Toy customization is a huge deal these days, and there have been some amazing designs over the expanse of dolls, action figures and of course, Amiibos. They're the little figurines you put on your Nintendo gaming consoles to unlock downloadable content, such as using that particular figure in your Nintendo game. It's a really neat idea and I might have gotten more into it if I had a console and the extra dough to pay for all of the Amiibos.
That was the downside to the whole idea. You had to buy each Amiibo separately, and I'm not even going to get into the shortages they experienced when they first launched. It felt gimmicky to people, but they were still bought up like crazy. Fast forward to today and you can still buy Amiibos, but most people don’t tend to let them stay the way they were made. Artists all over have taken to planning, painting, and sculpting in order to create some amazing custom Amiibos.
Whether they become a character not affiliated with a Nintendo franchise, a special form of the same character, or something entirely different is up to the artist. The only bars held are the depths of their wallets, their free time, and their talent in working with small pieces. In the hands of someone who has had experience and knows what they’re doing, these custom Amiibos can be incredible. Sometimes the image in our minds doesn’t match the end product though, and that can be kind of lame. It’s a good chance to learn from mistakes.
30 Lame: Activating Big Head Mode
Okay, I know that working on a figurine can be incredibly difficult. Their heads don’t leave a lot of room for error and the paint doesn’t always do what you want. But this is one of those projects that sounds a lot better on paper than in execution. Samus having a larger head makes it easier to do the detailing work, but the proportions of her head and body are so out of whack that you can’t help but laugh a little.
Art by edjka3
29 Awesome: A Villainous Brood
Bowser has a big enough job on as it is. He has to take Princess Peach as part of his bad guy schtick, rule his kingdom and try to prevent Mario from destroying all of his real estate property. But his life got a whole lot more complicated when Nintendo threw in the Koopalings, one of which is his son, Bowser Junior. This Etsy listing gives us a great look at what Koopalings could and should look like if Nintendo ever made them. Each one has their own personalized ship and shows off their personality.
Art by Anne Kong
28 Awesome: Taking A Spin
Roy is one of the many swordsman copycats in the Super Smash Bros. games. But it’s nice to see that he gets the spotlight here in a custom Amiibo by mighymola (who has some other really cool work; go check her out!)
Roy gets the vacation he deserves.
With sunglasses and a breeze, he’s taking a ride out in the open. Who knows what kind of shenanigans he’d get into on his own? Luckily he’s more than capable of taking care of himself. Have fun, Roy!
Art by Mighty Mola
27 Lame: Gotta Go Fast... To Get Away!
This person took some of the Sonic fan games and gave them their own Amiibo, which ended up looking like this. Now, as far as the design, I think it’s spot on. (Seriously, fan games are odd).
Sonic looks more like Flat Stanley than an Amiibo.
But the reason it’s on the lame list is partially because the artist decided to make the Amiibo flat instead of how they normally are. That takes away the charm of the Amiibos and instead becomes an odd statue. Also, fan games aren’t many people’s first choice for the best Sonic games.
26 Awesome: Treat Yourself
Isabelle is one of the kinder residents of your Animal Crossing town, and she helps you through the game. In this adorable custom Amiibo made by Tumblr user amandkyomakescustoms, it looks like Isabelle is taking a well-deserved break and possibly taking in a festival with that beautiful kimono. This Amiibo is incredibly well-sculpted! It looks as if it is an official release. I can also appreciate the detail that goes into the flowers on the base and the gradient on the kimono itself.
Art by Amanda Su
25 Awesome: A Squid And A Kid
This is Prisma. Prisma is an original character who was given a personalized Amiibo by DeviantArt user Electric-Empire. According to the page, it is their first Amiibo and it took five hours to make.
Custom characters can bring life to a franchise.
My guess is that it was mostly just the paint job and waiting for the glue to dry. I can imagine what a waiting game making a custom Amiibo can turn into. If you start painting again too soon, you get a brown paint puddle, and no one wants that.
Art by Electric-Empire
24 Lame: A Bigger Head Than We Thought
Shigeru Miyamoto is one of the heads of Nintendo and has done incredible work for the company, including work on the first Mario and Zelda games. I get that he would foster a ton of admiration. But it looks like edjka, creator of the Samus on our list, is at it again. This piece is downright strange, and I don’t know that it really even resembles Miyamoto all that much. Which is a shame, since he has some other pretty cool pieces of work on his DeviantArt. His skills just aren’t showcased properly here.
23 Awesome: A Useful Tool
While the artist of this custom Shovel Knight Amiibo is unknown, the artistry speaks for itself. Shovel Knight is a hero who, as his name implies, uses a shovel for his attacks. He has a massive attack power, and that suit of armor is as useful as it is iconic. The creator of this Amiibo looks to have taken great pains to make everything look just right. The clay looks like the plastic used on actual Amiibos, and the paint job is even.
22 Awesome: Hungry Like A Wolf
It’s a known fact that when Kirby inhales something, he is able to absorb their powers and utilize it for his own needs. It is one of the ways that Kirby is especially useful in Smash Bros. He must have grabbed Wolf O’Donnell from the Star Fox series. SilverAccalia made the ears, scanner, and hair out of epoxy sculpt (which you’d be VERY familiar with if you do any kind of toy customization). You can tell they were made separately, but they sit on the base so well that it’s not a jarring change.
Art by SilverAccalia
21 Lame: Just Another Night
Before you start groaning and moving on, take a second to understand my logic. As far as sculpting skills and ideas go, this one is pretty good. What makes it lame is the fact that this artist deliberately gave Freddy a more completed look, so it’d be pretty easy to mistake him for an actual bear that sings and wears a bowtie. The animatronics in FNAF all have such a distinctive look about them. Unfortunately, this custom Amiibo forgoes all of the details that go into Freddy that it becomes downright forgettable.
20 Awesome: One Sly Fox
Unfortunately, Pavlovs-Walrus had an Amiibo earlier on the lame side of the list. Here though, we are congratulating them on a creative stitch job. They took Nick’s head from Disney’s Zootopia and meshed it with Fox McCloud, giving us an idea of some other version of Fox to imagine. Knowing both of their personalities, it’s interesting to think about what kind of character this would be. I thought it worked really well and gives a fresh take on the Star Fox chemistry.
Art by Pavlovs-Walrus
19 Awesome: Fire In His Sole
Captain Falcon is the name given to the racer who uses the Blue Falcon. (Think the Dread Pirate Roberts from The Princess Bride). Created by NoMaD, this Amiibo has one thing that makes it absolutely awesome: the firey effects on Captain Falcon’s legs and behind him as he soars into action.
Props can capture the emotion of the character.
I’m not sure if they made the bird or if it came off something else, but either way, the positioning or fire effect did its job. The Amiibo is majestic!
Art by NoMaD
18 Lame: That's No Moon
I don’t know if this one is lame per se, but it certainly hits a couple of weird notes. It’s unsettling because the moon in Majora’s Mask is quite metaphorical, so to see a symbol of so much destruction and sadness as one of our favorite mascots draws out the uncertainty.
The fusion isn't as cohesive as planned.
There’s also the fact that the moon still looks a ton like Pac-Man, so it’s hard to imagine the moon as it’s supposed to be because you know under that paint is a friendly face.
Art by pavlovs-walrus
17 Awesome: Chaos In Motion
You might say this one is just a repaint, so clearly, anyone could have done it. But what makes this piece awesome is the fact that it’s telling a story. It’s not just Sonic running somewhere. You know he’s gotten his hands on a chaos emerald, and there are places to go. The fact that this Sonic is mid-transition to super Sonic is a great way to tell a story and show action with a figurine. The paint job is pretty solid too, lending to the idea of change.
Art by Rob Roberts
16 Awesome: Coco Meets Peach
Inspired by the Mexican holiday Dia De Los Muertos, (or day of the dead) Rolando Munua created a whole new take on Princess Peach’s Amiibo. Much like other entries, although it’s simply a repaint, the amount of effort and care that went into this look is incredible.
A repaint should be a reimagining.
She has the sugar skull for a face, and very intricate paint along her skirt to bring life to the black half of the dress. It makes you wonder what kind of story would go along with this Amiibo.
Art by Rolando Munua
15 Lame: I'll Be Watching You
To anyone who was a child when Furby toys were originally popular, this homemade Amiibo has to be incredibly spooky, even though it does not look like the creator intended. On the thread the Amiibo was posted, the artist admitted that they weren’t very good and asked how the Amiibo could be improved. The way it turned out though only added to its creepiness, as there is something clearly off about a little fur ball who wants to be your friend.
Art by Captain_Wayne
14 Awesome: Back To The Past
I honestly can’t get over how amazing the detail is on this one. The skull looks incredibly menacing, and there are even a couple of wires hanging out of the stomach. The attention to detail and meticulous sculpting has paid off. Like any interesting custom Amiibo, there should be some kind of story behind it. I wouldn’t mind hearing this one. Hopefully, there isn’t too much time travel included, and Mega Man gets a cool catchphrase; although I suppose ‘I’ll be back’ is iconic enough.
13 Awesome: Who You Gonna Call
Meshing together two iconic franchises that the eighties has to offer has worked out incredibly well. The Ghostbusters hunt ghosts, as does Pac-Man after he’s eaten a power pellet- should be a no-brainer.
The combination of icons works out well here.
The charm of this one is the accessory work on the Amiibo. Between the goggles and the lit cigarette, there is a lot of extra work to be done. Derrico13 has gone above and beyond though, really paying attention to an incredible amount of detail for this sculpt.
Art by derrico13
12 Lame: Ate Something Off
Sometimes when you’re starting a new project, you don’t do as well as you would have hoped because you lack experience. When painting figurines like Amiibos, you need a steady hand. Reddit user Cyberkirby admits to not having a steady hand when he painted this Kirby Amiibo. It was also his first one, but honestly, the reason why it’s lame is because of the title. First, don’t shame your art. If you tried, you tried. Second, that doesn’t look like any given Kiby. Good luck with the next one!
Art by Cyberkirby
11 Awesome: Friends In Low Places
From the Legend of Zelda games, the Koroks are a group of plants that want to live in peace. Many times, you’ll need to collect them from all over in order to get something good. Anne Kong created this piece of art that is a Korok dancing and sells it on her Etsy shop (take a look here). I love how this Korok is covered with fake plants that make it look more lifelike. Even the bag is fabric, giving it more life than a plastic square.
Art by Anne Kong
10 Awesome: Another One Bites The Dust
You obviously haven’t played the Pokémon games if this Amiibo doesn’t give you bad flashbacks of your own experiences with caves. For those who don’t know, Zubats will challenge you every couple of seconds it seems.
This Amiibo captures what it’s like to run into one too many Zubats.
Mario is great at handling mushrooms and turtles. This is his biggest challenge yet! Sai257 not only gives Mario the Mt. Moon treatment, but gives us a treat as two of the biggest Nintendo franchises get meshed into one. Better hope you have another repel!
Art by Sai257
9 Lame: Your Average Princess
This one is lame simply because it’s a repaint without a backstory or really much detailing. Sure, it’s fun to see our favorite characters in different outfits, or at the very least in a different shade.
Peach in yellow isn't as impressive as it could have been.
But with all of the talent that is out there, a repaint isn’t going to get you the fame that perhaps you’re looking for. I also wish that they would have at least done a better job on the skirt design. You can tell they tried and missed a little.
Art by remodeled_amiibos
8 Awesome: I Can Show You To Another Castle
Perhaps this is the one way to make Toad a little less annoying. Personally, the only parts of the movie I cared about were the music and Robin Williams, but that’s just me. GandaKris has a couple of items on this list, as she has made incredible custom Amiibos. This entry is no different. The shaping of the added parts look natural and the effects of the feather and the genie smoke are absolutely magical! If you’re interested in seeing more of her work, check it out here.
Art by GandaKris
7 Awesome: Animals Of The Office
For those who prefer Hulu over Netflix, chances are you haven’t heard of Aggretsko, a show about the red panda Retsko. She works as an accountant and goes to sing heavy metal karaoke when life has her down.
This Amiibo captures the cute nature of Retsko.
It’s a quick and cute show that I highly recommend. Amanda Su has customized the Amiibo to capture Retsko’s caring and naïve nature perfectly. She is incredibly stylized, and this Amiibo is a near exact replica of what you’d see on the show.
Art by Amanda Su
6 Lame: Good Kitty
This custom Amiibo is named Jibanyan, one of the characters from the show Yo-Kai Watch. Not having seen really anything about the show except that it seems to take from Japanese folk lore, I don’t know much about the character. But I know he’s not supposed to look quite like this. You can see a bunch of the fingerprints giving a lumpy look, and his eyes seem to be a bit too far apart. A great try and a good start!
Art by LJ
5 Awesome: Make A Monkey Out Of You
For longtime Dragon Ball fans, Oozaru has always been a symbol of power and pure rage. It’s fair to say Donkey Kong is very similar if you swipe his bananas. That makes this custom perfect, as they already have a ton in common both in looks and personality. I love the little dragon ball by Oozaru’s foot. Both the ape and the dragon ball are incredibly iconic, so it’s a custom Amiibo that any fan would be glad to have in their collection.
4 Awesome: MJ, Are You Okay?
If anyone deserves to be immortalized as an Amiibo, it’s the king of pop himself, Michael Jackson. Dressed for his iconic song Smooth Criminal, it looks like Luigi is getting a few dance lessons in with an excellent teacher.
The King Of Pop gets his own stage to shine.
Michael Jackson was well known for his dance skills, and the video for Smooth Criminal may just have been his finest work. His dancing seemed so effortless, just like most of these Amiibos. Certainly, he was an artist in every measure of the word.
Art by Randomcombo
3 Lame: Missed It By That Much
Fans of Jack Skellington and Jigglypuff might be a little weirded out by this one. It looks odd because it is practically taking the easy way out. Instead of taking off the ears and hair (or just using a Kirby Amiibo), this artist kept the parts, throwing off some of Jack’s key features.
Design choices are what set Amiibos apart.
They’re distracting, to say the least, especially since they used black paint for both the eyes and to cover up the hair. Cool idea, just lackluster modeling.
Art by Kiick Ash
2 Awesome: Dream Big
I’m going to be honest with you. I could have easily made this list about Amiibos where Pikachu was dressed up as something, and it would have been just as long, if not longer than this one. I chose GandaKris’ Pikachu dressed as Mega Charizard. The extra work with making the cape look like it’s in motion and the fire from Pikachu’s cheeks is absolutely exquisite. (My second favorite is her Pikachu dressed as Kakashi). I can’t imagine how long this must have taken, but the effort shines through.
Art by GandaKris
1 Awesome: A Chance To Do Good
If you follow video game press conferences and the like (think E3), then you’re familiar with video game company heads like the late Satoru Iwata. During his life, he headed some of Nintendo’s most beloved games. He was universally loved by gamers for his kindness and generosity. To spread that spirit of love, popular custom Amiibo artist GandaKris created a custom Satoru Iwata Amiibo and sold it for charity. Honestly, it is one of the sweetest commemorations, and I personally think Mr. Iwata would be proud.