Nintendo Scene’s Amiibo of the Year 2016
As something of a more fun piece, and a slightly more different take of the typical GOTY articles, welcome to Nintendo Scene’s Amiibo of the Year! There’s been a lot of new Amiibo released this year, with a new wave of Smash Bros figures and new ranges introduced such as the Legend of Zelda: 30th Anniversary, and Kirby: Planet Robobot ones; the total count of Amiibo has grown massively since their introduction. But what Amiibo released in 2016 did we love?
– REUBEN –
Any one who knows me well enough knows my absolute obsession with Fire Emblem, and my love of the latest Smash game (now that I’m not a total scrub at it). So I was excited to hear that Roy not only coming to Smash Bros 4, but I would be able to get a cute little figure of him. I was a little worried because of the inconsistent quality of the Fire Emblem Amiibo figurines up until now (looking at you, Ike), but Roy looks amazing.
The pose, the paint-job, the face, and the overall quality of the figure are amazing and he is proudly displayed under my TV. I have high hopes for Corrin when it releases, and am not-so-secretly hoping it comes in both boy and girl variants. I will be continuing to buy Amiibo, especially the remaining Smash collection ones, but I must admit not many of the other ranges have drawn me in, excluding my runner up Amiibo, which is … Toon Link from the Legend of Zelda: 30th Anniversary. If only because of my love for Windwaker, the figure is just a solid shot of nostalgia. A wonderful figure and fantastic way for Nintendo to pay homage to such a brilliant, beloved game.
– MATTI –
There’s been some excellent Amiibo on the market this year; additions to the Smash Bros line, all new Mario Party characters, wave 2 of Splatoon bringing in some recolours and some new arrivals, the stunning Kirby Planet Robobot collection, and The Legend of Zelda 30th Anniversary releases. If there’s one thing you anticipated in 2016 but were scared you weren’t going to see then fear not- I, a grown man, return once more to get a bit too worked up about £15 figurines.
The bar has indeed been raised this year, with the exception of Wolf Link & Midna, most amiibo releases of 2016 have been overall very impressive visually. I mentioned previously the difficulties of bringing a more human and detailed character to life VS something more simple and cartoony like an Animal Crossing character, or a Kirby character. The Kirby Planet Robobot amiibo are indeed very beautiful especially with additions like bundles of clouds and stars on the stand. Splatoon recolors wont be counted because the base is from 2015, but they still look gorgeous nonetheless, and the Mario Party line is vastly more humanoid and very impressive at that, but slightly on the more tepid side with their poses. The Legend of Zelda 30th Anniversary Collection are the ones I was arguably most looking forward to, frantically pre-ordering all four almost instantly then seeing I’d spent £40 on figurines with barely a second thought did indeed leave me wondering where on earth my life went so wrong.
I deliberated for a while, perhaps too long, on deciding which amiibo I should award the title of Best of 2016 to. I compared them for a long time and switched back and forth between which one was the winner depending on the day. Here are my top 2 picks.
Surprise surprise, my least favorite AND the derpier of the Squid Sisters, Marie was a strong contender due to her magnificent execution, dynamic pose, and varying depths and textures in her finish. There’s bonus points at hand for Nintendo somehow managing to make her oddly drooping face and bizarre expression look so damn good in physical form, and that translucent glittery dress is wonderful. She’s got a lot of the usual amiibo brand mistakes, there’s a few printing errors and bleeding, and for some reason her right forearm is weirdly short, but the ink splash, the soft gradients, the slight contour in the back and ears, and the extremely precise facial details mean the Splatoon Marie amiibo is way up there in the very best of 2016’s releases.
Link- The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time
If none of the 30th Anniversary amiibo were good enough to make the final cut then consider me a very salty salmon. I’ll admit the other three did end up a bit disappointing with Toon Link looking like he’s been sat on for a bit too long, but I was staggered upon seeing OoT Link for the first time in person. The base shape is so wonderfully rendered; his proportions, the folds in his tunic, the buckle sizes, the bumps and grooves of his shield and scabbard and even the little short piece of his hair on the right side of his bangs are all replicated so closely to the game. The Master Sword and Hylian Shield are beautiful with their metallic paintwork, contrasting the matte of his skin and clothing, and the base is that beautiful golden Spirit Tracks style printing we’ve seen before on the Wolf Link & Midna amiibo. There are some unfortunate errors, heavy color bleeding and slight flatness around the gloves, a slightly odd shaped profile, and some small superficial chunks shaved off on a few areas. Naturally the inner ears were simplified but they’re somehow a decent length, and Link’s fingers actually hover over the holes of the Ocarina of Time with the instrument instead nestling firmly in his right hand for support. It’s an utter nostalgia blast holding such a high quality for the price production of Link in all his Ocarina of Time glory, and trying to work out who out of him and Marie should get the title has been a nightmare.
So who is the winner you ask? For a long time it was simply both. But after one long hard final stare at 4am while accidentally spilling food onto myself I’m looking at 2 amiibo, both sporting bleeding and some other errors but in terms of the final form, there’s a small, but clear difference in accuracy, and that’s going to be the decider for me. My Nintendo Scene amiibo of the Year 2016 Award will finally go Link from The Legend of Zelda 30th Anniversary Collection.
So, what would yours be? Do you agree with our picks or do you prefer other Amiibo released in 2016? Let me know in the comments or tweet me @reuthegamer.