WHAT UP INTERNET?!
As frequenters of this blog know, the Bros are all about chasin’ #Exclusives. While a majority of the writing responsibilities of this blog fall to me, APNote is one of the most voracious #Exclusive chasers I’ve ever crossed paths with. Considering we’re both longtime fans of #Nintendo (we were both raised on NES, SNES, our Gameboys and have fond memories of Podracing on N64) but do not yet own a Wii U, once Nintendo’s amiibos were released we knew we were going to pick them up. Would they serve a purpose for us other than sitting on our shelves? More than likely not-but isn’t that what #Exclusive chasing is all about?
The much-maligned decision to implement retailer-exclusive has been repeatedly bashed on multiple social media channels. It doesn’t take much to find complaints about the decision and considering this makes procuring certain amiibos next to impossible, you can imagine the Bros aren’t big fans of this practice. While there’s an undoubtable allure to getting your hands on an #Exclusive, when the game is rigged against the players, it just makes for a frustrating experience (I’m looking at Lego during #SDCC2014, specifically). We haven’t had a tremendous amount of success securing retailer-exclusive amiibos, but I did want to share a couple stories APNote and I have regarding the never-ending chase. Believe it or not, these aren’t riveting success stories….
Due to my adoration of Earthbound, the second the Ness amiibo was announced I knew I had to get my hands on one. Considering it’s a GameStop –exclusive release, I wasn’t enthralled at the prospect of having to deal with their website, which has proven lackluster one too many times for my liking. I endeavored to camp out in-store, and on the off-chance I’d be able to get the mobile website to work (wishful thinking) I planned to order an additional Ness for my Bro. So I camped in store, scoped the GameStop twitter for updates and constantly refreshed the mobile browser on my phone in the hopes of securing my coveted Ness amiibo.
The issues with the Ness preorder were well-documented: the GameStop website crashed and the in-store systems were unable to handle the massive influx of simultaneous orders for whatever reason. As such, your boys (we were at two different locations) ended up camping inside GameStop stores (which were crowded and aren’t terribly big to begin with) for a solid two and a half hours. Although the preorder was made and we should both receive Ness by the end of May, it wasn’t the greatest experience in the world and felt like an inordinate expenditure of our time.
For Golden Mario, APNote traveled to every Wal-Mart in the city trying to find one of those bad boys on release day. It was an entire day devoted to checking stock on his phone, making calls and then going to a location to see if they truly did have the coveted prize in store. Eventually the toy-collecting deities decided to smile down upon a Bro and he was able to walk away with one, but it took a solid six hours of searching nonstop.
The day Toys R’ Us #Exclusive Greninja was released, due to the pre-orders going live online at an ungodly hour the Bros missed our opportunity to secure one online. We drove around to every brick and mortar location in the city three hours before opening and were met with lines at least thirty people deep. Due to limited stock and the lack of pictures on this post, you can tell the Bros had to walk away empty handed, unfortunately.
Now it isn’t all doom and gloom, as you can tell from the pictures and post we have had some success when it comes to nabbing the retailer-exclusive amiibos. Considering we’re all Bros here we thought we’d share our process for securing those hard to come by #Exclusives:
Find the release date and retailer
The first thing we do is scour the internet to find the exact release dates for each amiibo and which retailer they’ll be available at. This isn’t a particularly arduous task as just a quick search will yield all the information you need.
Set up Twitter alerts for the retailer you’re looking to grab an amiibo from (and check availability of retailer online if at all possible)
Second is setting up twitter alerts for each retailer-while there is certainly no guarantee the retailer will tweet anything about the release of a certain item, we absolutely prefer to over-prepare, as we don’t want to come out of the chase empty-handed. Additionally, once the item is released it certainly doesn’t hurt to check the availability online at the retailer’s website. If it shows an item is in-stock, feel free to huff it over to the brick and mortar location or at the very least, give them a call and see if they’ll hold the item for you. This has led to varying degrees of success for us, but once the item is out….
Sign up for in-stock e-mail & text alerts (we use nowinstock.net)
Once we’re out of luck with the retailer we set up e-mail and text alerts from a website such as www.nowinstock.net. While the website’s reliability is finicky at best (and we’re certainly open to suggestions for websites providing a similar service), when you do get a text the amiibo you’re after is in stock, it’s a great feeling. Every time I’ve gotten a text about a specific item and clicked the link it’s worked flawlessly, however I have not gotten a text or e-mail every single time an item has become available. Sometimes you just get lucky watching over different retailer’s websites like a hawk.
Start camping like you’re sniping in C.O.D (at retailer on release date)
This last one isn’t always feasible due to various responsibilities and doesn’t always yield dividends, but as evidenced by our success stories, sometimes you just get lucky. While driving around the city hours before opening led to a whole lot of nothing at Toys R’ Us, arriving at GameStop early on Ness’ release date ensured in spite of the litany technical issues, I was able to walk away with my coveted #Exclusive. We’ve multiple friends who work at various retailers and we’ve heard an amiibo release day looks markedly similar to Black Friday in terms of people lining up early, albeit on a much smaller scale. The early bird gets the worm, however-so if you’ve got the time and effort, simply out wait the opposition.
This post is by no means comprehensive nor a guaranteed guide to getting your hands on the #Exclusive amiibos available, we’d just thought we could do our Bros a solid and provide the tips and tricks we use when we’re trying our luck. Hopefully some of the awesome figures get re-released at a future date, as there’s no denying “Villager” is one cute son-of-a-gun. Until next time, Bros!