Sometimes you just want to skip the random nonsense and have your favorite animal villager move in and become your neighbor. You can bribe your friend to harass their villager if they somehow got your favorite and are willing to part with them. Or you can buy Raymond for between 10 and 30 bucks on eBay. There’s another way, of course, and that’s scanning Animal Crossing amiibo cards, but those have become remarkably difficult to come by as of late. Nintendo in Japan is trying to alleviate the situation and has told Japanese site Game Watch that it will be making more cards to meet the demand and try to combat the scalping and bootlegging. No word yet on whether the West will follow, but it’s still a good sign.
To show how crazy things have gotten, the cards originally sold for about $5.99 per pack of six, but Amazon has packs for as low as $29.99, and full sets can go for thousands of dollars. As a response, a black market for fake chips containing amiibo data exists, much like the bootleg chips and cards that are made for amiibo figures. Scarcity and demand defined the amiibo brand in its first years, and while we hoped that scalping for massive profits would die down over time, it looks like some are just as valuable as ever.
One of the better uses of Nintendo’s NFC experiment has been the Animal Crossing amiibo cards. The concept is perfect: buy a pack, open some random villagers, and scan the cards to summon new friends to your town / island paradise. However, Nintendo released the first wave of these cards in 2015, three years after Animal Crossing: New Leaf came out. Some people bought them, mainly collectors who wanted all the amiibo and AC diehard fans. By and large though, they sat on department store shelves for years, gathering dust and clearance stickers. And then Nintendo announced New Horizons and the cards skyrocketed in value.
Animal Crossing amiibo cards provided a way of mitigating the randomness inherent in the game. Maybe Louie is your favorite and you don’t want to keep a space open for the great ape. Either way, hopefully this reprint will eventually include the West and feature older waves and new ones for the new villagers in New Horizons.
If you’re looking for something to do in the meantime, you can always trap the villagers you don’t like in this Zelda dungeon island.