Best-Selling Amiibo Revealed

Can you guess which toys have sold the most?

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Nintendo has sold 5.7 million Amiibo toys to date, but which characters are flying off the shelves the fastest? The company on Tuesday answered that question, publishing best-selling charts for the toys.

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Link, the hero of the iconic Legend of Zelda series, is the overall top-seller in all regions except Australia--though he does rank in the top five five there. As you might have expected, Mario--Nintendo's best-known character, is also near the top of every list.

Nintendo cautions, however, that the chart does not perfectly capture the popularity for each character due to the fact that some were sold out in certain regions.

Nintendo also posted a pie chart of Amiibo sales by region. The United States and Canada account for the lion's share of total global shipments, coming in at 63 percent. The next closest is Europe at 23 percent, followed by Japan (11 percent) and Australia (3 percent).

Company president Satoru Iwata also addressed the issue of Amiibo discontinuation. He didn't make any promises about being able to keep all toys in stock forever, but did explain that there are certain circumstances where Nintendo will consider offering a second run.

"It is difficult for us to promise to continuously ship all of the Amiibo figures," he said. "We will, however, consider additional production in cases such as when an Amiibo figure sells out shortly after launch, an Amiibo is indispensable to play a certain game, and when we receive a lot of requests for an Amiibo figure from consumers and retailers."

Iwata also outlined future Amiibo plans, saying that Nintendo will also release the toys in NFC card form later this year. In addition, Nintendo will release a free Wii U app that lets users play NES and Super NES games with Amiibo characters sometime in the first half of 2015.

Using the app, players can tap their Amiibo onto the GamePad and in turn get to play certain scenes from various NES and SNES games. Iwata explains it thusly:

"You cannot play the entire game due to a time limit, but another tap of the Amiibo will enable you to try another highlighted scene in the game," he said. "We hope that when you tap your Amiibo, the quickly changing game scenes will pleasantly surprise you and make you feel as though you have just exchanged a game cartridge."

Right now, Amiibo toys work with Wii U and the New Nintendo 3DS, which features built-in NFC technology. However, Nintendo will release an external NFC adapter for legacy 3DS platforms later this summer.

The list of Amiibo-compatible games right now is fairly short. It spans titles such as Super Smash Bros. (Wii U and 3DS), Mario Kart 8, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, and Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, which launches this Friday, February 20. Iwata teased that Nintendo is "planning further compatibility" for other games.

Finally, Iwata addressed the thriving auction market for Amiibo toys, saying it is "something which none of us had predicted." Rare Amiibo toys, including "defect" models, have sold for thousands on sites such as eBay.

By comparison, Activision has sold more than 240 million Skylanders toys to date. Disney is also in the toys-to-life business with Disney Infinity, though it's unclear how many toys Disney has shifted so far.

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