Nintendo’s Amiibo figurines have been extremely popular so far, but the demand has far exceeded the supply. New waves frequently sell out in just minutes, and stores frequently remain sold out for months at a time. Nintendo has addressed the issue many times with many different statements, including a surprising revelation back in March that some Amiibo are made by hand.
This inefficient manufacturing method hasn’t changed, as Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime recently told Polygon that part of the problem with Amiibo shortages is that they have to be hand-painted. Here are his full thoughts:
“Amiibo is really a supply chain challenge and process right now: Getting the core design, building the mold, managing the production. Our amiibo are hand-painted. So it’s a very intricate supply chain. The people involved in doing that are not the same people involved in creating the games and creating the implementation.
“There’s no issue with our first- and second-party development. In fact, I don’t know if you’ve been to Kyoto recently, but we’ve got a whole new R&D building that is full of developers; whether they are software developers or hardware developers. So, we’re increasing our capacity to create more content. We’re focused on creating great content.
“The toys-to-life category is most developed here in the United States. Early on, we challenged our internal supply chain that this was going to be big and we needed to scale it up. The fact that we had supply challenges probably says we didn’t think big enough. But certainly the demand has been exceedingly strong. We think this category and Nintendo’s execution in the category can be significant. We are going to come out with a regular pacing of waves.
“We are going to continue to launch these, there are many more figures to support. We are going to continue to innovate with different form factors and our developers are going to continue to find unique ways to leverage the amiibo. Our developers are having fun in finding ways to leverage the amiibo functionality across all of our different games. You’re going to continue to see a range of executions and range of different functionality.” — Reggie Fils-Aime
With such an “intricate supply chain,” can the demand for Amiibo ever be fully met? Fils-Aime has promised several times this week that increasing Amiibo supply is a priority.