RUMOR: GameStop to Force Scarcity for Shulk Amiibo?

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

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Super Smash Bros. for Wii U -- Shulk

GameStop sure loves their exclusives. Much like how Xenoblade Chronicles was a GameStop exclusive, Shulk is going to be a GameStop-exclusive amiibo. He’ll be part of the third wave of amiibo figures to be released February 2015.

However, according to, someone claiming to be a GameStop manager has claimed GameStop will intentionally under-produce the Shulk figure, increasing its rarity so they can drive up the price and sell new shipments of the amiibo as “used”:

Hello. You may remember me as the GameStop manager who first tipped you off about the November 21 release date for Smash Bros. I may have another insider story that I feel people should know about. As you likely know, GameStop will be exclusively selling the Shulk amiibo next year. From what I’ve heard, we will only be getting enough amiibo to exactly match the number of pre-orders—no more, no less. The idea is to keep the figure rare, increasing its market value and driving up demand. Then, several months later, we will receive a second shipment to sell as “used” for a marked-up price.

Please remove my name from the report—I could get fired for leaking this.


[Name withheld]

This is an anonymous source, so it’s hard to say if this rumor is true or not. It’s worth noting, though, that GameStop has been known to use shady business practices before. There were rumors of them doing something similar to this with Xenoblade Chronicles, as well.

What do you think? Do you believe the rumor? Either way, let us know in the comments.

About Colin Malone

Colin has been playing video games since he was very young and is a fan of several genres including RPG, strategy and platformers, among others. He graduated from Southwestern University with a degree in communications and currently writes for Wii U Daily, Operation Rainfall and Inspectioneering Magazine. His long term goal is nothing less than to become the Hunter S. Thompson of games journalism.

  • Squall Lee

    we already fell for this with the rumors of villager, wft, and marth being out of print

    • Pyrotek85

      Well I doubt Nintendo themselves would create artificial scarcity, but this I could believe since Gamestop pulled that ‘used’ Xenoblade nonsense. I don’t know if they have control over the production itself though, but I could see them sitting on the amiibos to create demand.

    • dubaloseven

      >Well I doubt Nintendo themselves would create artificial scarcity

      Dude that’s one of Nintendo’s go-to strategies.

  • Anthony Yousef

    Even if they say that it will be equal roughly to the number of pre-orders, it would be too directly shady if they didn’t have some on the shelves regardless; it could be seen as a slap to the face for a multitude of the fanbase who couldn’t pre-order for whatever reason, assuming that the note is even true (wouldn’t doubt it if it was though, honestly). Regardless, I’m going to pre-order as a precaution.

    • Tara

      I’m just gonna point out that my local Gamestops only got enough to meet preorder demand on Marth/Villager/Wii Fit Trainer. It would stand to reason any other “non-major series” characters would get this same treatment, and as a Gamestop exclusive, I’m quite sure Shulk will definitely get this treatment.

      As the manager at the one local store told me, “This is why we tell people to preorder”. In a way, that whole thing reeks of “We totally have a bunch at the warehouse to sell at a special “used” price, just like Xenoblade”.

      In reality, I’m sure that’s not far from the truth, and it also creates a “valid” reason for people to preorder. (Create panic initially so people will jump on preordering so they don’t miss out on the next wave.)

  • StingFan

    Used amiibo? Is that a thing? Do people return amiibo? Why would they lie about them being used to mark up the price? Wouldn’t it make more sense to lie, selling used amiibo as new at a marked up price? As far as I know, new merchandise sells at a higher price than used.

    • Tara

      Gamestop has no control on the MSRP of any items. If it’s new, they have to sell it at around that price in order to remain competitive… unless it’s exclusive. However, if a game is exclusive to Gamestop, they’re going to release it at a price comparable to other games in the shop for the initial batch. After that: “Oh, we ran out, you should have preordered!” Item disappears, “out of print” and all.

      Which brings us to “Why lie?”… the reason they lie is because if it’s new, they have to sell it for around MSRP. Used, however? Gamestop can name their own price on it. A prime example: Xenoblade Chronicles. Originally sold for $50 when it was released, was a Gamestop exclusive for retail, but also was available in very limited numbers from Nintendo’s online store (usually they only sell replacement parts for their consoles, occasionally sell refurb games). Anyway… about a year after Xenoblade disappears off the shelves, suddenly used copies start showing up en masse at Gamestop stores. Used copies with surprisingly pristine manuals, dust-free cases, and completely untouched discs. They sold them for $90 a pop. A super-rare game, used, so they can charge $90 for it, and people did pay that.

      Other games it has happened to: The reprint of Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, and Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner. Atlus suggested an MSRP of $20 for these reprints. Gamestop opened them up and sold them for $30. Clearly new copies, because the original copies of these games had the slot in the case for a memory card, and these supposedly “used” copies had the new-style case without the memory card holder. Before the suggestion is made that they could have been regular DVD cases, they were not, as they had the PS logo imprint in them.

      Anyway, while the article calls what happened with Xenoblade back in the day a “rumor”, the evidence I saw for myself says it was no rumor. I’m 100% certain they did that, and the reason is simply because they can name their own price on used items. Nothing more, nothing less.

    • dubaloseven

      Used Skylanders and Disney Infinity figures generate used sales for GS and other game trade-in stores and both of them are higher quality than Amiibo, so it stands to reason that they would.

      Also if I didn’t used Link to get bonuses in HW I totally would’ve returned him by now, that thing is ugly as hell.

  • Ryan Neely

    Like exactly what they did with Xenoblade Chronicles? I’m pretty sure that’s supposed to be some kind of joke.

  • Razorfall

    Business as usual. Lucario is looking to be pretty scarce as well.

  • Jeremy Collum

    i absolutely believe it as that’s exactly what they did with the actual game xenoblade chronicles

  • Yolanda M. Aquino

    just so you know if they are “holding games” its not individual stores its the company and its main warehouse. They sell you what they have if the stores are not restocked its not the individual stores at fault so the sales person your starring at is telling you the truth as far as they are aware when they say they are sold out

    • Tara

      Of course it wouldn’t be held at the store level. The previous instances of this being done were definitely at the corporate level. The only part that is slightly less believable on this, is that they would tell a store manager at all at this point in time, since they by-and-large keep their employees in the dark on any master plan until it’s being enacted.

      Also, not sure if you’ve ever seen the back room of a Gamestop, but they definitely don’t have room to store much of anything in there, at least not at the ones I’ve seen the back rooms for.