Why I hate amiibo: They’re a waste of time and money — and I don’t have room for them in my house


Friends, we need to talk about amiibo. Amiibo are some sort of plastic tchotchke containing a microchip that you tap against certain Nintendo games in order to gain certain special effects. I can say with complete certainty that I hate them and everything they stand for.

Since I didn’t own a Wii U, I was spared from having to deal with amiibo for an entire Nintendo cycle. However, after buying a Nintendo Switch in a moment of weakness, I now fear I won’t be able to avoid these manufactured monstrosities and their dead, cold eyes.

Amiibo would wreak havoc on my interior decorating

“But how can you write off amiibo if you don’t own any?” you might cry in response. Let me explain.

I live in a cozy (read: small) apartment in a major metropolitan area in the Midwest. Space is at a premium. I often move things around when I’m stressed out only to conclude that I have the same amount of space as I did before, but now it’s just oriented differently. I have to be parsimonious in how I dole out my space, something that having a bunch of physical merchandise makes especially tricky.


Furthermore, I already have tchotchkes that I need to give precedence to before I start shelling out for amiibo. Recently, I bought a super-fancy posable Link figurine on the internet. Tragically, I have no idea how to pose him even months later and find myself migrating Hyrule’s hero to various points around my room when I go on my cleaning sprees. It would be unfair of me in the extreme to crowd my apartment with amiibo when I can’t even take care of a single Link figurine.


I would much rather just pay for DLC than randomly fish for trinkets using amiibo

The only game I currently have for my Switch is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and the way amiibo work for that game is asinine. Once per day, you can tap each amiibo against your Switch to spawn a special bonus. Some of these, like the Guardian amiibo giving you ancient materials, are extremely helpful. Others, like Wind Waker Toon Link, which gives you a bunch of fish and swords, are less so.

Normally I wouldn’t mind this — it’s just materials you can grind for, after all. However many of the amiibo also come with special costumes for Link, who we can all agree has never looked better.


Since you can only get a maximum of one piece of armor per day from each amiibo, I’d have to do at least three days of amiibo-tapping — or resort to some shady rule bending. That’s your only option if you want to get some of Link’s best outfits, including the Skyward Sword set.


With the Master Trials expansion already out for Breath of the Wild, Nintendo has no reason not to allow me to purchase the amiibo costumes I want. The fact that the ultra-breezy original Legend of Zelda outfit is locked behind a difficult-to-find amiibo is cause to call this what it is: a concerted attack on well-behaved nice boys like me.

Seriously, have you seen the price of these things?

Unless I want to track one down at a local GameStop or Best Buy, buying the 30th anniversary Legend of Zelda amiibo will run me $40 on Amazon. That’s $40 for something that won’t even work with all my Switch games. I want to dress Link up for sure, but I don’t $40 want to dress Link up.

In summation, the best thing to happen to amiibo was the inside of former Forbes 30-Under-30 media luminary Griffin McElroy’s mouth. Amiibo are bad, I don’t want to pay for them and you should probably make like Polygon’s Nick Robinson and put those amiibo in the trash where they belong:

Or you could send them to me, so I could throw them away for you. Yeah. Just a thought. Think about it.

More Nintendo Switch news and coverage

Looking for more Nintendo Switch news? Check out how blind gamers are using the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo’s left Joy-Con issue turns out to be a hardware problem — here’s how to solve it. Find out how to buy a console amidst the recent restock. Learn why the Switch cartridges taste so bad. Check out our comparison photos sizing up the Switch to the Wii U GamePad (part one and part two), or find out how to make use of ethernet without the dock and the best way to get alerts when new stock arrives.