Last Updated on July 9, 2023
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Nintendo is one of the most iconic names in modern video gaming. Founded in the 19th century as a card company, the company entered the video gaming realm in the 1980s with the Famicom home video game console, or what is known in the United States as the original Nintendo Entertainment System. Riding on the success of games like Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and Metroid, Nintendo would go on to spawn a number of home console systems and handheld systems. While some of Nintendo’s attempts failed badly, at the time of this post Nintendo’s flagship product, Nintendo Switch, is selling well worldwide.
A cult hit among Nintendo’s product line are Amiibo*, a collection of mini-figures that are capable of communicating with certain Nintendo systems using NFC protocol.The figures were first released for the Wii U (a system that did not perform well) but are also compatible with New Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Switch. Amiibo can be used with certain games to unlock in-game bonuses or even, in some cases, store or load some kinds of data.
Trying to sort out which Amiibo work with which games — and how they work in each game — can be dizzying, since it varies widely from game to game. Both Nintendo and Wikipedia maintain compatibility lists for Amiibo and games, but for some collectors just having the figures is just as important, if not more so, than the in-game bonuses.
The prices of Amiibo vary, with many of them running between $13 and 16. In addition, because some of them are rare, difficult-to-find versions, they can show up for a lot more than list price from third party sellers on Amazon or secondhand dealers on eBay. Finding them for any less than that is considered a find.
Enter Five Below.
Five Below sells a number of Amiibo in its stores and online. Everything in Five Below is $5 or less, and all the Amiibo I’ve seen there retail for $5. The Amiibo available at Five Below vary from month to month. I haven’t seen Five Below carry very many A-list Amiibo like Mario or Link, but I have seen them carry a nice selection of B-list characters like Street Fighter’s Ryu and Ken, Super Mario Bros.’s Daisy and Peach, and Animal Crossing’s Isabelle and Resetti. I even once saw a 3-pack of Amiibo with Animal Crossing trio Cyrus, Reese, and K.K. Slider for $5, which is a lot less than I’ve seen that pack anywhere else.
In my experience, Five Below rotates its selection of Amiibo, so if you see one and you really want it, you may not want to hesitate, as it might not be in stock in the future.
A final note: during one visit I got into a conversation with a self-described collector who said he once scored one of the rare gold Amiibo from Five Below. I can’t verify that, and I certainly haven’t seen them myself, so that may not be true. But with the Amiibo coming in and out of Five Below, I suppose there is always a chance.
If you’re an Amiibo collector — or if you’re just looking to get a few Amiibo on the cheap — you absolutely have to check out Five Below. It’s one of the cheapest places I know of to score the little figures, and while you probably won’t score ultra-rare models (although you could), I’m not sure you can find them at better prices. Plus, the fact that Five Below rotates its stock means that you may find something a little different each time you visit.
* Nintendo stylizes them in all lower case — amiibo — although they are capitalized in other places.