by Doc – Owner, Founder, Refuses to Buy Cat Mario amiibo
Smash Bros. Mario amiibo (November 2014)
The Smash series Mario amiibo was the very first amiibo ever created and released – we’ve seen a few amiibo prototypes here and there, but no Mario amiibo prototypes have ever surfaced. It’s not surprising – internal IDs indicate that Mario was created as an amiibo long before anything else was considered.
Smash series Mario was the face of amiibo for a good, long time. He was the amiibo meant to introduce people into the fold, and for many he was their first amiibo. Nintendo knew this, and gave Mario a good AI in Smash 4: in Smash 4’s vanilla metagame, he was A+ tier, only being bested by the banworthy Ness amiibo.
These days, you can’t find Smash Mario on the shelf anymore. He’s been long forgotten in favor of the new amiibo.
Super Mario series Mario (April 2015)
Ironically, although this amiibo was one of the most common for a very long time, it’s also one of the last amiibo that I collected (of the ones that I’m wanting to collect, of course). Super Mario series Mario amiibo was intended to kick off the amiibo X Super Mario series, and it was largely a replacement for the then-understocked Smash Bros Mario amiibo. They have identical functionality in almost every game.
This amiibo is the first of what I like to call the Royal Three. Nintendo basically took this design, painted it differently with a slightly different chip, and said “Fuck it, let’s tell people it’s valuable”. The end result was…
Gold Mario amiibo (March 2015)
Amiibo has always been a great way to get the ladies, but Gold Mario was the sexiest amiibo around for a good, long while. This amiibo was basically created for Mario Party 10, which is the case for all the Royal Three. This one was originally exclusive to Walmart stores, which created some very interesting situations. This was the first amiibo that was intentionally rare, and it showed. According to the Amiibo Wiki (cited above), it hit a price of $90 on Amazon briefly. Even today, there’s only a few amiibo that have that price secondhand, and that’s never happened when an amiibo was still on shelves.
Gold Mario’s amiibo functionality is basically nonexistent – sure, it’s got a special gold skin in Mario Maker. That’s about it. Gold Mario was Nintendo flexing their collectorship, and it proved Nintendo could make a good collector’s product, so long as it was spray-painted.
Silver Mario (May 2015)
Nintendo is a company that does not always make sense, and Silver Mario coming after Gold Mario is a good example of that. Why would the last of the Royal Three be silver? It’s anti-climactic.
Silver Mario is, much like Gold Mario, a Silver version of Super Mario series Mario. It’s… yet another collector’s item. There’s some slightly different functionality for a handful of games (meaning that Mario gets a different reskin in Mario Maker), but otherwise, this is a flex.
Fun fact: Silver Mario was the fourth amiibo I ever got. My grandmother gave it to me when it was still very rare and hard to find.
8-Bit Classic Mario (September 2015)
When it came to printing Mario amiibo in 2015, Nintendo needed a serious intervention. They ended up printing five of these suckers in that year, but at least they had a good reason – it was Mario’s 30th anniversary. In order to cash in a bit further on Mario Maker, they put out the first 8-bit amiibo. Classic Mario was the common one that you’d see in a lot of places, and that was by design. The rare one was…
8-bit Modern Mario (September 2015)
…Modern Mario. When this sucker first came out, it was only available as a bundle with Super Mario Maker and an entire Wii U. Nintendo effectively paywalled this amiibo behind buying an entirely extra Wii U and copy of Mario Maker, and for a few people it worked. I remember seeing on the now-dead amiibo subreddit pictures of people who spent $300 on the entire bundle just for this one amiibo…
…only for it to eventually be rereleased a few months later on its own. Man, I sure hope nobody bought something they couldn’t afford.
Wedding Outfit Mario (October 2017)
My goodness, two whole years without releasing a Mario amiibo. Can you imagine the horror?
This amiibo was released alongside Wedding Suit Peach and Bowser to capitalize on the release of Super Mario Odyssey, and was usually sold in a 3-pack. Occasionally you’d find them sold separately, but that was only a common occurrence a few months after Odyssey’s release.
The release of Wedding Mario & Co. was almost a rebirth for amiibo – it was clear Nintendo was testing the waters for their new Nintendo Switch console, and in my opinion if these hadn’t sold particularly well we probably wouldn’t have seen Smash Ultimate get its extended amiibo functionality and line of amiibo. Wedding Mario is largely overlooked, but I think its success played an important role in keeping amiibo alive.
Cat Mario (February 2021)
This was a mistake.