier for storing in your home later on.

7. Bring a First Aid Kit

You don't know who you'll run into!
You don’t know who you’ll run into!

This is really important. Although there will be first aiders on site at venues conventions are held at, if you know there are pains  you are prone to, prepare!

I make sure to pack painkillers, travel sickness pills, allergen tablets, eye drops if I’m wearing contact lenses, spare gel cushions for my feet if I’m wearing heels or heeled boots and my prescribed medication.

You don’t want a headache or pain from your ridiculous cosplay boots getting in the way of your fun, so take your health into consideration when shopping and packing for your next con!

6. Bring Entertainment

Who can be bored when you have this pretty lady in your hotel room? Photo by https://www.facebook.com/SonSonPhotography
Who can be bored when you have this pretty lady in your hotel room? Photo by https://www.facebook.com/SonSonPhotography

If at a hotel based convention, you won’t always want to be fluttering around like the social butterfly you are, sometimes you’ll want to go back to your hotel room and relax for a little bit. Or, maybe you want to play games with your friends in your hotel room, rather than partying up downstairs?

Bringing some entertainment with you can really help make conventions memorable. I always bring my Nintendo 3DS so I can play Street Pass with all the people I would of collected who may also of brought their 3DS’s, or so I can play a game for a little bit upstairs, while I have juice and refuel for the events later on in that day.

Some people I know bring books to read, a pack of cards and other card games.

You’ve spent a long time organising for a convention, so even in your downtime you don’t want to be bored! So try and think of something to bring for those quiet moments, or for the long travelling ahead, that won’t take up much space in your suitcase!

5. Prepare a Con Bag

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Photo by Julian Bailey Photography. https://www.facebook.com/julianbaileyphotography/

There’s a few things you’ll want to have with you throughout a convention, like your wallet, phone, camera, I.D, chewing gum, print outs of your tickets and more, so it’s important to have a place to store all those things!

Look out or buy a small bag that you can use specifically for conventions. I personally suggest smaller bags as conventions tend to be busy, so you don’t want to be hitting people repeatedly at you walk past them, also, it prevents any pains from too much weight being placed on your shoulders if you’re bringing a lot of things with you, or if you bought lots of merchandise from the dealer’s room.

Also look out for bags that have pockets within them for makeup, incase your cosplay makeup needs topping up throughout the day, and space enough for your camera if you’re bringing your DSLR to do shoots or Cosplay Music Videos.

Better yet, if you’re cosplaying, research and see if the character you’re doing wears a bag within the media they’re from and make that so your bag matches your outfit! I happened to already have the official Hyrulian Shield Zelda Backpack so when I decided to cosplay Wind Waker Link at Scotland Comic Con 2015, it seemed only fitting that that was the bag I used!

If your character doesn’t have a bag, even try matching your bag to something they might have within the media they’re from. When I cosplayed Tifa from Final Fantasy VII at Scotland Comic COn 2015, I attached an official ShinRA sticker to my con bag, that I purchased from the official Square Enix website, so that my bag matched my cosplay.

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My con bag that I bring to conventions as it fits my DSLR, makeup and more.

4. Contact Photographers Before the Con

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Some behind the scenes of a shoot with https://www.facebook.com/SonSonPhotography.

This is a bit of advice that’s taken directly from personal experience. After conventions, it can be sad to go back to work, come home to check your social media pages and not see any photos of your completed cosplay that took you hours to make that you debuted at the con the weekend before.

Join cosplay groups on Facebook, or even contact photographers you like the work of and contact them to try and arrange shoots or chances to get your photo taken during the con. Not only will this stop the disheartening feeling of not having anything to show for after the event, but it means you get to work with and meet new people in the process!

Don’t be shocked if a photographer asks to be paid also. They’re artists and photography may likely be their job. If you really like their work, you should pay them for their time and effort to take photos for you!

Just make sure when you go to meet these photographers during events, that you have someone with you, or have met them before to ensure your safety.

3. Bring Up to Date Photo ID

Photo by bryPhoto.

Some conventions require you to bring valid I.D for you to collect your con badge and confirm your registration, so bringing valid photo I.D, either in the form of a driver’s licence, provisional drivers licence or passport is really important.

I’ve heard stories of people travelling for 5 hours and more to travel to Kitacon, only to realise they’ve forgotten their I.D which meant they had to travel back home and to the con again.

Also, if there’s any purchases you want to make that are DVD’s or blurays with and 18 certificate, or maybe you want a drink at the hotel bar, having I.D  on you will avoid any awkwardness having your age come into question.

2. Buy Food and Drink for Your Hotel Room

Nothing beats some convention pizza. Photo by https://www.facebook.com/SonSonPhotography

Hotel based conventions within the UK are becoming very few and in between, especially as it’s easier and cheaper for attendees to attend one day or weekend long comic con events at their local venues.

When I went to my first con in 2010, it was a hotel based convention that lasted three days, and when meeting my first cosplaying friends, they mentioned other events and the fun that would happen overnight between days of the convention. At these conventions, you don’t have to stay onsite, or at all, but trust me in that the hotel based conventions that mean you have to travel and stay within the venue where the con is being held are the best type of events.

A lot of these conventions can be held at hotels, such as Kitacon, that until now as been held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole in Birmingham, England, and hotels can be expensive. What me and my friends have done the past Kitacon event we have attended, is that once we arrive at the hotel, we drop our stuff off in our rooms, then head out to a local supermarket, and stock up on food and general essentials. (Alcohol is an essential, right?)

I usually buy small bottles of juice, preferably Irn Bru it it can be found in England, Pot Noodles as hotel rooms usually always have a kettle to boil water, green tea, crisps, chocolate, some plastic cups, large bottles of juice and of course, some spirits and beers.

Buying these will ensure that I keep hydrated and full of energy, as sometimes at a con there is so much going on, and so many people to see and talk to that making sure you’re fed isn’t a priority anymore.

Pot Noodles are especially my con food favourite, as you can use your in-room kettle to make yourself a cheap dinner, that’ll keep you going and fill you up. Plus, they’re suitable for vegetarians!

Be sure to try and buy little multipacks of juice so you can fit them in any bag you wear throughout the con floor or rooms. If you’re cosplaying, wearing all that armour, layers and wigs can make you sweat and tire you out easily, so making sure you have a water or soft drink supply close to you at all times is really important!

1. Have Fun!

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Some convention fun during Doj-con. Photo by bryPhoto.

This may sound really obvious and really dumb of me to say but, if you’re like me and you’ve been going to cons for a good few years, you know how much drama can be involved amongst con-goers and especially cosplayers!

Not just drama, but conventions can be overwhelming, and as a result make you really anxious. Either as you know a lot of people will be there, or you’re worried about how your cosplay will be received, or maybe there’s an ex you’re worried you’ll run into.

Try and ignore as much previous drama as you can and focus on having a good time. Think about all the money, time and effort you’ve been into getting organised for just one weekend – would you want a couple of people you fell out with or who made fun of your cosplays before hand to ruin all that?

Focus on friends there that treat you right, and focus on making new friends too!

That’s my favourite bit of any convention.


Did any of these tips help you?

Is there any important bits of advice I haven’t listed here that you’d want to add?

I’d like to hear from you so comment below, and together we can help make conventions more about the fun, and less about stress.

Categories
Gaming

My Hopes for Pokemon Go

You’d have to be living under a Geodude (see what I did there) to not of heard about Pokemon Go, Nintendo’s latest delve into the world of mobile gaming, alongside developers Niantic Inc.
I just ventured outside to take out the rubbish, decided to walk around the block and spotted many people, suspiciously holding out their phones, in hopes of gaining items from a nearby ‘poke stop’.

Categories
Gaming Journal

My Monthly Favourite (Feb)

As a major first step in my self care, after my mental break down of October 2015, I’ve been slowly working away at doing some bedroom DIY.
First time I’ve ever  hung up shelves and painted walls since moving away from home and being an independant person, and I feel like a right adult n’ that. (If you don’t count the fact that I was arranging several soft toys, anime figures and various Disney memorabilia.)

Categories
Cosplay Events

Event: Scotland Comic Con 2015

Most of the time, I’m in front of the lens, but since my 21st birthday I’ve had a Canon DSLR in my midst but never really gone out and used it. It came with a 55mm lens which is great for learning, and good for general group photos and the occasion portrait, but a few years ago I was able to borrow a 50m lens, and I was amazed at the depth and detail this wee lens could pick up!

Categories
Journal

Between the Bars

Categories
Tutorials

Tutorial: Setting Up Your Own Website

Over the past few months, I’ve gotten a few messages asking for help getting started doing freelance work, particularly music and voice acting. I’ve only started doing voice acting recently myself, but because of my history of marketing myself as a freelancer for singing and game audio, I already had a lot of tools at my disposal to network and get some roles. 

Categories
Cosplay Events

Event: Glasgow Comic Con 2015

It’s been exactly a week since I was gracing the rooms of the CCA of Glasgow, venue again for this years Glasgow Comic Con as Merida, Scotland’s best (and I believe only) fictional Princess. This was the third year in a row I’ve been to this event, and even with my move to England getting closer and more inevitable with each working day, it’s the kind of event I would make all the effort for to go to, no matter the cost.

Categories
Cosplay

Shooting with Jon Brady

Recently, while getting prepared for my busy con season of July, I realised that I have so many cosplays that I haven’t yet gotten photos of, or the photos I do have are getting incredibly old.

I decided to post on my page seeing if any budding photographers would be interested in doing shoots with me, thinking maybe just a couple of friends would be interested, but much to my surprise, I got a lot of responses and messages! It was really uplifting actually.