The past few months have been very frustrating for Nintendo collectors in North America as certain Amiibo figures have been nigh impossible to find, or sold out mere minutes after being listed for pre-orders at retailers and online stores. In addition, details on future Amiibo release dates have been unclear. Most figures in Wave 3 have released, though not all locations have received every figure, and the Best Buy-exclusive Meta Knight Amiibo does not release officially until tomorrow. Like the Amiibo shortage woes, the New Nintendo 3DS XL has become increasingly scarce in North America. After the complications with the limited edition Majora’s Mask Skull Kid figure and Majora’s Mask New 3DS XL and no straight answers, it appeared that Nintendo was simply not doing a good job predicting the demand for their new products.
At last, though, Nintendo has provided answers! During the recent investor meeting’s Q & A session, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata linked these issues to the current West Coast labor disputes and strikes that have been stirring for a few months. The disputes at the ports all along the West Coast have resulted in imported goods being backed up, stacked in the ports or on barges in harbors waiting to get unloaded. The games themselves, explains Iwata, “are light and can be flown to America,” which is why hardware and figures have faced a shortage while the games have not.
This does offer a solid explanation why the only solid Amiibo release date was November 21st and why Nintendo has been so unclear with the release dates: it is out of their control. It also explains the selling-out of limited edition Majora’s Mask New 3DS XL systems and the standard version shortage. Hopefully these labor disputes on the coast can be solved soon, or it will be likely that these problems will continue.