I keep telling myself that the kids and I don’t need any more amiibo. And I manage to stick to my guns… for a time. Inevitably, Nintendo rolls out something I can’t resist (I’m looking at you, Squid Sisters) or we find a deal too good pass up (like those fire sale Animal Crossing amiibo on Amazon), and we end up with more of these interactive figurines crowded around our entertainment center.
I’ve seen lots of really great amiibo display products, from tiered organizers to wall units, but the ones that hit the sweet spot between form and function for yours truly are from peripheral manufacturer PDP. Its Super Mario Pipe stands were a big hit in my house last Christmas, and its more recent releases manage to outstrip even the simple elegance of that product.
Like the aforementioned Warp Pipe, PDP’s Spinning Fire Bar display draws inspiration from the classic Super Mario Bros. and lets you easily elevate your favorite figures above the fray. The trick this time, in addition to its delightfully lo-res brick and lava motif, is a wind-up motorized bar of pixelated fireballs. Admittedly, the wind-up mechanism is almost comically loud, but it’s fun and it works and it’s the perfect accessory for the retro gamer and amiibo collector in your life.
For those whose tastes skew a bit more toward epic fantasy, PDP’s Master Sword display is another handsome addition that hides a couple of unique surprises. Simply pop Link (or any other amiibo that strikes your fancy) into the stand to give it a place of prominence in your collection. But wait; is that a removable Master Sword?! Yes. Yes it is. It is also a stylus, perfect for use with your Wii U or 3DS. And—assuming you drop a couple of AAA batteries into it—removing/reinserting the sword into the stand itself will also trigger some series-appropriate sound effects.
For those looking for a themed set piece to house multiple amiibo, your choice was pretty much limited to POWER A’s End Level display, a fun (if bulky) reproduction of the Super Mario final checkpoint flag. PDP, however, elected to crown its new line with its own Donkey Kong display. Aping (see what I did there?) the classic ladder and girder motif, this allows for the storage and display of nine amiibo (as opposed to POWER A’s six) and looks fabulous.
Admittedly, it did take me a few tries to parse its foldout black-and-white instruction sheet—I am not so good with the spatial relations—but once I got it assembled I was pleasantly surprised by its sturdiness. While this one doesn’t sport any sound effects or mechanization, something about its crazy fuschia and sea foam color scheme and wonky 8-bit slant has made it a real conversation piece.
Not content to just make your amiibo collection more awesome, PDP has also released a new hybrid storage case for the New Nintendo 3DS XL. The Slim Storage Armor is really just a variation on the existing Zelda Clip Armor but, like, with storage.
The bottom of this translucent green shell snaps flush to your 3DS, while the top adds a raised hinged door that can be lifted to reveal storage space for three game cartridges, two styli, and, for some reason, a microfiber cleaning charm. Why you would keep your cleaning charm in there instead of simply looping it through the wrist strap hole on your New 3DS XL is a mystery to me, but I’m not here to judge.
Like PDP’s aforementioned Clip Armor, this is also decorated with a little LOZ flash; Toon Link launches a spin attack on the top graphic, and the included charm is also festooned in Hylian splendor.
Despite adding some necessary bulk to the top, the Slim Storage Armor more or less lives up to its name. It is indeed slim and it does offer ample storage, but this accessory is not without its quirks.
First and foremost, the door to its storage compartment is a little tough for an adult (and nigh impossible for some younger gamers) to open via traditional means. My suggestion is to forgo that enticing front indentation and instead focus your attack on one of the sides. Trust me; it’s far easier.
Secondly, the cartridge slots therein are also a tight fit, though they do loosen up a bit after some use. Also, I’ll point out that the camera cutouts (though, honestly, they’re more akin to camera tunnels) could conceivably cause some shadowing when taking pictures with your 3DS. Although, I can’t imagine photography is at the forefront of the mind of an average 3DS gamer.
At $14.99, I’d still call the Slim Storage Armor a solid purchase. I am, after all, an avid 3DS accessorizer, and this one does add some nice functionality. The Spinning Fire and Master Sword amiibo displays are similarly priced, and they do look quite fetching, but it’s the Donkey Kong display that really wowed me. Coming in at only $5 more($19.99), it’s a must-buy that manages to impress above and beyond PDP’s other remarkable accessories.
Review materials provided by: PDP