While the Nintendo amiibo craze has arguably died down a little from the frenzied demand which typified the first year of availability, there are still a few figures which are either too hard to find or are simply too expensive for most casual collectors to even contemplate purchasing.
As a result, Nintendo fans are taking advantage of the fact that NFC tags are cheap to acquire and are making their own unofficial amiibo cards using dumped data from the real deal – and they're so good, we think Nintendo could learn a thing or two from them. We've already seen Nintendo release Animal Crossing amiibo cards and the company have previously stated that they might reissue certain hard-to-find figures in a cheaper card format, but the Japanese giant is playing catch-up right now – these home-made efforts are so impressive you might even think they're 100 percent official.
Personalised Mii Fighters
There's nothing quite like the personal touch, and these cards from CustomConquestStore allow you to immortalise your Mii in card form – something that an off-the-shelf amiibo card simply can't do. The process is simple; you supply the card maker with your Mii's QR code, tell them what outfit and headgear you'd like to wear and choose from card designs based on Smash Bros., 30th Anniversary Legend of Zelda, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Fire Emblem. The end result is a card so polished and professional-looking that you'd swear it was the real thing – but with the added bonus of having your Mii's mug on the front.
The Splatoon amiibo figures are some of the most desirable in the entire range, purely down to the fact that they unlock some really cool stuff in the Wii U game – including bonus missions which bag you exclusive in-game gear. As a result, you might find it hard to snag the entire set so amiibo cards are a viable alternative. These fan-made card replications from AmiiboNFCcards include both colour variants of the Inking Boy, Inking Girl and Squid, as well as siblings Marie and Callie. Sure, you miss out on owning some of the most attractive and detailed amiibo yet produced, but at least you'll have more room on your shelf for games.
Monster Hunter Stories
Monster Hunter Stories isn't available in the west as yet, so picking up a full set of its amiibo could be seen as rather pointless at this stage; however, when you consider how in-demand these amazing figures will be when the North American and European launch takes place later this year, then it's a pretty wise investment. Plus, the card designs from AmiiboNFCcards, which feature Shuval, Ayurai, Dan, Navilu and the female and male versions of the main character, are all very fetching indeed. Monster Hunter Stories is a spin-off of the main Monster Hunter series, which – in case you didn't know – is one of Capcom's biggest franchises right now.
It's strange that there haven't been more third-party amiibo figures when you consider how well the concept works – we've had only a few notable highlights so far– Shovel Knight being one such example, and Skylanders another. The Bowser and Donkey Kong amiibo produced for Skylanders Superchargers are unique in that they can switch between Skylander and amiibo functionality, but sadly they were only available in packs with the game itself, which naturally drives up the cost of ownership. Picking up the fan-made card variants of these imposing fellows is a more wallet-friendly option.
Animal Crossing Cheri
Not all fan-made amiibo cards are entirely bespoke; this example from Chibisilverwings takes an official Animal Crossing amiibo card and adds a personal touch by sticking a home-made version of the character Cheri on the top. This one-of-a-kind item is more a piece of art than something you'd buy just for use in a game, but it naturally retains all of its amiibo functionality and can be used with compatible Animal Crossing games, such as Happy Home Designer on the 3DS and amiibo Festival on the Wii U.
Kirby: Planet Robobot
Kirby: Planet Robobot is one of the more recent 3DS titles to make use of amiibo functionality and comes with a range of four figures – Kirby, Meta Knight, Dedede and Waddledee – all of which unlock content in the game. What makes these particular fan-made cards so appealing is the excellent front and back design, which boasts official artwork taken from the game itself. If you've been thinking about picking up this underrated 3DS adventure then knowing you can unlock amiibo functionality without spending loads of cash on toys might push you over the edge.