When Nintendo announced their line of NFC-enabled Amiibo figurines at E3 earlier this year, they all looked stunning; however, it seems that mass production has lowered the quality of some of these figures.
Take Link, for example; at E3, he was held up by a subtle clear stake, but in the production version he is supported by a thick yellow rod and his sword is much softer. Ultimately, however, this was to be expected.
When Nintendo first showed off these figures at E3, they were still prototypes; much like games can change during development, these figures were altered to fix potential issues and make mass production feasible. For example, the thin rod used to hold Link’s figure up at E3 would likely have been easy to break, making it necessary for the development team to make it stronger (although I have no idea why they decided to make it yellow); similarly, it was also necessary to give the Wii Fit Trainer a strange cast-like plastic covering over her foot. It was likely also necessary for Nintendo to make Link and Marth’s swords less rigid for safety reasons.
Other changes were likely made to account for the mass production of these figurines; between E3 and now, Peach’s hands have gotten thicker and the patterns on her dress have changed from being inlaid to being painted on. In production, it was probably either difficult or expensive for Nintendo to keep these features.
Overall, I still think that these figures are great; in particular, Mario, Donkey Kong, and Pikachu’s figures still seem to look flawless. However, some changes, like the ones I pointed out, are fairly obvious and detract from their value; in particular, I wish they had found a better way to support the Wii Fit Trainer other than gluing a hunk of plastic to her foot. In the end though, these figures are really about the NFC functionality; I mean, they’re trophies that you can train into ultimate fighters, so what’s not to like?