Importing video games and memorabilia used to be hassle. After paying an inflated price, we forked over a depressing amount for shipping and then proceeded to wait a week or more for the item to arrive. Most of time it did, but with Internet commerce stumbling from infancy into puberty, we crossed our fingers and prayed for a safe arrival.

With Amazon staking a claim in multiple countries these days, the fear of importing is more or less a non-issue. Items occasionally arrive damaged, but consumers are able to buy with confidence for the most part.  Prices are higher after converting currency, and international shipping is often worse than domestic for obvious reasons, but if you want something from Amazon Germany, the peace of mind you feel after submitting the order feels refreshing compared to the great unknown of 15 years ago. 

This brings us to amiibo. Nintendo releases new waves in Japan and Europe months before the figures arrive in the United States, and unlike in North America, there are no store exclusives and you’ll find amiibo in large quantities. Want Dark Pit? Simply walk into a store while abroad and buy him.  Looking for this amiibo in the U.S.? Well, it’s Best Buy exclusive, so make sure you line up three hours before the store opens on July 31.  Meanwhile, Palutena is Amazon exclusive and for sale on July 27, but readily available elsewhere. 

This leaves amiibo hunters with the decision of waiting for the U.S. release or importing from a website specializing in amiibo from Japan or Amazon (Germany, France, Italy). It costs more, but you stand a greater chance of acquiring the amiibo you want sooner without spending a frantic day store hopping or refreshing the Amazon U.S. page. It seems importing happens quite often, based on our time lurking on r/amiibo.

If you open all of the amiibo, importing is a decent option. Doing this means avoiding store exclusives, standing in line and perhaps striking out on release day. You’ll also have new amiibo well beforehand, which means you can tease your friends who still need to wait several weeks while you train these characters in Super Smash Bros.

Hardcore collectors, on the other hand, must decide if they’re OK with different packaging. In the U.S., the amiibo box has the character’s name on the top left and then 6+ (for age) on the top right corner. European amiibo, on the other hand, have Super Smash Bros. Collection on the top left and then the character’s name on the top right. This may sound trivial, but for the person who mostly buys U.S. amiibo, finishing the Smash line with European boxes means he or she will have an incomplete U.S. set.  It will drive some people crazy. 

Considering how tempting it is to pick up Zero Suit Samus right now instead of waiting, do you import amiibo, or plan to import? If so, which company do you buy from, and would you consider grabbing a bundle off eBay? Did your amiibo arrive without a scratch? Let us know. 

Now check out all of the amiibo from Wave 5.