Mr. Game & Watch has been a fairly divisive character ever since he re-took center stage in Super Smash Bros. Melee for the Nintendo GameCube. Based on the Game & Watch lineup of handheld devices created by Nintendo throughout the ’80s, his monochromatic appearance is charming, and he stands out from the rest of his Smash brethren with his flat, 2D modelling. His unique physiology and appeal made his new Amiibo figurine impossible to resist.
The Amiibo figures are practically the second coming of the beanie baby in that everybody wants them, and nobody has them. Except, of course, for those who buy them in large quantities and then take advantage of the rest of us by selling them for up to ten times the original retail cost. But, for the $10-$15 price tag that each Amiibo is supposed to carry, Nintendo’s new line of toys provide spectacular value. Not only are they a joy to use in Wii U and 3DS games (especially new titles like Super Mario Maker and Yoshi’s Woolly World), they are made of high-quality plastic and, in most cases, are beautifully detailed and carefully crafted, aside from the strangely colored plastic stands that accompany each character. Personally, I have 41 of the little guys, and there are very few that I think need improvement. Except for Game & Watch. Out of all those positive aspects I just used to describe Nintendo’s Amiibo lineup, none of them apply to this little silver and black demon.
The Game & Watch Amiibo comes as part of the Retro 3-Pack, released earlier this week. The pack also includes fan favorite retro characters R.O.B. and Duck Hunt. And thank goodness for their inclusion, because without them, Game & Watch would stand alone in a pit of lonely disappointment. And let me tell you why.
The very first thing I noticed once I opened my three-pack and picked up the G&W figure was that the quality of the plastic. The entirety of the character is made of a hard, brittle, and cheap plastic that is a far cry from the quality of the rest of the Amiibo. The charm of G&W’s flat appearance and minimalistic colouring wore off instantly as I handled my new purchase. G&W’s outline, coloured in a dull, flat grey, was hardly even painted at all. Portions of my Amiibo’s paint job had been rubbed off or missed entirely, which only made my quality concerns more valid.
Seemingly, Nintendo realized the lackluster showing that G&W would make among the other Amiibo, so they included three extra forms or poses in the package. You can remove the standard G&W pose from the base of the figure and swap it out with a different style. But this just adds to the opinion that the Amiibo is cheaply made. So cheap, in fact, that you get four for the price of one. That’s a bargain that isn’t nearly as satisfying as it is enticing.
To make matters even worse, along the bottom of each G&W pose is a small strip of plastic painted gold, made to complement the gold colour at the base of the figure. But it doesn’t match! Nintendo didn’t even apply the proper shade of gold to make the characters blend properly. The new gold color is slightly darker and shines just a little bit more.
In short, I love my Amiibo collection. Having officially licensed figures of Toon Link, Pikachu, Mega Man, and Villager brings me a lot more joy than might seem appropriate for a fully grown man. But the Game & Watch Amiibo’s quality ensures its place in the deepest, darkest corner of my “spare gaming parts” bin.