Nintendo really does know how to make their fans empty their wallets and amiibo are a perfect example of this. Sales of these fan-favourite figurines have passed over 20 million now - that's more than the Wii U (oops). The difficult thing about amiibo is that Nintendo will never be able to please everyone. There's such a range of lovable characters in the Nintendo universe, that there's almost too many to turn them all into those delectable figurines. However, if your personal favourite hasn't been created yet, there's sure to be someone out there making a custom one, so don't despair if Slippy Toad or Funky Kong aren't in your local GameStop just yet.
Even though there's already over 100, fans are still making demands for a wider range of characters, so let's have a look at some of the sweetest customs, a.k.a. Nintendo's missed opportunities.
These little guys would have been official amiibo if they hadn't been cut from the latest installment of the Super Smash Bros. series. In short, Nana and Popo just wouldn't cooperate with the 3DS version of the game, causing them to be removed altogether to keep both console releases consistent with each other. These two buddies are NES classics and have served 31 long years as a part of the Nintendo family, making this incredible custom an honourable tribute. Crafted by @akshop08 using a 3D printer and hand painted by @Kiick_Ash, this custom looks sweet enough to be a licensed product. Oh, and they even made a nifty box too, which is too cool (ice cold).
Also known as Bowser's minions, or the 7 Bowser Team, someone took the time to make each one of these kooky kids into awesome amiibo. The detail on each Koopaling is flawless, from the highly pigmented colours to each unique accessory. The consistency kept with Bowser Jr. makes these amiibo look official. Seriously, this set could have been announced on April Fool's Day and I would have believed it. The personality of each Koopa kid is also portrayed perfectly, Roy even has his signature canon. Everyone has a favourite Koopa, and personally there's a special place in my heart for Lemmy - his the wacky hair and spooky eyes that just sell it for me. Speaking of selling, these crazy creations are up for grabs on Etsy for anyone interested in adopting them.
Okay, so the Kingdom Hearts franchise isn't owned by Nintendo but there's been a few games on Nintendo platforms, so that counts, right? Plus, who wouldn't want a scaled down Sora on their shelf? Just from looking at each amiibo, you can see the time and attention put solely into making the Keyblades look like authentic replicas. I've always had the opinion that Sora would fit in perfectly in a Smash game and this amiibo prototype is just proof of how incredible that could be. The Kingdom Hearts series has such a massive following anyway, that I'm pretty sure they could release these few as useless amiibo with no function and fans would still throw their money at them.
Okami has a particular art style that dazzled me when I first played it. The whole game looks like a beautiful watercolour painting. Keeping consistent to the game's visuals, this amiibo has managed to maintain that special style and gives the same magical feel that the game has. I'm also endlessly amazed by what creators can do with amiibo. For example, this Wolf Link has been painted, reformed and accessorised to a point where it's literally become Amaterasu (or is this Chibiterasu? I have no idea). The small attention to the little things such as the hand painted markings are what really stand out on this particular amiibo. Plus, it's super cute and I kind of want to pet it.
Now, imagine you're playing Paper Mario Sticker Star and you're in a turn based battle, you realise you're in need of a hand. You scan in your Paper Luigi amiibo and bam, there he is, assisting you in battle. Not only do these amiibo look great enough to be licensed products, but they could also be very useful assets in the upcoming title, Paper Mario Colour Splash. Personally, I feel like each character is reminiscent of the Game & Watch amiibo and this could be used to an advantage. Game & Watch had interchangeable bases, and so could these guys. Imagine buying one of these, only to find they come with additional poses and stances. Nintendo could honestly bring out a whole new series of amiibo like this, and I'm sure a whole lot of fans would be boarding that hype train. Choo choo!
Nintendo needs to give mrseejaylewis a job, or at least show them some kind of acknowledgment of how incredible these customs are. I'm so totally blown away by these little monsters. They're completely flawless replications of the in-game character models. From Weavile's fierce expression, to Pikachu Libre's adorable little luchador outfit, these amiibo have been crafted to perfection. We're in need of more Pokémon amiibo as it stands and this could have started off a new series of them with a bang. As for amiibo support, getting a daily bonus for a specific character would also add some replayability and diversity to the core game. Oh, and who doesn't want a Suicune amiibo? So majestic.
This amiibo's function in Mighty No. 9 actually wipes the game from existence and replaces it with a functioning, enjoyable video game (ouch). All kidding aside, where's the Proto Man amiibo at? Nintendo needs to get their priorities straight because they really have missed a trick with this one. Why produce the Gold Mega Man amiibo when they could have made Proto Man, or even Rush? Imagine the field day Capcom could have had with this amiibo in the Mega Man Legacy Collection. Simply creating a sprite swap to make him a playable character would have been a pretty sweet gimmick. You can tell just from looking at the paint work, this custom clearly is the amiibo embodiment of the word mighty and truly deserves that title (double ouch). Having had a cameo in Smash as a trophy and Mii Gunner costume, this cool guy fits right in with the current line up and would look sweet next to his robotic sibling.
World of Nintendo
So although these two wouldn't be particularly useful, you have to admit they're pretty sweet uses for the World of Nintendo figures. The box art just makes these guys look like they belong in their own series of amiibo. For one, I'd personally be interested in seeing a retro series released, you could even throw in 8-bit classics such as Samus and Duck Hunt. As the 30th Anniversary Mario amiibo were brought out to celebrate the jolly old plumber's birthday, Nintendo should give each protagonist their own party by releasing them in figurine form. Somebody needs to send Nintendo a few hints. After all, The Legend of Zelda is 30 this year.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
These little dudes are so lovable, just looking at Toadette's face makes me smile. They're bright, bold, vibrant and generally a delight to look at. Not only do they totally steal your heart, but these Treasure Trackers are undoubtably another missed opportunity on Nintendo's part. Scanning in one of these cuties could have unlocked bonus levels or at least a charming outfit in Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. The attention to detail on each Toad is immaculate, with the flashlight and map being my personal favourite touches. There's definitely room in the market for these guys to make an appearance, and their captivating charm would see these dudes flying off of shelves and into people's lives faster than you can say "Toad's Treasure Tracker" (what a tongue twister).
Look at her. I mean, just look at her! Definitely saving the best until last, this Toon Zelda is everything I'd want from another amiibo in The Legend of Zelda franchise. The two look stunning paired together and I'm baffled as to how Nintendo didn't think of this first. Toon Zelda stands tall and proud, her colours are incredibly bold and she's just divine - a fitting representation of the Princess herself. Updated amiibo support should be put into Wind Waker solely for these two. I'd be happy even if the only function is to replenish hearts and arrows, just as the other Zelda amiibo did so in the recent HD remaster of Twilight Princess, it’d be a welcome addition to an already fantastic game. I'm not one for buying customs, as I've always had some hope Nintendo will open their eyes and realise the potential they have, but I'd throw rupees at this in a heart beat.
So after delving into the wonderful world of customs, this list of my personal favourites has come to an end. We've had a long adventure, searching far and wide, from Pokémon legends to NES classics (+10 exp if you get the pun). I'm sure we're all in agreement that these customs would be welcomed as official releases and hopefully there's a place for them in the market soon. Each creator has incredible skill, talent and patience and I commend each of them for their impeccable work. Thank you, artists, for giving us what Nintendo haven't thus far.