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Which Nintendo Switch amiibo is best?

The first wave of amiibo was released alongside “Super Smash Bros. for Wii U” in November 2014. Nintendo’s take on the toys-to-life craze originated from the action-adventure video game series “Skylanders.” Amiibo were an instant success with most figurines selling out immediately, and that success and difficulty in obtaining them remain just as true today.

There are over 200 unique amiibo figurines, with the best amiibo being dependent on either your preference of character or interactivity with the games you own. That said, one of the best starter amiibo currently available in the Mario Classic Color amiibo. It’s affordable, has a great design and is compatible with many Nintendo Switch games.

What to know before you buy a Nintendo Switch amiibo

Compatible games

Amiibo contain a near-field communication chip in their base that allows them to interact with games on Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Wii U and Nintendo Switch. Not all games are compatible with amiibo, though.

Amiibo are usually marketed and sold alongside the games they are created for, but you can find full compatibility lists directly from Nintendo.

Regional exclusivity

Certain amiibo are never released outside of Japan. These usually release with games that are also only available in Japan, but this isn’t always the case.

However, amiibo are not region-locked, meaning amiibo shipped from Japan to the U.S., Europe or anywhere else can be used as normal. The only difference is the language and design of the packaging.

Figurines vs. cards

The vast majority of amiibo are figurines, but there are some amiibo that come as cards. Card amiibo have all the functionality of the figurines as they still contain an NFC chip, sacrificing only the displayability of the figurines.

Nintendo Switch amiibo features

The main function of amiibo is their interactivity with Nintendo games. This is accomplished by reading and/or writing data from an NFC chip in the base of figurines and inside the cardstock. 

Once the figurine is placed on a peripheral that scans the chip, it is transported into the virtual world. It contains the data from its own game, so nothing will change if you take it to your friend’s house.

Reading data

The majority of interactions between amiibo and games come from reading the data, identifying who the figurine represents. The interactions triggered depend on the game and can be anything from unlocking costumes and special modes, granting unique items and even conferring temporary special abilities.

Writing data

Very few games write data to the amiibo that has been scanned, and amiibo can only save data from one game at a time. As a result, new data from a different game will overwrite the previously saved data.

An example of written data is for the “Super Smash Bros.” series of games for Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo WiiU and Nintendo Switch. Amiibo can be uniquely trained by the player with the progress being saved to the amiibo’s NFC chip. You can then scan your amiibo on a friend’s console to have your trained amiibo fight theirs.

Nintendo Switch amiibo cost

Amiibo are classified as collector’s items, and as such, the initial retail cost does not align with their inherent value. Amiibo generally retail between $15-$40, but retail stock is severely limited, so most amiibo sell out during the prerelease order period before the amiibo are even offered openly on store shelves.

Yet, if you can’t find your favorite amiibo on the shelf, remember that the vast majority of amiibo are sold on secondary markets at values anywhere from $10-$100 over their initial retail cost. However, the rarest amiibo can have values of hundreds of dollars.

Nintendo Switch amiibo FAQ

Can I use my amiibo figurine if it’s still in the box?

A. Unfortunately not. In-box amiibo have a special film placed under their base, which prevents all data from being read or written.

The amiibo I wanted is sold out; will they make more?

A. Yes and no. Some amiibo have received reprints, even several rounds of reprints. Those amiibo that do receive reprints are unfortunately considered an exception to the rule.

Why do amiibo become so expensive so quickly?

A. Supply and demand. Nintendo prints exceedingly few of most amiibo figurines. For this reason, collectors and resellers move very fast to secure their stock.

The amiibo I want to buy is from a foreign country, so will it still work?

A. Yes, it will. All amiibo are functionally identical, with the only regional differences being the box’s design and language.

Which Nintendo Switch amiibo should I get?

Best of the best Nintendo Switch amiibo

Mario Classic Color amiibo

Mario Classic Color amiibo

What you need to know: This amiibo is a perfect start to your collection and interacts with a huge amount of games.

What you’ll love: The throwback pixel design and coloration look fantastic on your shelf or desk.

What you should consider: It is highly sought after, oftentimes with very few items left in stock.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best bang for your buck Nintendo Switch amiibo

Bowser amiibo (Super Smash Bros series)

Bowser amiibo (Super Smash Bros series)

What you need to know: It is another amiibo with a large range of interactivity and great design.

What you’ll love: This amiibo won’t break the bank, as it’s one of the few available at retail cost.

What you should consider: More recent bowser amiibo models have more interactivity than this base model.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Honorable mention Nintendo Switch amiibo

Animal Crossing Series 3-Pack amiibo

Animal Crossing Series 3-Pack amiibo

What you need to know: Three amiibo bundled together all interact with the recent release “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.”

What you’ll love: This intersection of animal and amiibo is simply adorable.

What you should consider: “Animal Crossing” series amiibo have limited interactivity outside “Animal Crossing” series games.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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